Alex Starey is better known for his reds than his whites, but this cuvée of Chenin Blanc with 45% Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne (the last two included for the first time) is wonderful too. Very much a southern Rhône style, it’s savoury and herbal, with notes of honeysuckle, stone fruit and citrus, deftly framed by oak. 2020-24 94/100 Tim Atkin MW
A polished light yellow gold colour, this wine has a complex bouquet of spicy citrus and stone fruit with hints of orange blossom, hazelnut, crushed oyster shell and butterscotch. On entry, the wine has a soft full palate. Subtle fruit flavours of peach, litchi and apricot are complimented by hints of sweet spice and vanilla. There is good weight on the midpalate and a light texture. Crunchy apple acidity holds the wine together into a lingering, succulent finish.
The KEERMONT TERRASSE white blend derives its name from the terraced vineyards on Keermont. The backbone of this blend is Chenin Blanc from a 49 year old un-irrigated vineyard called ‘Riverside’ and this is complimented by Chenin from two younger vineyards and varying fractions of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. In the 2017 vintage we included a barrel each of Marsanne and Rousanne from our younger Riverside vineyards. All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards.
Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing. Small batches of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. White wines are fermented by indigenous yeast in seasoned French oak barrels and then spend a further 12 months maturing on the lees. Bottling is carried out by hand without filtration. 13919 bottles and 64 magnums of the Terrasse 2017 were produced.
2017 was an excellent growing season on Keermont. Despite a drier than usual winter, we had strong growth in the vineyards during the spring time. This led to the formation of a good healthy crop which ripened evenly during the warm, dry summer. Harvest started fairly early, but was put on hold after a heavy rainfall. This rejuvenated the vines and allowed for extended ripening which definitely raised the quality. We recorded one of our largest and healthiest crops yet.
55% Chenin Blanc, 21% Sauvignon Blanc, 14% Chardonnay, 5% Viognier, 3% Marsanne, 2% Rousanne