When US-born Samantha O’Keefe was considering acquiring property in then untried Greyton with a view to growing vines back in 2004, she took advice from Peter Finlayson of Bouchard Finlayson, who said “If you succeed, you will be considered a pioneer and if you fail, no-one will care.”
Today O’Keefe farms 12ha of grapes and produces 40 000 bottles of wine a year. Greyton has been officially recognised in terms of the Wine of Origin scheme since 2009 and Lismore is attracting favourable reviews from international critics.
The current-release wines indeed show real finesse and personality with the Viognier 2012 deserving special mention as the best example I’ve ever tasted from South Africa, a wine that can easily stand next to something like The Foundry Grenache Blanc 2012.
Lismore Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2011
White peach through granadilla plus a hint of white pepper. Great fruit expression and nicely coated acidity. Wonderfully refreshing and easy to drink but possesses a gracefulness worthy of contemplation.
Lismore Chardonnay 2011
A touch of blossom on the nose. Citrus, white peach, some roasted almonds and subtle vanilla on the palate before a pithy finish. Delicate and restrained.
Lismore Viognier 2012
There’s peach and spice as you’d expect on the nose and palate but it’s the architecture of the wine which impresses. Thick but not oily or unctuous in texture, possessing a sort of creamy sweetness, with punchy acidity lending balance. Weightless intensity.
Lismore Syrah 2011
Inlcudes 2% Viognier. A pretty wine showing red fruit, spice and fynbos. Perhaps a bit too slight but its freshness and fine tannins appeal.