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Mullineux Swartland Syrah 2015

ID No: 444920
Country:South Africa
Region:Swartland Region
Grape Type:Syrah
Winery:Mullineux Family Wines
Organic:Yes
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Mullineux Iron Syrah 2013 (magnum)

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.


 

Review:

 "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

 Wine Advocate: 93 International Wine Review: 95
Betz Family La Cote Rousse Syrah 2015

Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.

The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.

(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.

Review:

The 2015 Syrah la Cote Rousse is a blockbuster Syrah from Red Mountain that’s from the Ranch at the End of The Road and Ciel du Cheval vineyards. It’s a mix of four different clones and is brought up in barrel. This deep, inky, seriously black Syrah gives up Hermitage-like notes of scorched earth, charred meats, graphite and licorice. It’s a big, concentrated effort that’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and keep through 2035. Robert Parker 96 Points

 


 Wine Advocate: 96
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah 2015

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.

Review:

All from Dick Boushey’s vineyard in Yakima Valley, the 2015 Syrah La Serenne was also all destemmed and brought up in barrel. It’s a more elegant, complex and nuanced Syrah compared to the Cote Rousse and offers classic notes of blackberries, peppery herbs, lavender and spring flowers. Full-bodied, fresh and lively, drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years. Robert Parker 94 Points

"This has terrific plum and boysenberry aromas with attractive wet earth and deep plums, violets, hard brown spices and dark stones. The palate has bright yet precise dark-plum and blackberry fruits, spiced dark chocolate, stony elements and a long, succulent finish. Brilliant wine in a very early stage of its life. Drink 2020 through a decade or more."
- James Suckling (December 2018), 96 pts - #88 - TOP 100 AMERICAN WINES OF 2018


 Wine Advocate: 94 96 Points
Keermont Steepside Syrah 2015

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.

 


Review:

"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


 

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92
Keermont Topside Syrah 2015

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 flavours 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.

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.

 


Review:

"The 2015 Topside Syrah comes from dry-farmed vines on decomposed granite and sandstone soils at 350-400 meters above sea level. It spent 20 months maturing in seasoned 500-liter French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. It has a perfumed, Côte-Rôtie-like bouquet of detailed blackberry, briar and light iris aromas, and just a little chalkiness in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with finely chiseled tannin, a fine line of acidity and a linear, structured, gently grippy finish with hints of Provençal herbs on the sustained aftertaste. An outstanding Syrah from Keermont. - Neal Martin"

- Vinous (August 29th 2018), 94 pts

 94 Points
Bressia Monteagrelo Syrah 2015

Bressia Monteagrelo Syrah is 100 percent Syrah.

Intense red color. Spicy aromas, coffee and cinnamon notes. Delicate and well balanced. Good concentration, ample in the mouth, elegant flavors, harmonious and a long finish.

Aged in French and American oak barrels for 15 months.


Product Description

Mullineux Swartland Syrah  is 100 percent Syrah

Winemaking:
Hand picked grapes are cooled in our cold room, where after they are crushed and destemmed to tank, and between 20 to 50% whole bunches are added. 25ppm SO2 is added, and as with all our wines, no other additions are made. The must is initially pigeaged once a day. After about 4 days, fermentation begins with indigenous yeasts, and the wine is pigeaged once or twice a day, depending on extract and tannin development. Temperatures are not allowed to exceed 30 degrees centigrade. Fermentation lasts from 7 to 10 days, and after fermentation, two to four weeks (also depending on tannin development) skin contact is given. The wine is then drained and pressed to barrel for malolactic fermentation and maturation. The different parcels are racked in Spring to blend the wine, which is then returned to barrel and bottled unfiltered and unfined after 11 months in barrel. Please decant (or give time!) when drunk young.

Maturation:
11 months, French oak 225L & 500L barrels, and 2000L Foudre. 15% new wood in total.

Tasting Note:
Black pepper, crushed ripe berry, and tobacco aromas linger on the nose. This juice is every bit of full-bodied on the palate. Well integrated tannin gives the wine a silky texture. Flavors of blackberry, herb, and spice layer throughout and into the long silky finish. This is a big wine that can take on another 10+ years of age and will need some serious decanting if consumed early. 30 minutes of decanting will allow the wine to open beautifully.  

   Review:

Swartland (13.5%) Seven different vineyards on a combination of granite, schist and iron soils make up the blend of this brilliant, textbook Syrah. Running to 35,000 bottles, it has a touch of new oak, wonderful fragrance and perfume, some whole bunch grip and a smoky, brambly mid palate. 2017-23 - Tim Atkins 94 Points

"The 2015 Syrah includes two additional vineyards on granite soils after the 2015, whilst the whole bunch component is back up to 60%. It has a clean and precise bouquet with floral-tinged red berry fruit (red cherry and wild strawberry), nicely focused and developing more intensity with aeration. The palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity, fine structure, much more detail than the 2014 and I think that is down to the higher whole bunch proportion, the sense of energy flowing through on the long finish. Compared to the 2014 Syrah, I much prefer this: more freshness and complexity. - Neal Martin"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #230, April 2017), 93 pts

 

Winery: Mullineux Family Wines

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.

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Mullineux Iron Syrah 2013 (magnum)

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.


 

Review:

 "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

 Wine Advocate: 93 International Wine Review: 95
Lismore Syrah 2015

Cassis, blackberry and cherry. White pepper, ground herbs and the strong floral perfume of crushed violets. Light and elegant, but structured with fresh acidity.

40% Whole bunch ferment in small open vats. 60% destemmed and fermented in a 5000 ltr wooden fermenter with gentle pigeage (punch down of the cap) throughout. Pressed in a traditonal wooden basket press and racked into a 3000 litre oak vat for 9 months.

 


Review:

"If the 2014 Lismore Syrah was noteworthy - the 2012 and 2013 were not released - then this is even better. Deeply coloured and highly perfumed, with stony, granitic, liquorice, black pepper and tapenade notes, complemented by fynbos aromas, granular tannins, subtle oak and pithy acidity. Exceptional winemaking. Drink: 2017-25."
- Tim Atkin Master of Wine (SA Special Report 2016), 95 pts

 95 Points
Leeu Passant Dry Red 2015

 Leeu Passant Dry Red
36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc and 31% Cinsault

Review:

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 


 95 Points
Morin Fournier Cidre de Normandie

The Fournier Family cider story started in 1943. Located in South Normandy in the middle of Dukes of Alençon province, the landscape is offering a mix between green valley and strong hills. Apples and pear trees are growing up on the hills. It is in this typical and original environment that Fournier Cider is cultivating their orchard. The fruit variety selected is giving character, authenticity and quality. The Cidre Fournier Spirit is having under control quality in their growth over: love of the land, the orchards, qualitative fruits and product well made.

perfect with savory dishes like meat and buckwheat pancake. It can be mixed with fruit liquor for cocktail.

Keermont Syrah 2013

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.


Review:

"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

 

 

 93 Points
Keermont Merlot 2014

The  Keermont Merlot is crimson to strawberry red in color. The nose opens with aromas of sweet cherries, but evolves into savory clove and forest floor notes. On the palate, the wine has a soft and subtle entry. The tannin structure is dusty and firm, but not overpowering. A fresh line of natural acidity holds the wine together from the initial flavors of red berries and herbal tomato paste through to a dry spicy finish. Drink 2016-2022.

Aged 22 months in French Oak Barrels.

All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.

Pair with red meat, pasta and pizza.

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Chavy-Chouet Saint-Aubin Premier Cru Les Murgers des Dents de Chien 2018

Chavy-Chouet Saint-Aubin Premier Cru Les Murgers des Dents de Chien is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

The wine is produced from 30 year-old vines overlooking the grand crus of Puligny-Montrachet. The vines grow on limestone soils covered with white pebble stones.
The altitude and the poor soil result in a fine, subtle wine with bright acidity. It is a feminine wine that evolves slowly with floral and spicy notes before taking on greater density and revealing its power.

Ageing in oak barrels for 12 months (20% new).100% Chardonnay of 30 years of age.
The vineyard measures 0.17 hectare with a plenting density of 10,000 vines per hectare.