This new Lismore Chenin Blanc 2020 which was the result of the amazing support Sam O'Keefe received from the SA wine industry following the devastating fire at her winery in 2019. For the first time she has made a 100% Chenin Blanc and as with everything she makes, the wine is amazing. The fruit comes from Stanford in Walker Bay, and has about 20% skin ferment, all naturally fermented and barrel aged with 25% new 500 litre barrels for 11 months. It is a beautiful expression of cool climate Chenin – something you don’t see a lot of in South Africa.
93/100 pts – Neal Martin (Vinous.com) – 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.
96/100 pts – Christian Eedes (Winemag.co.za) – A top note of floral perfume before white peach, lime and lemon plus a little flinty reduction on the nose while the palate shows great fruit definition, thrilling acidity and a super-dry finish. Delightfully lean and nervy (alcohol is 12%).
Made from grapes grown in Stanford with a small portion of skin contact, this maiden Chenin Blanc from Samantha O’Keefe is deliciously focused, pure and precise with a pronounced stony minerality of crushed gravel over lemon and tangerine peel, tart pear, white peach and flinty nuances suggesting a hint of reduction. Counter intuitively, the palate is explosive and intense, bristling with green apple pastille, crunchy pear, liquid minerality infused with fresh fennel, dried herbs and hints of fynbos. But ultimately, this wine is defined by its uniquely taut, glassy acids that are cool, linear, crystalline and electrically fresh. A lovely lean, cool climate expression of Chenin Blanc fruit! Drink from 2022 to 2034+. (Circa 2,000 bottles) 96/100 Greg Sherwood MW