Keet First Verse 2020 – Double 96pts from Tim Atkin & Christian Eedes

Mar 20, 2024 | All | 0 comments

The Keet First Verse 2020 is pitch perfect with double 96 points from Tim Atkin MW and Christian Eedes. Last year we thought there was no way Chris Keet could make a better wine than his 2019, but boy are we glad we were wrong! Chris has been producing the First Verse since 2009 – following in the footsteps of the Cordoba Crescendos of the late 1990s, which celebrated the glorious refinement of Stellenbosch Cabernet Franc.

This wine has immense power and ageing potential, as recent tastings of the 2013 and 2014s confirm. ‘It manages to be immediately appealing,’ says Christian, ‘but simultaneously possesses the necessary to mature with benefit.’

Chris Keet, the man behind the legendary Cordoba Crescendos, is one of the quiet geniuses of the South African wine industry (Tim Atkin). His 2020 Keet First Verse is seamless and balanced, offering super fine, lingering tannins.

The 2020 vintage shows complex aromatics of pencil shavings, blackcurrant and spice with pure, delineated fruit. Continuing the legacy, Cabernet Franc leads the blend at 29%, followed by 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 16% Petit Verdot and 10% Malbec. This is a complete wine, brilliantly realised!


Keet First Verse 2020

‘A blend of 29% Cabernet Franc, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 16% Petit Verdot and 10% Malbec sourced from across Stellenbosch district, it was matured for 18 months in barrel, 15% new. Complex aromatics of red and black berries, violets, some leafiness, oyster shell, turned earth and pencil shavings precede a palate that’s medium-bodied with fresh acidity and silky tannins. This is a wine that has both fruit purity and structure – it is hardly underdone given an alcohol of 14.5% but it has lovely composure and detail. It manages to be immediately appealing but simultaneously possessing the necessary to mature with benefit.’ – Christian Eedes,, 96/100

‘Chris Keet describes the 2020 growing season as a “vintage handed to you on a silver platter”. The resulting First Verse, sourced from eight sites in the Helderberg, Polkadraai Hills, Simonsberg and Stellenbosch Mountain sub-regions of Stellenbosch is another gem of a blend, based on Cabernet Franc, with 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Scented, seamless and refined, it has bay leaf and graphite aromas, fine-boned tannins, scented 15% new oak and cassis, plum and red berry flavours.’ – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2023, 96/100

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