Red, Ready, but will improve

2012 Keermont Syrah, Stellenbosch

2012 Keermont Syrah, Stellenbosch

Red | Ready, but will improve | Keermont Vineyards | Code: 29657 | 2012 | South Africa > Stellenbosch | Syrah/Shiraz | Medium Bodied, Dry | 14.5 % alcohol

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Bottle 6 x 75cl1cs

£145.00
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Scores and Reviews

OTHER

4.5-5

OTHER - I promised to bring you my top red wine from the recent South African expo. My featured wine and its two stable mates, 2012 Keermont Red Blend - a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Shiraz work of extreme alchemy and 2013 Keermont Terrasse White Blend – a scintillating Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc amalgam make up the greatest South African sensory experiences of my year. Buy every bottle you can.

If you have to choose, then use nefarious tactics to horde this Syrah – it is simply mind-blowing from the molecular aromatic flirtation when you come into its range to its palate-ravishing flavour when you are knee deep in its joys. This is an inky and powerful wine, with a splash of Mourvèdre at its core, and yet it has more levity and poise than anything I have tasted this year out of the Rhône. Winemaker Alex Starey has been on my radar since he released his first Keermont wines a few years ago and I have had my laser-sights on him ever since. This is a game changing portfolio of wines. Superstardom awaits this modest, young man of wine.
Matthew Jukes - matthewjukes.com - MoneyWeek - 21 Nov 2014

Nature and all things natural are major themes at this property straddling the Helderberg and Stellenbosch mountains. Indigenous vegetation, eradicated of aliens, beautifies much of it, with less than 30 hectares of scattered high-altitude vineyards. Riverside, a chenin vineyard planted in 1971 and Uitkyk, sauvignon planted in 1988, are the oldest; the rest joined since 2005. Owner Mark Wraith and his family, as well as winemaker Alex Starey, believe in non-interventionist winemaking, allowing spontaneous fermentation, with no fining or filtration.
Platter - wineonaplatter.com

WA - The 2012 Keermont Syrah is a blend of the Steepside Syrah and Topside Syrah, augmented by two barrels of Mourvedre that comes from the former. It spend 20 months in French oak of which just 5% is new. It has a well-defined, feminine, floral bouquet with black cherries, cassis and crushed-violet scents that blossoms in the glass. The palate is very well-defined with crisp acidity and a beautifully poised finish that is focused and sensual. This is another outstanding wine from Alex Starey.
Neal Martin - Wine Advocate - eRobertParker.com #215 Oct 2014

The Producer

Keermont Vineyards

Keermont Vineyards

Keermont intends to create wines that reflect the beautiful place from which they come and the particular year’s vintage conditions. The wines are made as naturally as possible with very little irrigation in the vineyards and minimal intervention in the winery.

The estate has been owned by the Wraith family since 2003. Two thousand and five saw the start of a major vineyard-planting programme on lands that had been fallow for a number of years. Seventeen hectares were planted over four years to add to an existing eight hectares of older vineyards. Keermont’s official maiden vintage came in 2007.

The farm is situated high up in the picturesque Blaauwklippen Valley, otherwise known as Paradyskloof (Paradise Valley). Due to the steepness of the terrain, the altitude climbs 200m within the 1.7km length of the farm and the vineyards are planted between 250m and 400m above sea level. Thus the vines planted over these different terrains ultimately produce wines with good complexity and a variety of flavours. In addition, the proximity to False Bay and the Indian Ocean also moderates the climate in the vineyard.

Winemaker Alex Starey is in charge of the vineyards and making the estate’s wines. Employed at the start of the redevelopment of the farm in 2005, he has travelled and worked in wine regions including Maipo Valley in Chile; Penedès and Priorat in Spain; and St Emilion and Cote Rotie in France.

Keermont have been ‘up-and-coming’ for the last few years but it feels as if their 2013 white and 2012 reds are suddenly realising the full potential of this spectacular site. The wines are fabulous. In the words of Neal Martin (Wine Advocate, October 2013), “If you want to see the new South Africa and catch a glimpse of what the future beholds, then look no further than Keermont.”

The Grape

Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah/Shiraz

A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.

South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.

The Region

Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch is South Africa’s best-known wine region, producing a wide variety of wines from leading estates, even though it accounts for less than 20 per cent of the country’s total production. Designated wards within the wine region are Jonkershoek Valley, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Bottelary, Devon Valley and Papegaaiberg.

At 17,500 hectares, Stellenbosch remains the Cape's most famous and important fine wine district, thanks to its proximity to Cape Town, to the cooling influences of False Bay, its mountainous (ie Helderberg, Simonsberg), granitic topography and its centres of learning such as Elsenburg Agricultural College. 

It's notable for the refinement of its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, especially from the likes of Glenelly EstateKeermont Vineyards Oldenburg Vineyards, Raats Family and Anwilka

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