The Overberg area of South Africa’s Cape is a land of ice and fire, where nature gives with one hand and takes with another. When Samantha O’Keefe left her native U.S to found Lismore Estate Vineyards in 2000, little did she expect that just a few years later wildfires would rip through her winery and farm, devastating nearly half her vines.
O’Keefe originally chose her Greyton site for the magic combination of perfect terroir and cool climate, where the snow-covered mountains that surround the estate temper the African heat. With extreme diurnal temperature shifts, her wines present a very distinct sense of place and her work has been instrumental in earning Greyton recognition as a legitimate winemaking district.
Towards the end of 2019, this seemingly idyllic environment turned on the winemaker and razed to the ground everything that she had worked so hard for. Through great adversity comes great triumph, and we are pleased to say Lismore Estate Vineyards has truly risen from the ashes of their past. Vinous’ Neal Martin agrees, saying “the good news is that despite the hardship and stress, the wines have not suffered one notch. They remain some of the best the Cape has to offer”.
We are delighted to present the following Lismore Estate Vineyards wines from their 2020 come-back vintage.
|Wine||Vintage||Price per 6 IB||NM Score|
|Lismore Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Fermented||2020||£105||92|
|Lismore Viognier The Age of Grace||2020||£105||94|
|Lismore Chardonnay Reserve||2020||£185||95|
|Lismore Pinot Noir||2020||£160||91|
These wines are due in next month so do take a look at Neal Martin’s glowing tasting notes below and if you would like to order, please reply to this email and we can confirm, subject to remaining unsold.
2020 Lismore Estate Vineyards Chardonnay
The 2020 Chardonnay offers plenty of mango, pineapple and citrus fruit on the nose, all beautifully defined with a subtle minerally undertow. The well-balanced palate delivers orange pith and tangerine flavors, fine depth and a fresh pear and nectarine finish. Not the most complex Chardonnay that Samantha O’Keefe has ever produced, but still absolutely delicious. Drink – 2021 – 2030. 90 Points, Vinous
2020 Lismore Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Fermented
The 2020 Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Fermented was from donated Stellenbosch, Helderberg, Elgin fruit and a little from Greyton (thus WO Western Cape). This was made in a similar style, oxidatively in barrels, at Almenkerk but obviously has a very different terroir expression than the usual Cape South Coast fruit. The fresh, saline, sea-spray-scented bouquet gradually unfurls with aeration in the glass. The palate is well balanced with a grassy, white asparagus and ginger-tinged opening, crisp acidity and a racy but composed finish where you would be hard pressed to detect the barrel ferment, it is so discreet. Superb. Drink – 2022 – 2032. 92 Points, Vinous
2020 Lismore Estate Vineyards Viognier The Age of Grace
The 2020 Viognier The Age of Grace has a subtle, well-defined bouquet of detailed lemon sherbet, lemon thyme and crushed pebble scents, poised and, yes, graceful. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, and linear and quite steely toward the almost Chenin-like finish. This is not a flamboyant, Rhône-like Viognier – it’s is far more tensile and racy. It should age extremely well in bottle. Drink – 2022 – 2040. 94 Points, Vinous
2020 Lismore Estate Vineyards Chenin Blanc
The 2020 Chenin Blanc has a detailed, finely delineated nose, delicate touches of orange blossom and jasmine emerging with time in the glass. The palate is well balanced, taut and linear, with fine acidity – almost crystalline. Discreet touches of mandarin and passion fruit develop toward the racy finish. Understated and classy. Drink – 2022 – 2036. 93 Points, Vinous
2020 Lismore Estate Vineyards Chardonnay Reserve Estate
The 2020 Chardonnay Reserve Estate is the only Reserve wine whose fruit survived the wildfire in 2018. It has a glorious bouquet that is Premier Cru Burgundy in quality, featuring wonderful, brilliantly delineated scents of citrus lemon and orange blossom and hints of black currant leaf. The palate is extremely well balanced, displaying wonderful poise allied with impressive concentration. There’s real depth and substance on the finish (where others have lacked in this vintage). An outstanding, world-class Chardonnay. Drink – 2022 – 2042. 95 Points, Vinous
2020 Lismore Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir
The 2020 Pinot Noir has an elegant bouquet of red cherries, crushed strawberry and light menthol scents. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, lightly spiced red berry fruit mixed with desiccated orange peel, and a hint of Szechuan pepper toward the finish. Very fine. Drink – 2022 – 2032. 91 Points, Vinous
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