Lismore Estate Vineyards

Berkeley educated Samantha O’Keefe left her native California and an executive TV job, in search of a simpler life. She settled into her own sliver of paradise in the form of a 600 acre former dairy farm in Greyton, South Africa. The estate is at 300 meters elevation and tucked into the foothills of the dramatic Riviersonderend mountain range. She shares her property with a troop of baboons and a leopard.

 

The 30 acres of vineyards are planted in a terroir of decomposed shale and clay with Syrah, Viognier, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet franc. She is the only producer in the cool climate region, Greyton in the Overberg. The combination of elevation and climate make for an extended ripening period for her grapes. All of the wines are barrel fermented in neural oak, without Malo.

 

2006 was her inaugural vintage. In 2011 Neil Martin of the Wine Advocate discovered her wines at a tasting in London and wrote. ”Since her maiden vintage in 2006, along with her two sons, this estate has quietly gone about creating a cult following. Personally, I thought Lismore’s wines were top quality: crisp and focused, fresh as a spring morning with impressive complexity and style”.

 

I came away from this estate impressed with what the lovely Ms O’Keffe has been able to accomplish. She has demonstrated tremendous courage, raising her two sons on her own in an exotic land. She is a pioneer in a region with no peers. Her wines are precise, elegant, and delicious. Vision Wine Brands is proud to introduce Samantha and her wines to our portfolio.

Viognier

Viognier, a traditional Rhone variety is perfectly suited to Lismore’s cool-climate terrior. The vineyard block is on decomposed shale and one of the healthiest and well balanced on the farm. The entire team looks forward to the Viognier harvest and the beautiful amber tinged berries. The grapes were picked at optimal ripeness and whole bunch pressed, slowly extracting the juice at a rate of 500ltrs per ton. The juice was settled for 48 hours and was racked into burgundian barriques (1st fill) for fermentation and maturation. The wine was left on the lees with regular “batonnage” for 11 months.

Reviews:

"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." ~ 90+, Wine Advocate November 2015

Price: (6 packs) Fl $192
 
Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc

Fermented and aged in 300 liter older french barrels. Oxidative treatment with batonnage adding to this balanced, complex and textured wine. Residual Sugar: 2.54

Reviews:

"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." ~ 90, Wine Advocate November 2015

 

"Pale, bright straw-yellow. Pungent, fruit-driven aromas of gooseberry, passion fruit and tangerine, complicated by a subtle leesy quality, some charred oak and hints of dusty herbs. Supple and intense, with lovely juicy, mineral-driven acidity enlivening the wine's ripe citrus and tropical fruit flavors and extending the finish. Offers a sexy combination of sweet, pliant and energetic, leaving the mouth feeling refreshed. Very distinctive, flavorful Sauvignon Blanc." ~ 90, Vinous June 2015

Price: (6 packs) Fl $144
 
Chardonnay

Fermented and aged in 225-300 liter older French barrels with regular batonnage. 10 % Malolactic Fermentation. Residual Sugar: 2.41

Reviews:

"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 brioche 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." ~ 91+, Wine Advocate November 2015

 

"Very pale yellow. Smoky, slightly herbaceous aromas of grapefruit peel, clove and honey. Rich, spicy and broad on the palate, conveying noteworthy depth and energy to the flavors of peach, brown spices and salty minerals. Finishes with impressive breadth and dusty persistence. A dense but brisk cool-climate style of Chardonnay with a light touch. Greyton is located in the Southern Cape region, northeast of Hermanus and inland." ~ 91, Vinous July 2015

Price: (6 packs) Fl $144
 
Syrah

40% Whole bunch ferment in small open vats. 60% destemmed and fermented in a 5000 ltr wooden fermenter with gentle pigeage (punch down of the cap) throughout. Pressed in a traditonal wooden basket press and racked into a 3000 litre oak vat for 9 months.

Reviews:

Robert Parker's 50 Best New Releases from 2015

"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." ~ 94, Wine Advocate November 2015

Price: (6 packs) Fl $176 4cs 160