Keermont intends to create wines that reflect the beautiful place from which they come and the particular year’s vintage conditions. The wines are made as naturally as possible with very little irrigation in the vineyards and minimal intervention in the winery.
The estate has been owned by the Wraith family since 2003. Two thousand and five saw the start of a major vineyard-planting programme on lands that had been fallow for a number of years. Seventeen hectares were planted over four years to add to an existing eight hectares of older vineyards. Keermont’s official maiden vintage came in 2007.
The farm is situated high up in the picturesque Blaauwklippen Valley, otherwise known as Paradyskloof (Paradise Valley). Due to the steepness of the terrain, the altitude climbs 200m within the 1.7km length of the farm and the vineyards are planted between 250m and 400m above sea level. Thus the vines planted over these different terrains ultimately produce wines with good complexity and a variety of flavours. In addition, the proximity to False Bay and the Indian Ocean also moderates the climate in the vineyard.
Winemaker Alex Starey is in charge of the vineyards and making the estate’s wines. Employed at the start of the redevelopment of the farm in 2005, he has travelled and worked in wine regions including Maipo Valley in Chile; Penedès and Priorat in Spain; and St Emilion and Cote Rotie in France.
Keermont have been ‘up-and-coming’ for the last few years but it feels as if their 2013 white and 2012 reds are suddenly realising the full potential of this spectacular site. The wines are fabulous. In the words of Neal Martin (Wine Advocate, October 2013), “If you want to see the new South Africa and catch a glimpse of what the future beholds, then look no further than Keermont.”
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Grape Varieties: 67% Chenin Blanc, 17% Chardonnay, 9% Viognier, 7% Sauvignon Blanc
The Keermont Terrasse white blend derives its name from the terraced vineyards in the Stellenbosch mountains from which the grapes are harvested. The backbone of this blend is Chenin blanc from a 43 year old un-irrigated vineyard called 'Riverside' and is complimented by Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Viognier. All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are selected according to optimal ripeness and harvested by hand. The grapes are vinified gently and naturally following traditional techniques. White wines are fermented in seasoned French oak barrels and then spend a further 12 months maturing on the lees. Bottling is carried out by hand without filtration. Strong November winds (discussed in the vintage report) resulted in a very low yield on the more susceptible Sauvignon blanc vineyard, but fortunately the other blocks were not as badly affected. A total of 21 barrels of 2013 Terrasse was produced yielding 9450 bottles.
Tasting notes: A polished light yellow gold colour, this wine has a bouquet of citrus blossom with hazelnut, lemon grass and butterscotch undertones. The wine has a soft sweet entry with a racy linear acidity. Ripe citrus and stone fruit flavours evolve into a lovely lingering dry earthy finish. This is a textured white wine with layers of flavour.