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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.
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 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
Keermont Pondokrug Cabernet Franc is made from Cabernet Franc.
The Keermont Single Vineyard Series was created to high light the superb quality and individual character of the wines produced from certain vineyard parcels on the farm. These parcels have been registered as Single Vineyards with the South African Wine Industry Information & Systems NPC (SAWIS) and wines labelled as such may not contain wine made from any other vineyard. The production of each wine is therefore very limited. We do not bottle these wines every year.
This wine has a pink purple hue. Typical herbal aromas are complimented by strawberries and red candy. The palate is intense with bright red fruit flavors complimented by hints of sherbet, red peppers and black currant. The tannin structure is tight and grippy and a strong central acid core gives the wine a long powerful dry finish. Drink 2018-2030.
High up on the west-facing slopes of the Stellenbosch Mountain, this is a 1.81 Hectares (4.5 acres) parcel of Cabernet Franc planted in 2006. At an elevation of 380 meters above sea level and surrounded by mountain "fynbos", this block is exposed to many natural elements resulting in very low yields. The soil on Pondokrug is red granitic loam with a high clay content which sustains the vines during the summer months. These factors allows Keermont to produce an intense wine with unique flavors and a solid tannin structure.
All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 20 months maturing in seasoned French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration.
"Sourced from the top two terraces of the vineyard up near the reservoir, this single parcel Cabernet Franc reveals good typicity and impressive depth of plum and dark cherry fruit. Creamy, lush texture on a full bodied palate with fine firm tannins. Matured 20 months in used French oak. The name means hut (pondok) on the ridge (rug) in Afrikaans."- International Wine Review (January 2019), 93 pts
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 91 pts
"The 2015 Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Cottage Lane Vineyard, located at 300 meters above sea level. It was picked in small batches that underwent strict sorting and spent two to three weeks on the skins. It then matured for 22 months in 225-liter French oak barrels (10% to 15% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration. It has a tightly wound bouquet at first, presenting blackberry, bilberry, cedar and light damp undergrowth scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and mint- and cedar-tinged black fruit on the entry, building toward a nicely structured, quite sappy finish. It doesn’t quite deliver the panache of its Syrah counterpart, but it is a fine Cabernet Sauvignon all the same. - Neal Martin"- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 91 pts
Keermont Red Blend 2012 is made from 37% Merlot 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and the remainder Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Malbec
Venetian red in colour, this wine exudes complex aromas of ripe cherry, wild berries, and dusty 'fynbos'. The palate has an array of ripe berries, cherry sherbet, crushed herbs and spices. Elegant but firm tannin affords the wine a long dry succulent finish. Drink 2015-2025.
Keermont Steepside Syrah is made from This is an intense wine with a bright scarlet colour. Pure grapey aromas are complimented by red spices, herbs and lavender. The palate has a gentle entry with subtle spicy fruit flavors filling the mid palate. The tight structure gives the wine a succulent dry finish with lingering flavours of red fruit, anise, liquorice and a mineral saltiness. Drink 2020-2030.
All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are selected according to optimal ripeness and harvested by hand. The grapes are vinified gently and naturally following traditional techniques.
"The 2015 Steepside Syrah comes from vines at around 350 meters above sea level, from similar clonal material to the Topside but on deep clay/loam soils, while the vines are oriented to the north. It spent 20 months maturing in seasoned 225- and 500-liter French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. This has a more fruit-forward bouquet than the Topside, featuring small red cherries, raspberry, briar and light cassis scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin and crisp acidity, quite compact at the moment and probably deserving around 18 to 24 months in bottle. Good potential here, although the Topside offers the elegance and sophistication this year. - Neal Martin"
- Vinous (August 29th 2018), 92 pts
"The 2015 Steepside Syrah gives classic notes of blackberry, cassis and plum skin, with a structuring mineral tone reminiscent of dust—almost ashy—and lingers in the glass with hints of black pepper. The palate is dry and focused with a bright, structured core and mineral tension to the mid-palate, finishing with lingering soft, smoky spices. Only 2,571 bottles were made. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 92 pts
"If Topside is Alex Starey’s Côte Rôtie, then Steepside is his Cornas, a hotter, north-facing site that produces dense, ferrous, almost bloody Syrah. This is grippy and firm with layers of tannin and firm, intense dark berry fruit. 2020-30"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2018 Special Report), 95 pts
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
The nose here is brilliantly red fruited, with layer upon layer of subtle spice, bright floral notes, herbs, and stone. Its not all poetry and pageantry, though, and the first impression of the wine was simply, “oh that’s goooood.” A fair assessment, and sometimes that it all one requires. Further tastes show fine tannin throughout, a juicy, vibrant mouthfeel that is very likeable, and deft, long-developing layers of fruit that reveal themselves severally.
Patton Valley's flagship wine, The Estate is the most comprehensive expression of their vineyard site, and the wine that truly defines their place in a given vintage.
"Glistening red. Vibrant red fruit, floral and spice scents show very good clarity that picks up subtle hints of succulent herbs and smoky minerals with air. Juicy and energetic in the mouth, the 2017 offers gently sweet cherry raspberry and rose pastille flavors and a touch of spicecake. Smooth, well-integrated tannins make a late appearance on a long, floral-tinged finish that shows no rough edges. - Josh Raynolds" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2020), 92 pts