Tim Atkin 95
"The 2015 has sold out so quickly that Sam OKeefe is already on to the 2016, which is every bit as good and less funky. Bloody, rich and stony, this is focused, concentrated and well balanced, showing a lick of new oak, dark, brooding fruit flavours and a twist of white pepper."
Vinous Media 93
"The 2016 Syrah, half each from Elgin and Greyton, includes 40 whole cluster fruit and was matured in 50 new oak. It has a perfumed bouquet of mulberry, blueberry and crushed iris aromas, quite Cte-Rtie in style and certainly very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin and good grip in the mouth, and quite saline in style (especially in the second half), with just a hint of Japanese nori infiltrating the red fruit toward the finish. This is very refined and feels very persistent in the mouth, although it clearly needs a couple of years in bottle. Excellent. - Neal Martin"
International Wine Review 91
"A richly expressive Syrah made of half estate fruit and half purchased fruit from Elgin. Pure plum, black raspberry and a touch of mulberry, its full in the mouth with good acidity and firm tannins on the finish. 40 whole bunch fermented and matured in oak vessels of diverse sizes. Samantha also showed us a barrel sample of her 2017 estate Syrah that was quite differenthigh toned, bright, perfumed, focused and elegant, more in a Northern Rhone style. An amazing Syrah!"
Jancis Robison, "New Wave South Africa tasting" 17/20
"This is 50 own fruit and 50 Elgin. When she has enough she will bottle some of her own fruit separately as it is so distinctive and floral. Mostly neutral oak but about 25 new (500 litre always).
Mid cherry red. It does still have a scented Cte Rtie delicacy not only in the fruit character but also in the finest of tannic textures. More spice on the palate and there is such a lightness of touch here that the marked persistence comes as a surprise. This is a
Pinot-esque Syrah though the tannins are Syrah texture. Drink 2018-2026"
Lismore EstateView all from Lismore Estate
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.