The vintage of 2017 saw the stars aligning to near perfection.’ – Chris Keet, Winemaker
The 2017 Keet First Verse eclipses the highly-rated and stunning 2015 with its sheer power, balance and elegance. Hailed as a near-perfect vintage by winemaker Chris Keet, the creator behind the now-legendary Cordobas of the mid-90s, the 2017 is the best Stellenbosch vintage he has experienced since 1997. It shows – this is an effortless wine.
Fast becoming one of SA’s most compelling Bordeaux reds, this masterful blend of all 5 Bordeaux varieties from Stellenbosch is ‘a must’ for collectors and drinkers alike.
It is a blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 7% Petit Verdot. The quality of the vintage seems particularly amplified on Bordeaux varieties as it allowed proper ripening, which led to balanced acidity, and the development of fine-grained tannins, which counter the plush, deep fruit core.
While it is yet to be rated by critics, the First Verse is now fully established as one of our very best Bordeaux-style wines and the newly released 2017 is staggeringly good.
Keet, First Verse 2017
I was immediately impressed with the deep, dark and brooding nose. Layered, plush and inviting. As the wine opens up, notes of earth, wet tobacco and cocoa join the dark fruit. ‘The 2017 First Verse is a deceptive wine,’ says Chris and I understand what he means. This is a wine essentially of power and elegance. An expression of the highest quality fruit from a near-perfect vintage with a plush and satisfying palate, seamlessly drinkable, but underpinned by fine-grained tannins and a special core of pure fruit. The 15% alcohol is remarkably balanced and in-check. Elegance, restraint and an undercarriage of focused, driven tannins make this a complete and well-rounded wine. Cosseted in new French oak, this is clearly Chris Keet’s best wine to date. Alc.: 15%. – James Pietersen (July 2020)