Topside, Syrah, 2015

  Keermont Vineyards

Topside, Syrah

An elevated site of 350-400m in the Blauklippen Valley with rocky soils and decomposed granitic sandstone. West facing so gets the mid-morning to late afternoon sun. Translucent ruby colour, very bright and tense fine boned tannins almost Piemontese in its clarity and precision. Bursting with red fruit and violets but carried with enormous energy in the wine. Fresh raspberries and red cherry, stony river pebbles. The whole vineyard is 1.7 HA and the selection for the Topside usually comes from the same site within the block. Aged for just under two years in neutral barrique and 500L barrels. A standout.

Contains Sulphites.

About Keermont Vineyards

Keermont is another relative newcomer on the South African fine wine scene, particularly in the context of Stellenbosch, one of the Cape’s traditional heartlands. Located in the stunning Blaauwklippen Valley, Keermont is a spectacular single estate nestled in the foothills of mountains comprising 21 hectares under vine. In 2003 the Wraith family bought the farm and moved in but it was not until 2005 that a major process of planting and renovation took place so as to augment the 8 hectares of original vineyards that were planted across the 1970s, 80s and 90s. This area has rich vegetation and slightly higher than average rainfall which brings lush vegetation and wildlife to the scene. Over the next seven years the estate steadily grew, under the guidance of Alex Starey, a talented winemaker with a restrained and detail-orientated philosophy. Winemaking is as natural as possible. All of the wines are basket pressed and moved by gravity and purely by hand – there are no pumps or machinery to speak of. Fermentation is carried out in concrete and stainless steel and for the reds maturation takes place over two years in neutral barrique (separately for the first year and blended for the second year) while whites see 1 year in barrel. Unusually for many younger producers in South Africa, Keermont are privileged to be able to work with 100% estate-owned fruit and they continue to sell off about half of the production so as to keep their focus on quality over quantity. 2007 was the first vintage bottled under their own name and they are clearly an estate to watch.

Appellation: Western Cape

The Western Cape encompasses all of the major wine regions of South Africa. Within this classification is the Cape Winelands, itself made up of the most prominent regions, namely Stellenbosch, Constantia, Franschoek, Paarl, Robertson and Wellington.

Grape Type: Syrah/Shiraz

The great red grape of the northern Rhône where it reaches its optimum levels in the violet-scented muscular wines of Hermitage and the graceful sappy Côte Rôties, which in the latter case is sometimes blended with Viognier. The wines of Cornas are renowned as producing Syrah-based wines very close in quality to Hermitage, while St Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage also represent some good value examples. It is also a component of many southern Rhône reds, namely Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. As Shiraz, it is Australia's most important red variety, found in various guises from ripe fruit-forward commercial wines to intense concentrated old vine cuvees such as Grange and those of Clarendon Hills. In the best instances Syrah/Shiraz produces deep, spicy, age-worthy wines.