Lismore new releases

By , 30 November 2022

Samantha O’Keefe of Lismore, who lost home, cellar and most of her vineyards to fire in late 2019, made her 2021 wines while replacement cellar was still under construction. She, however, describes that making these wines was largely “effortless” on account of how good the grapes generally were. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Lismore Chenin Blanc 2021
Price: R300
Grapes from Stanford. Some flinty reduction before lemon, mandarin and nectarine on the nose while the palate has a dense core of fruit, punchy acidity and a savoury finish. Offers a lot while simultaneously being tightly wound.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

Lismore Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2021
Price: R250
Grapes from Stanford, Greyton and Elgin. 70% fermented in large oak and 30% in concrete eggs. Complex aromatics with notes of black currant, peach, citrus, sea breeze, fennel and white pepper plus some leesy character. The palate has great fruit definition to go with a lovely line of acidity that runs through it. Direct and forceful in the best way.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

Lismore The Age of Grace Viognier 2021
Price: R250
Grapes from Bot River and Elgin. 85% fermented in multi-format barrels and 15% in concrete eggs. Peach, a light nut-like note and some waxy character on the nose. The palate is well balanced and nicely detailed – dense fruit, well integrated acidity and a gently savoury finish. Nothing too heady, unctuous, or ingratiating about it.   

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Lismore Chardonnay 2021
Price: R300
Grapes from Upper Hemel en Aarde Valley, Kaaimansgat and Greyton. White peach and citrus plus hints of hay and fynbos on the nose. The palate is pure and zippy with good length. Lovely focus – nothing flashy or superfluous about this wine in terms of structure without becoming too lean.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Lismore Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2021
Price: R620
From own fruit, this was matured in 500-litre barrels, 30% new. Expressive aromatics of orchard blossom, peach, citrus, a hint of vanilla and some struck-match reduction. Super-concentrated with driving acidity – powerful and direct but equally very well balanced.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Lismore Estate Reserve Viognier 2021
Price: R620
Fermented in 300-litre barrels, 30% newExotic aromatics with a floral top note preceding peach, melon and oak spice. The palate is rich and round and slightly greasy in texture (alcohol is 14%) while tangy acidity lends balance. Full of flavour, a slight bitterness to the finish.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Lismore Syrah 2020
Price: R380
Made from grapes donated by producers in Constantia, Elgin, Stellenbosch and Swartland. 50% whole-bunch fermentation. “Does it show terroir? It shows a lot of love,” says O’Keefe. Red and black berries, lavender, olive and cure meat on the nose. A dense core of fruit (despite an alcohol of just 12.5%) bright acidity and grippy tannins. A fascinating wine that keeps revealing its different origins.  

CE’s rating: 94/100.

Lismore Pinot Noir 2021
Price: R380
70% of grapes from Stanford, 30% from Kaaimansgat. 30% whole-bunch fermentation. Pretty enough on the nose with red currant, cherry, rose, fresh herbs and white pepper. The palate, however, is light, very fresh with quite harsh tannins – rather too skeletal.

CE’s rating: 88/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.   


0 comment(s)

Please read our Comments Policy here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like our content?

Show your support.