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Leeu Passant Dry Red
36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc and 31% Cinsault
Western Cape (13.5%) No one could accuse this wine, released for the first time in 2015, of being unambitious, but it’s quite a début. Inspired by the Château Libertas wines of old, it’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Cinsaut, showing impressive, stony precision, notes of spice, dark tea and reduction, a hint of graphite and a taut, lingering finish. 2019-30 - Tim Atkins 94 Points
36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cinsault. Cinsault comes from the two oldest registered red wine vineyards: Wellington (117 years old) and Franschooek (91 years old), while the Cabernet Franc comes from high up in the Helderberg and the Cabernet Sauvignon from bush vines lower down the Helderberg. The new oak portion was fermented in upturned 500 litre barrels to achieve better integration. Floral, perfumed and beautifully aromatic. Very fine, a bit peppery and juicy, slightly grippy red cherry and raspberry fruit with some nice spiciness. Juicy, pure and fine with lovely precision. Jamie Goode 95 Points
The Mullineux Family Winery Estate
This is a small, highly focused family winery producing a select family of hand-crafted wines from the granite and shale based terroirs of the Swartland Region of South Africa.
Chris was born in Cape Town, raised in Johannesburg, and introduced to the world of wine while studying accountancy at the University of Stellenbosch. After braving his way through accounting, he enrolled into winemaking for a second degree, and on graduating took a position starting up a boutique organic winery in Tulbagh, where he was in charge of the vineyards and cellar for 5 very enjoyable years. In addition to stints at de Trafford and Rustenberg wineries in South Africa, Chris has also worked harvests at top wineries in Cote Rotie, Bandol, the Languedoc, Roussillon, and California. Over the years Chris has had good exposure to the people, vineyards and wines of the Swartland. This has lead to a growing love for, and firm belief in the region, and he looks forward to many creative and hard working vintages in this region with his family.
Andrea developed her passion for wine at the family dinner table, growing up in San Francisco. After studying Viticulture and Oenology at UC Davis and completing a handful of harvests in the Napa Valley, Andrea decided to broaden her winemaking knowledge overseas. After a harvest in Stellenbosch, she went on to work in Chateauneuf and, on the same trip, met Chris at a wine festival in Champagne! Andrea's love for South African wine (and Chris) brought her back to South Africa where they learnt that their compatibility extended into the vineyards and cellar. When Andrea is not hard at work in the cellar, her creative energies flow into the kitchen where she loves cooking up a storm, glass of wine in hand.
The Mullineux Family Winery Vineyards
Very low summer rainfall coupled with afternoon and evening breezes off the Atlantic Ocean result in low disease pressure. Vineyards are often planted in amongst the natural rhenoster veldt and fynbos, which provide refuge for predators of vineyard pests, and help reduce the spread of disease. Weeds struggle to establish themselves and spread, making it easier to control them without the need of herbicides.
Chris and Andrea have put together a group vineyards in the most interesting parts of the Swartland, which are mostly found around the shale and schist based Riebeek Kasteel Mountain, and the granite based Paardeberg mountain.
Lammershoek - The deep white, granitic soils on Lammershoek produce wines that are exceptionally pure, with a granitic perfume that shines through in red and white varieties.
Kasteelsig - The soils, found on the rolling hills north of Malmesbury, are a deep combination of red gravel and iron, and produce dark, concentrated wines that are the flesh of our blends.
Kloovenburg - The highly varied row directions and aspects bring much complexity to wines, and the high shale content of the soils gives serious structure, and brings an earthy spicy character to syrah planted in them.
Mountain View - The soils are shale based, which drain easily, reducing vigor and providing grapes of perfume, freshness and structure.
The vineyards are planted with grape varieties (which are mostly Mediterranean in origin) that are ideally suited to the environment, and are farmed sustainably and in harmony with their surroundings: Syrah, Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Viognier.
Sunset Hills Mosaic Red Blend is made from Merlot 23.5%, Cabernet Franc 58%, Petit Verdot 17.7%
Dark tobacco and leather alongside cooked blueberry and plum. The structure is solid leading to an even finish.
Avennia Sestina Red Blend is made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
The Sestina is a poetic form from Medieval France. Just as a contemporary poet can use an old form like the Sestina to express modern ideas, we use the traditional Bordeaux blend to make modern wines that express Washington fruit. Sestina is our vision for an old vine blend where the focus is on structure, balance, and complexity. This wine is designed for the cellar, but is enjoyable now.
Sestina: This wine is a blockbuster, with black currant, black raspberry, saddle leather, freshly tilled earth, vanilla, and violet on the nose. Exceedingly rich and balanced on the palate, with great poise and structure for long aging. The finish echoes with fresh black fruits, minerally touches, and floral notes.
"The 2015 Sestina is showing very well, offering up a rich, more exuberant bouquet than the 2014 rendition. This emphasizes notes of cassis, black plums, dark chocolate, espresso roast and a subtle framing of new oak. On the palate, it's full-bodied and lavish but controlled, with an ample, more sun-kissed core of fruit and fine-grained structuring tannins. Like the 2014, it's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. While the 2014 and 2015 are quite different in style, it's hard to choose between them qualitatively. While it needs a few years in the cellar, I suspect the 2015 will hit its peak sooner. - William Kelley"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 237, June 29th 2018), 96 pts
Number #93 On Top 100 Cellar Selections From Wine Enthusiast
"The flagship 2015 Sestina checks in as 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new French oak. Gorgeous notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, graphite, wet river rock, and leafy herbs all emerge from this beautifully balanced, fresh, classic wine that's still tight and backward. It's not a blockbuster but has building richness and tannin, as well as a great finish. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following 10-15."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 95+ pts
62% Sangiovese, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah (percentage may vary). Among Tuscany's oldest and most prestigious wine families, Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari teamed with Allen Shoup to produce a wine that showcases Washington State's terroir with plenty of Italian character. Saggi (meaning "wisdom") is a stunning blend of two outstanding Washington Sangiovese vineyards. Candy Mountain Sangiovese gives the wine its dark fruit flavors and appealing notes of anise. Dick Boushey's Yakima Valley Sangiovese, planted in 1992, adds vibrancy and liveliness. Because Cabernet Sauvignon has the potential to overtake Sangiovese, the Folonaris work closely with Sagemoor Vineyards to carefully select blocks of Cabernet they know from experience deliver elegant character and refined tannins. Syrah, also from Sagemoor, adds to the wine's dark color and rich mid-palate.
Shows cherries, chocolate and hints of cedar. Medium-bodied, tight and focused with a fine and silky finish. Pretty blend of 62% sangiovese, 28% cabernet sauvignon and 10% syrah. Drink or hold. -James Suckling 95 Points
Crème de cassis, ripe black cherries, licorice, and toasty oak all emerge from the 2015 Saggi Red Wine, which is a blend of 62% Sangiovese, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah. With an inky color, full-bodied richness, fine, polished tannin and a great finish, it's another terrific wine from this estate that's going to evolve beautifully for 10-15 years.- Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
A powerful red wine representing the best of the vintage. Blend: Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
A late harvest Riesling with fruity sweetness and great aging potential, aromatic bouquet of honey, melon, ripe fruits. Grapes come from Brauneberger Juffer and Juffer-Sonnenuhr - one of the most prestigious vineyards in the Mosel winegrowing region. The vineyard faces south and provides the best conditions for growing Riesling.
Pairs well with pâté, Asian cuisine.
"Possessing a richer, off-dry style, yet still clean and balanced, the 2015 Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Spätlese offers terrific notes of crushed rocks, dried herbs, and sugared citrus to go with a medium to full-bodied, textured, layered style on the palate that makes it incredibly drinkable. As with the other Riesling from this estate, it’s impeccably made and is going to shine on the dinner table."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 27th 2019), 91 pts
Fenocchio DOCG Bussia Barolo is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo
The color is deep garnet red and the bouquet is fine and pleasing, with intense scents of spiced rose and licorice. The flavor is dry, warm, full bodied and balanced with pronounced tannins and a persistent aftertaste. A wine particularly adapted for aging.
Traditional method of long maceration: natural fermentation without added yeasts for 30 days in stainless steel tanks.
The Barolo Bussia, with its structure and body characteristics, pairs well with dishes of meat, game and aged cheeses, typical dishes of the local cuisine, as well as with many rich international dishes.
"The 2015 Barolo Bussia is a wine of power, density and gravitas, all of which come through in its decidedly vertical feel and rather somber expression. A whole range of balsamic-infused notes wrap around a core of dark fruit as this potent Barolo shows off its distinctive personality. The 2015 needs time to be at its best, but it is unquestionably impressive, even in the very early going. - Antonio GALLONI - Vinous (November 2019), 94 pts
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape XV Rouge is made from 50% Grenache, 45% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah. From 100 year old vines.
It shows a bit of toasty oak up front but balances that with ample black cherry fruit and soft, dusty tannins. Long and harmonious on the finish, it should drink well on release in 2019 and for a decade or more after that.
Pairs with beef with mustard sauce - Pork tenderloin with winter vegetables - Roasted duck - Malaysian pork chop and spice tea.
"The second year Vignon has produced this cuvée, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape XV is a plush but restrained blend that incorporates more Mourvèdre and less Syrah, with the Grenache and Mourvèdre co-fermented when possible. It shows a bit of toasty oak up front but balances that with ample black cherry fruit and soft, dusty tannins. Long and harmonious on the finish, it should drink well on release in 2019 and for a decade or more after that. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 239, October 31st 2018), 94 pts
"A blend of equal parts Mourvèdre (from the northern part of the appellation) and Grenache (from the southern part of the appellation), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée XV offers ripe black cherries, cured meats, lavender, and ground pepper. This beauty is fresh, elegant, and seamless on the palate, with good acidity and a great finish. It's going to be better with 3-4 years of bottle age and keep for 10-15.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (August 28th 2018), 94 pts