Kinnegar Wines , Importers of fine selected wines

Importers of fine selected wines

Specialist in South African Wines

Neal Martin on Lismore Estate Wines

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ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE- NOVEMBER 2015

Neal Martin writes...

"Samantha O'Keefe is living the dream. That's not to say things have been easy for the ex-Californian on the outskirts of Greyton. You know what they say about how to make a small fortune in wine. The competition is fierce when you start out. I mean, how do you distinguish yourself from the crowd? One way is to splash lots of money on marketing. Another is to price your wine at a silly price in the hope of persuading people that it must be good. Of course, you can just make bloody good wine, which is the route that Samantha wisely took.

I still remember meeting her for the first time at a busy tasting in London. I remarked how good I thought her wines were. I felt as it was the first time her wines had been complemented, a third party validation that she was doing things the right way and it was paying off in the quality of her wines. And since then, over the last two or three years, it's been great to see both Lismore and Samantha gain more and more recognition. Her recent releases, which I tasted at the Cape Show with Samantha, continue to furrow that path of cool-climate white and reds. Perhaps in the past I have focused more on the white. On this occasion, I was blown away by her 2014 Syrah that was galvanized by the 40% whole bunch ferment, manifesting a truly complex Syrah, one of the best you will find."
2014 LISMORE SYRAH 94

The 2014 Syrah is 40% whole bunch fermented and matured in older, small barrel and then transferred into 3,000-liter fermenters for six months to capture the aromatics. It has a fascinating nose, very floral and expressive, with cranberry, rose petals, marmalade and white fennel that you would swear comes from some old Rhône. Fabulous. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a little tighter than the aromatics, and brimming over with character. There is fruit here, but the smorgasbord of Provençal white fennel, sage and fynbos is all over the place. This is one of the best Syrahs I have encountered from South Africa.

2013 LISMORE CHARDONNAY 91+

From shale soils over clay with no new barrel and 15-20% malolactic, the 2013 Chardonnay has a nose that positively strides out of the glass with pineapple, guava and bioche aromas that hold nothing back. The palate is well balanced with touches of stem ginger and orange zest, demonstrating very good depth with a structured, almost terse finish that will need 3-4 years to mellow. Very good potential here and yet another wonderful Chardonnay from Samantha O'Keefe.

2014 LISMORE VIOGNIER 90+

The 2014 Viognier was quite muted on the nose when I tasted it, perhaps not quite expressing the varietal character with as much confidence as previous vintages. The palate is more expressive with quite a candied opening - pralines, dried mango and a touch of citrus peel, gaining weight in the mouth but never quite letting go on the finish. Give this another year in bottle to find a louder voice...I think it will, hence my plus sign on the score.

2014 LISMORE BARREL FERMENTED SAUVIGNON BLANC 90

The 2013 Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc, which comes from the top of the incline, is made in an oxidative way and pressed off into neutral 350-liter barrels and on the lees for 11 months. It has fine precision on the nose with touches of white flower joining the fresh green apple and gooseberry scents. The palate is fresh and vibrant on the entry, with nettle and fresh pear notes, and a taut line of acidity with a linear finish that you would never guess saw sight of a barrel. (Note: WA has this listed as 2013, but it was the 2014 he tasted. I have sent him an email to correct it in the archive online.)

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