‘If you want to see the new South Africa and catch a glimpse of what the future beholds, then look no further than Keermont.’ – Neal MartinAlongside Kanonkop, Delaire and Reyneke, Keermont is the…

‘If you want to see the new South Africa and catch a glimpse of what the future beholds, then look no further than Keermont.’ – Neal Martin
Alongside Kanonkop, Delaire and Reyneke, Keermont is the only other Stellenbosch property to be counted among Tim Atkin’s 15 First Growths. Already recognised as a producer of benchmark Syrah, the estate is tucked away in the Upper Blaauwklippen Valley – an area of Syrah fame spanning Kleinood, Waterford and De Trafford. All 7 of the Keermont wines tasted by Tim Atkin in 2016 received exceptional scores of 93 to 96.

We have long been avid fans of the fantastic value that their wines offer. It is, however, the Single Vineyard Series that is key to Keermont’s critical acclaim. These are compelling, small-parcel wines that attest to Alex Starey’s masterful work in the vineyard and the cellar.

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The single-vineyard Syrahs are the stars of their portfolio. The Steepside 2014 is elegant, fresh and grippy, with bright meaty tones, and was one of the top 5 Syrahs in Tim Atkin’s 2016 report with 96/100. The Topside Syrah 2014 is richer and fuller-bodied. Intense and brooding with stunning weight and complexity, it received 5 stars in the 2017 edition of Platter’s.

The new addition to the pack is the exciting Pondok Rug Cabernet Franc 2014. From a 1.8ha vineyard planted at 380m above sea level comes this refined, fresh, yet powerful wine; we were blown away by its weightless intensity. It is the smallest of the single-vineyard batches.

Last in the series is the  Riverside Chenin Blanc 2015, from a vineyard planted in 1971. It is shy to start but possesses a fine, stone-like backbone. Poised and surefooted with wonderful tension, this is a wine that requires time.

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Tasting notes:

Keermont, Steepside Syrah 2014 – R 405
Another brilliant release from this clay loam and granite-based site, this ranks among the five best Syrahs in the Cape. Grippy, spicy and perfumed, it’s a wine with sappy, almost bloody notes, firm yet fine tannins and a core of dark, brooding fruit and acidity. Stunning stuff. Drink: 2017-27. – 96/100, Tim Atkin  

Keermont, Topside Syrah 2014 – R 405
Topside is located on sandstone soils on the Stellenbosch Mountain. ‘Always a charmer’, as winemaker Alex Starey puts it, this is clove and white pepper scented, focused and well balanced. A bit of whole bunch fermentation adds another dimension to the sweet violet, raspberry and bramble flavours. Drink: 2017-23. – 95/100, Tim Atkin 

Keermont, Pondok Rug Cabernet Franc 2014 – R 405
From a block planted on Stellenbosch Mountain in 2006, this is a new wine from Keermont. The fact that it’s packaged in a Burgundy bottle gives a clue to the style of the wine: floral and savoury with notes of dried herbs, graphite and a wild unruliness that seems to come with the site. Drink: 2017-24. – 94/100, Tim Atkin 

Keermont, Riverside Chenin Blanc 2015 – R 320
Basket pressed and naturally fermented, it’s all pear, green apple, fennel and beeswax, supported by minerality and focus. The oak is just a whisper. Drink: 2016-21. – 93/100, Tim Atkin

 

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