Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.
"The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts
"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
This is an intense wine with a bright scarlet colour. Pure grapey aromas are complimented by red spices with some herbal and lavender notes. The palate is full and juicy, packed with ripe fruit and spice. The tight structure gives the wine a succulent finish with lingering flavours of anise, liquorice and a mineral saltiness. Drink 2014-2024.
"Blending barrels from Keermont’s two single vineyard wines with a third block called Steep Water, this is a wonderfully wild, gutsy Syrah, with 13% Mourvèdre adding more savoury grip. Textured and granitic, it’s spicy and perfumed with a pot pourri of Mediterranean herbs. Drink: 2016-23."
- Tim Atkin (SA Special Report, September 2016), 93 pts
Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
"The only other 2013 reviewed on this go around (most were reviewed last year), the 2013 Clos de Betz checks in as a blend of 63% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Petit Verdot, mostly from Red Mountain and Yakima Valley, that spent 19 months in French oak. Sexy, supple, perfumed and beautifully complex, with notes of currants, dried flowers and an almost garrigue like perfume, this full-bodied beauty is already impossible to resist, yet will absolutely cruise for another 10-15 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 94 pts
Grand Veneur Chateaneuf du pape Les Origines (Magnum) is made from 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah
Deep and brilliant, purple-red colour. An exciting nose with aromas of black fruit (blackcurrant, cherry) spices and vanilla. This great aromatic complexity is found on the palate : the spices and ripe fruit appear with an elegant woodiness and harmonious tannins. The finish has good aromatic length and introduces a touch of liquorice and pepper.
A terrific Châteauneuf du Pape with great concentration and finesse.
Best between 2 and 20 years. Best to decant if young (less than 5 years old).
Soil type Extreme north of Châteauneuf du Pape. This plateau is made with a high quantity of red clay mixed with rocks. This area is considerated to be one of the best to produce rich and powerful red wines. By definition, LES ORIGINES will always deliver a great complexity and ageing potential. Winemaking & ageing Harvest is sorted by hand, destemmed and crushed. Fermentation temperature is controlled at 30°C. Vatting period of 18 to 20 days. Matured in vats (grenache) and in oak casks (syrah and mourvèdre).
"Crisp black fruit and dried lavender are restrained on the nose but gain richness and ripeness on the palate of this buoyant red. It's laden with plum and cherry flavors yet silky in mouthfeel, freshened by a crush of minerality. Firm, densely packed tannins offer a noble frame and should integrate better from 2021. This wine has vast potential for aging, likely far beyond 2030. - Anna Lee C. Iijima"
- Wine Enthusiast (December 1st 2019), 97 pts & Cellar Selection
"About as sexy as they come, 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape les Origines features dark, chocolaty notes layered over plums and black cherries. Deep, rich and intense yet sleek and plush, it's a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre and 20% Syrah aged in vats (for the Grenache) and barrels (for the other varieties). It should drink well for over a decade. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 238, August 31st 2018), 95 pts
"The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines is 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and the rest Syrah, all brought up in 50% new oak. It offers a deep ruby/plum color to go with terrific notes of blackberries, currants, smoked earth, and spiced meats. This cuvée shows some oak, but it's beautifully interwoven with its fruit, and it has a rich, full mid-palate and a great finish. This awesome wine will benefit from short-term cellaring and keep for 15+ years.
"There are few better run estates in the world than that of the Jaume Family’s Domaine Grand Veneur. Located in the northern part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and run today by brothers Christophe and Sebastien Jaume, the estate produces a quasi-modern style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (their Les Origins and Vieilles Vignes) as well as a growing number of negociant based wines from throughout the Southern Rhône. The 2017s whites are terrific across the board, and this vintage has produced charming, pure wines that are already drinking beautifully. The 2016 reds are some of the finest I’ve tasted from this estate."
- Jeb Dunnuck (LE MILLÉSIME… The 2016s from the Southern Rhône - Part 1), 95 pts
Johann Michel Cornas (magnum) is 100% Syrah
Well structured and round, it displays red fruit, leather, black cherry, liquorice and black berry aromas.
Manual harvest, selection of the grapes from the "Chaillot" parcel, full clusters, fermentation in tanks for 3 weeks, daily remontage and pigeage. Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels and aging on the lees for 12-18 months in barrels (new old barrels) The average age of the vines is 12 years. Yield: 25 hl/ha
The 2017 Cornas comes from more sandy soils and was brought up in 3- to 5-year-old demi-muids. It's an elegant, complex Cornas with lots of ripe red and black fruits and plenty of loamy earth, truffle, and spice incense aromas. These carry to a medium to full-bodied, balanced, incredibly classy, elegant Cornas that has terrific tannins, loads of upfront charm, and a great finish.” Jeb Dunnuck 93+ pts
This is an intense wine with a bright scarlet colour. Pure grapey aromas are complimented by red spices with some herbal and lavender notes. The palate is full and juicy, packed with ripe fruit and spice. The tight structure gives the wine a succulent finish with lingering flavours of anise, liquorice and a mineral saltiness. Drink 2013-2023.
"Three different sites on the Keermont farm - Steepside, Topside and Sweetwater - supply grapes for this intense, yet subtly oaked Syrah. Scented, spicy and refined, it has classic pepper grinder notes, sweet red fruit and a hint of black olive. 2018-24"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2017 Special Report), 94 pts
Grapes for the 2013 Schist Syrah were sourced from a single parcel of sustainably farmed 18 year old vines planted in the stony Shale and Schist soils of Roundstone Farm on the Kasteelberg. This parcel of Syrah gives the best expression of the Kasteelberg’s terroir – density and structure. Grapes were hand-harvested between the 6th and 14th February 2013.
This is the most structured Syrah in their Single Terroir range. On the nose there are notes of black pepper, black fruit and spices. The palate is full-bodied with a meaty, savoury character, plenty of silky tannins giving structure and a balancing natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
"The 2013 Schist Syrah does not quite possess the same delineation as the 2013 Iron Syrah on the nose, with touches of dark chocolate infusing the red berry fruit, later clove and Provençal herbs. The palate is medium-bodied with fleshy ripe tannin. This has a bit more body than the 2013 Iron, with more sumptuousness, freshness and corpulence with smooth, slightly gamey red berry fruit, truffle and undergrowth. Once the aromatics open, this might be the pick of recent releases from Mullineux. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 94 pts
"Made similarly to the Syrah blend but only from fruit grown on schist soils, this wine offers more power and animalistic Syrah appeal. The nose is meaty and savory, while the palate is big, dense and chewy, showing a lingering elegant note on the finish."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
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.
Our Côtes du Rhône Villages is elaborated on the superb Terroir.
The average age of the vines is 34 years; The assembly favors
Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. This complex wine can be kept 8 to 10 years and we
Mas des Capitelles Faugeres Vieilles Vignes is made from 50% Mourvedre, 25% Carignan and 25% Syrah
Deep inky color in the glass. Aromas of raspberry, cherry and hints of vanilla round out the nose. Medium to full-bodied and very well structured with ripe chewy tannins. Flavors of peppery humus, cherry and hints of leather flow towards a lengthy & spicy finish.
Unfiltered and minimum use of SO2.
Long vating 30 days
Average yield is 25 hl/ha.
The Carignan vines are 80 years old in average.
Delicious with lamb and grilled vegetable.