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Lismore Chardonnay
Lismore Estate Vineyards
South Africa - Western Cape - Greyton

This very special Chardonnay was made in the style of a traditional Burgundian Chablis. It shows intense citrus and soft fruit layered with brioche, honey and walnut carried by a distinct minerality and crisp acidity with a lingering citrus finish.

Wine Made in the Soil
The vineyards are planted in decomposed shale over clay at 300 meters in the foothills of the Sonderend Mountain Range. A low mean February temperature lends to an extended ripening period that can put harvest 3-4 weeks later than traditional wine growing regions in South Africa. The intense citrus notes and the lingering finish are consistent trademarks of Lismore's specific terroir. The restrained minerality of the Chardonnay is a clear indication of the cool climate in which it is grown.

Wine of Origin "Greyton" has been designated by SAWIS recognizing the special terrior of this region.

Specifications
Appellation
Greyton
Wine Type
White
Varietal(s)
100% Chardonnay
Agricultural Practices
Sustainable
Soil type
decomposed shale over clay
Vinification
The grapes were picked at optimal ripeness and whole bunch pressed, slowly extracting the juice at a rate of 600ltrs per ton. The juice was cold settled for 48 hours and was racked into 225, 300 and 500 litre older Burgundian barrels for fermentation and 11 months of maturation. 5% new French oak.
The oaking represents a viewpoint that the fruit/acid/pH must drive a wine's flavor and not the over-emphasis on highly extracted buttery notes derived from new barrels and 100% Malolactic conversion. That being said the barrel aging gives this wine its luxurious texture. Having only undergone partial MLF (20%), the wine retains its original fruitiness and fresh acidity. These elements combined allow for years of storage and maturation.
Pairings

Delightful with warm curries which lift the aromatics or a traditional pairing of smoked salmon highlighting the fresh acidity.

Reviews and News

2018 Lismore Chardonnay - 92 PTS - TA

2018 Lismore Chardonnay - 92 PTS - TA

tim atkin logo 250"Bottled as a Cape South Coast wine because it includes components from Elandskloof, Lismore and Stanford, this is all about bright fruit rather than oak, with subtle pear and citrus flavours, racy zip and acidity and a hint of vanilla spice. 2021-25"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Special Report), 92 pts

2017 Lismore Chardonnay - 93 PTS - VINOUS

2017 Lismore Chardonnay - 93 PTS - VINOUS

vinous logo"The 2017 Chardonnay is matured on the lees for 11 months in 300-liter barrels. It is well defined and quite Burgundian on the nose – think fine Chassagne-Montrachet. The well-balanced palate is linear and focused, offering flavors of citrus lemon, orange pith and quince. The taut finish suggests that it will benefit from a couple of years in bottle, if you can resist its nascent charm. Superb. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 93 pts

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2016 Lismore Chardonnay - 93+ PTS - WA

2016 Lismore Chardonnay - 93+ PTS - WA

wa"From the moment your nose goes into the glass, the 2016 Chardonnay commands your attention. Instantaneously, the soft, elegant oak tones are matched with classic apple and pear tones, lemon curd and hints of soft white peach. On the palate, the wine is expressive, with a focused core of opulent tree fruit, a structured beam of acidity through the mid-palate, and lift from well-managed, integrated oak flavors. The long finish has me thinking of something between the Russian River Valley and Montrachet. This is how you make Chardonnay. Bottles of this are going into my cellar and I recommend you do the same. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 93+ pts

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2016 Lismore Chardonnay - 92+ PTS - VINOUS

2016 Lismore Chardonnay - 92+ PTS - VINOUS

vinous logo"The 2016 Chardonnay contains 10% fruit from the Elinskloof vineyard (hence the different WO than the 2015). The tightly wound bouquet of citrus fruit, honeysuckle and light chalky scents gathers momentum in the glass. The palate is well balanced with a slightly petrolly opening and a little more viscous than the 2015, featuring a touch of spice and perhaps not quite the length of the 2016. Excellent, but it needs a couple of years in bottle. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 92+ pts

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2016 Lismore Chardonnay - 91 PTS - WE

2016 Lismore Chardonnay - 91 PTS - WE

wine enthusiast 91 pts"There's a classic impression to the nose of this wine. A bright seam of acidity offers balance and lift to the lemon curd and crisp orchard-fruit tones. A touch of oak adds depth, with more pronounced toasted apple tones on the palate, but that shot of acidity keeps it all fresh and vibrant. The finish boasts great length and overall balance. - Lauren BUZZEO"

- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (April 2020), 91 pts

2015 Lismore Chardonnay - 94 PTS - VINOUS

2015 Lismore Chardonnay - 94 PTS - VINOUS

vinous logo"The 2015 Chardonnay comes entirely from Grayton fruit, whole-bunch-pressed and matured for 11 months in neutral older barrels. It has a very attractive, Meursault-like bouquet of walnut, smoke and light citrus fruit mixed with hints of passion fruit. The palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity, fine mineralité and touches of brioche mixed with citrus fruit. Quite phenolic in style but maintains outstanding balance and superb tension on the finish. Very impressive, and I can see this aging well over the next decade. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 94 pts

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2015 Lismore Chardonnay - 93 PTS - TA

2015 Lismore Chardonnay - 93 PTS - TA

tim atkin logo 250"Now one of two Chardonnays in the Lismore range, this hasn’t suffered with the introduction of a Reserve bottling. Made without new oak, it has the minerality and zip that are features of this cool site, complemented by citrus, baking spices and yeasty complexity. 2017-21. - Tim Atkin"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa Report 2017), 93 pts

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2015 Lismore Chardonnay - 91 PTS - IWR

2015 Lismore Chardonnay - 91 PTS - IWR

iwinereview"Honeyed orchard and citrus fruit dominate this beautifully balanced Chardonnay. A floral bouquet gives way to a flavor-rich, suave palate with a mineral-infused finish. The oak provides texture but is otherwise behind the scenes. Made from 5 different clones from 5 different vineyard blocks with 5 different aspects and picked over 2-3 weeks; all barrel fermented (no new oak) with ambient yeast and aged in 300L neutral barrels."
- International Wine Review (February 2018), 91 pts

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2015 Lismore Chardonnay - 17/20 PTS - JR

2015 Lismore Chardonnay - 17/20 PTS - JR

jancis robinson logo"Shale soils, dry farmed. Spontaneous ferment. 11 months in neutral oak.
Smart, smoky/mineral fragrance. Rich citrus fruit with just a touch of pineapple – much richer and riper on the palate than I expected from the nose. Deep and rich and almost chewy in its lovely deep texture. And finishes fresh. Harmonious and complete. Drink 2017-2021"
- Jancis Robison, "New Wave South Africa tasting" (October 2017)

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2014 Lismore Chardonnay - 92 PTS - TA

2014 Lismore Chardonnay - 92 PTS - TA

tim atkin logo 250"It’s tempting to see something of a California style in this wine because of the origins of its winemaker, Sam O’Keefe. It’s a rich, honeyed, peachy style with impressive concentration, savoury oak and enough acidity to keep the wine fresh and focused on the palate. Drink: 2016-19"
- Tim Atkin (September 2016), 92 pts

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2014 Lismore Chardonnay - 92 PTS - DECANTER

2014 Lismore Chardonnay - 92 PTS - DECANTER

decanter logo 250"A successful modern style that is lees-rich yet refreshingly mineral. Beeswax and acacia tones alongside wet chalk and river stone characters blended with cool-climate limey acidity. Drink: 2017-21"
- Decanter (April 2017), 92 pts

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2014 Lismore Chardonnay - 89 PTS - VINOUS

2014 Lismore Chardonnay - 89 PTS - VINOUS

vinous logo"Bright straw-yellow. Exotic orange blossom perfume along with honeyed oak on the extravagant nose. A sexy floral sweetness is nicely buffered by ripe, harmonious acidity and a firming touch of minerality. A rather plush, glyceral style but its building acidity and savory quality counter the leesy richness, giving the wine a surprisingly firm finish. And a bit more intense and firm than the Viognier. A rather fat New World style of Chardonnay, almost California-like, but with an edge of acidity and minerality. - Stephen Tanzer"
- Vinous (May 2017), 89 pts

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2014 Lismore Chardonnay - 88 PTS - WE

2014 Lismore Chardonnay - 88 PTS - WE

wine enthusiast 88 pts"There's a pleasant fruity richness to this wine, with pronounced aromas and flavors of peach, pear and guava that are hit by notes of toast and baking spice. It's generous on the palate and full in feel, with a welcome acidic lift on the close. Drink now."
- Wine Enthusiast (May 2017), 88 pts

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2013 Lismore Chardonnay - 91+ PTS - WA

2013 Lismore Chardonnay - 91+ PTS - WA

wa91"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 bioche 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. - Neal Martin"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (November 2015), 91+ pts

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2013 Lismore Chardonnay - 91 PTS - VINOUS

2013 Lismore Chardonnay - 91 PTS - VINOUS

vinous logo 250"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. - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (June 2015), 91 pts

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2012 Lismore Chardonnay - 91 PTS - WA

2012 Lismore Chardonnay - 91 PTS - WA

wa91"The 2012 Chardonnay has a well-behaved, almost conservative nose that focuses upon delineation and focus and only with aeration reveals attractive citrus peel, bay leaf and lime aromas. The palate has a dab of spice on the entry, crisp acidity and impressive weight in the mouth, yet without losing intensity and precision. This is another excellent wine from one of South Africa's rising stars, Samantha O'Keefe. - Neal Martin"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue #215, October 2014), 91 pts

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Producer Information: Lismore Estate Vineyards

Tucked into the foothills of a dramatic mountain range at the bottom of Africa is Lismore Estate Vineyards. It is here, in the Greyton area, that Californian Samantha O'Keefe found ...
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