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
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
Deep ruby color; dense, deep, herbal berry aromas; deep, ripe, forward berry flavors with moderate oak and tannin; good structure and balance; long finish. Dense and deep Pinot.
Russell Family Vineyard in located in the Templeton Gap area of Paso Robles. It's a relatively warm site for Pinot Noir, but the amazing amount of limestone in the soil allows the vines to retain great acidity.
All traditional Pinot pairings as well as steak and lamb
Deep ruby color; dense, deep, herbal berry aromas; deep, ripe, forward berry flavors with moderate oak and tannin; good structure and balance; long finish. Dense and deep Pinot that needs a good two hours of air to open up.
Pinot Report 93 Points
"Red cherries laced with crushed allspice and cloves also benefit from dried violets, graphite and loamy soil on the nose of this rare Pinot from Paso. The palate is not quite so boisterous but quite good still, with a bit of concentrated plum juice, Bing cherries, raspberry and a tinge of sagebrush throughout. - Matt Kettmann"
- Wine Enthusiast (August 1st 2015), 93 pts
The Stone Corral Vineyard is planted on a southeast slope on the west side of the Edna Valley which has an east/west orientation opening up to the Pacific Ocean from Morro Bay and Pismo Beach. Approximately 120 to 300 feet above sea level, the climate is strongly influenced by the ocean providing ideal temperate growing conditions for Pinot Noir. Early spring warming, mild summer temperatures and late arriving cold fall temperatures and rain provide a long growing season for the development of rich color, concentrated and complex flavors. Soil profiles vary between blocks from sand, sandy loam, loamy sand, pebbly sandy clay loam, all fine angular blocky , including decomposing sandstone layers and numerous fossil rocks. The soils are well drained and marine in origin, resulting in an elegant Pinot Noir with extraordinary attributes.
This gem is a blend of a few precious, select barrels hailing from the finest blocks of Stone Corral Vineyard. Offers blue-toned fruit on the nose and a pretty bouquet of black raspberry, sandstone, marzipan and wild lupine flowers. Opulent, yet delicate on the palate, with velvety layers of cola nut, cherry, dried herbs and pecan sandie cookies.
Wine analysis – 13.7% Alcohol, .69 TA, 3.5pH
- A barrel select Stone Corral Vineyard bottling, utilizing the finest blocks and clones of the 2013 vintage
- Blend of clones 115, 777 and 667 on 101-14 and 3309 rootstalks
- Hand harvested, cold fruit from night picks during the month of September 2013
- Yield about 2 tons per acre between 23.8 and 24.5 ° Brix
- Destemmed with nearly 100 % whole berries remaining
- Fermented in small open top tanks
- 4 day cold soak, average 14 day fermentation, peak temperature 83°
- Hand punched down several times daily as needed
- Pressed off just dry, tank settled then racked to barrels
- Aged in small French oak barrels for 18 months
- Once the fresh wine is transferred from the press pan, all moving of the wine is done with inert gas pressure.
When handling the wine, care is taken at all opportunities to avoid shear.
"This bottling comes from the best blocks and barrels from this single vineyard, co-owned by a number of Edna Valley luminaries. The result is stunning, with baked raspberry, strawberry, maple, and peppery bacon aromas comprising a spicy, exotic nose. Black plum fruit melds with white pepper and crushed herbs, diving into tangy strawberry and sandalwood incense notes on the finish. - Matt Kettmann"
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (April 1st 2017), 95 pts
Intense and vibrant, with focused notes of rich, zesty raspberry puree, blackberry, black licorice and pomegranate that are focused, easing into the plush texture.
Medium-deep ruby color; deep, complex aromas of plum, earth and pepper; deep, focused plum flavors with oak and pepper notes; some tannin; good structure and balance; long finish. Complex, deep Pinot that needs some air to open up. Pinot Report 94 Points
Made from blueberries
10.5% Alcohol by Volume
10.6% Residual Sugar
Fresh from the field Blueberry aromas and flavors. Excellent served chilled with your favorite dessert, or in a creative cocktail as a mixer with sparkling water and a mint garnish.
Select Wine Competition Awards:
2013 SILVER San Francisco Chronicle
2013 SILVER New World International
2013 SILVER Dallas Morning News
2013 SILVER International Eastern
2012 GOLD Indy International
2012 SILVER International Eastern
2012 SILVER Lone Star International
2012 SILVER Los Angeles International
2012 SILVER Long Beach Grand Cru
100% air-dried Chenin blanc
"The secret to Straw Wine is harvesting grapes at normal ripeness levels to capture a healthy acidity, which is concentrated along with the intense Chenin blanc flavors, and sugar into a super intense, but balanced treat."
Source of Grapes: Grapes for our 2013 Straw Wine were sourced from one parcel of 33 year-old Chenin blanc planted in the stony Shale and Schist based soils of Riebeek Kasteel Mountain, and one parcel of 40+ year-old dry land, bush vine Chenin blanc grown in the decomposed Granite of the Paardeberg mountain. These are our parcels that give us the best acidity at harvest.
Tasting Note: Deep golden straw in color, with a rich, viscous appearance. The nose is a complex, enticing blend of dried peaches, apricots and marmalade, with savory, nutty aromas of almonds, marzipan and honey. The intense, dizzying mouthfeel is balanced by a clean, fresh and very long finish of dried apricots. The wine is best served chilled at 9 to 11 C.
For the very first time, Chris Mullineux told me that the 2013 Straw Wine contained some botrytis. Same as previous years, it comes from one schist and one granite vineyard and it was cropped between January 26-February 5. It delivers 268.8 grams per liter residual sugar and was aged for 12 months in fifth-fill French oak. It has a gorgeous, very pure bouquet with honey, mandarin, orange peel and a touch of peach that is incredibly detailed. The palate is viscous, beautifully balanced and perhaps the purest that I have tasted since their debut in 2008. Layers of honeyed fruit infused with orange zest and mandarin, razor-sharp definition on the finish that has electricity flowing through it. Stylistically equidistant between a fine Sauternes and Tokaji, this might turn out to their best Straw Wine to date. As for the price...just how many bottles of Yquem could you buy for the equivalent. The cork?
I hear that sales of Mullineux have been strong in the United States as well as here in the UK, where I can vouch for a loyal fan base. If you have not tried when of Mullineux’s wines, then the sooner the better. -Wine Advocate 96 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.
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.
This Cabernet Franc is black cherry red in color with aromas of blueberry jam and white pepper spiciness. With wonderful ripeness we were able to make one of our best Cabernet Francs. The wine is very lush across the palate with a silky softness and sweet impression of ripe blueberry fruit. Tannins are very moderate with a nice light texture in the mid palate. This is an easy drinking Cabernet Franc, rich and complete and very enjoyable.
Paradigm Cabernet Franc is made from 76% Cabernet Franc, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot