93+/100 Neal Martin, Vinous
The 2017 Estate Reserve Syrah comes entirely from Greyton, 40% whole cluster and aged in 500-liter barrels with 40% new oak. It has a very refined, perfumed bouquet of red cherries, crushed strawberry, broom, iris and a touch of potpourri. The palate is very well balanced, offering fine tannin on the entry, good weight in the mouth and blackberry, blueberry, clove, star anise and light fennel notes toward the finish. There is very good length here, but it needs another year or two in bottle to fully coalesce. Great potential.
Californian Samantha O'Keefe has found paradise and the perfect terroir. Tucked into the foothills of a dramatic mountain range at the bottom of Africa, Lismore Estate Vineyards was born alongside her nascent family. A passionate vision, combined with vines planted at 300 metres, which are chilled by winter snow and nourished by the African summer sun, produces classic, cool climate wines which are rich, complex and lovingly hand crafted.
Having pioneered a new extreme cool climate region in South Africa, Samantha chose to release an Estate Reserve range to illustrate what the vineyards are
capable of. The wines are produced from very low yielding vines and taste like no others grown in South Africa. The vineyard is planted at 300 metres above sea level,
in the foothills of the Sonderend Mountain Range. The vines are grown in decomposed shale over clay soils and are dry farmed, which contributes to the deep concentration in the wine. Low mean temperatures during February contribute to an extended ripening period, resulting in a harvest period which can be three to four weeks later than traditional wine growing regions in South Africa.
Vinified using minimal intervention, allowing the wine showcase this special terroir. 40% of the grapes were whole bunch pressed, and the juice was slowly extracted. The juice was cold settled for 48 hours followed by fermentation with a 28 extended maceration to ensure the desired level of extraction and structure was imparted. The wine was matured 500 litre Burgundian barrels of which 35% were new for 11 months.