A touch more tightly woven than the '13 at present, but pure class. Great purity of fruit, apple, pear and sweet citrus. There’s a hint of honeysuckle and ripe segments of tangerine The racy acidity lifts the palate beautifully – lightening the many textures and enhancing the freshness of the wine.
65% Chenin Blanc, 13% Chardonnay, 17% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Viognier
Neal Martin: Keermont's 2014 White Blend Terrasse is 65% Chenin Blanc, 13% Chardonnay, 17% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Viognier, fermented in French oak barrels and matured for 12 months on the lees, with a small part in stainless steel. Here we have a different set of aromatics to the 2010 and 2011. It is more tensile than I recollect previous vintages at this stage - orange blossom, touch of tangerine and honeysuckle. The palate is class, pure class. Winemaker Alex Starey has nailed the acidity here and imparted wonderful tension and poise. This is one of the purest "Terrasse" that I have encountered at this earlier stage and it will be a job to see how this develops in bottle. 93pts
Alex Starey is one of the new breed of Stellenbosch winemakers. I am considering asking the South African authorities to do a selection massale of Alex, maybe take graftings from his hair, in order to create new winemakers that can be distributed across the region. Seriously though, Alex has really put Keermont on the map in recent years with a succession of superb Rhône blends. I asked him whether there has been any recent changes. "We have planted Roussanne and Marsanne recently," he told me. "That is the only major change. The first crop will be 2017 and the idea is to eventually add them into the Terrasse. The 2014 Terrasse was a bigger vintage in terms of production than normal. Predominantly 30% of fruit comes from the old Riverside block and is supplemented with Chenin Blanc from Low Ride and a new plot - Bobbejaan vineyard, which apparently the baboons still love. They still eat a few grapes. Chardonnay will come in next year from the old terraces that were farmed in the 1970s. I've been trying to capture the freshness, so I had to pick quite quickly in 2014, but we can't push it too far." Needless to say, these are outstanding wines that do the reputation of Stellenbosch no harm at all, attesting to the quality of their terroir.
An edge on the nose, passion fruit and peaches with a herbal drift. Lovely vigour and depth of flavour. Refined and classy and well-mannered.