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Superb Stellenbosch Syrah
04 April 2019

Keermont Estate is a single estate located in the spectacular Blaauwklippen Valley just southwest of Stellenbosch. They are a relative newcomer to the South African fine wine scene, releasing their first wines under their own label as recently as 2007, but have quickly made a name for themselves as one of the finest Syrah producers around. The estate occupies a very special site of rich vegetation which benefits from slightly higher than average rainfall and on the day we visited, nestled in the stunning natural surroundings with the mountains encroaching, wildlife singing and rain-refreshed wild fynbos flooding the air with the scents of flower and herbs, it felt like an isolated, tropical, undiscovered outpost.

The estate was bought in 2003 by the Wraith family and in 2005 a major process of vineyard planting and winery renovation took place to augment the 8 hectares of original 1970s and 1980s vineyards that were already in place. Over the next seven years the estate steadily grew to 21 hectares under the guidance of Alex Starey, a talented winemaker who prefers to “pick on acidity rather than sugar”. A restrained winemaking approach means that all of the grapes are basket pressed, moved by gravity and by hand – there are no pumps or machinery in the winery. Fermentation is carried out in concrete and stainless steel and maturation of the reds takes place over two years in neutral barrique and 500L barrel, separately for the first year and blended together for the second year, while whites see 1 year in barrel. Unusually for small producers in South Africa, Keermont are privileged to be able to work with 100% estate-owned fruit and control every single aspect of production. They continue to sell off about half of the total volume though so as to keep their focus on quality over quantity. We are delighted today to be able to offer the two top red wines of the estate; the single vineyard Syrahs Topside and Steepside 2015.

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