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
Abeja Chardonnay Washington State 2013 is 100 percent Chardonnay
This Chardonnay has the essence of a freshly baked lemon meringue pie, green apple, and Bartlett pear. It is both dense and bright, with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon coming from its time in barrel. Aromas are so much related to experiences. It is a wine that is in the traditional Abeja style, with superb polish, complexity, and balance, yet with a light touch at 13.5 percent alcohol.
"Supple, ripe and complex, with layers of pear, floral, tangerine and a note reminiscent of freshly ironed clothing. Fine acidity carries this through to a refreshing finish. Drink now through 2020. 919 cases made. –HS"
- Wine Spectator (November 15th, 2015), 91 pts
"Abeja’s 2013 Chardonnay offers clean, crisp notes of apple blossom, white flowers, citrus and brioche. Fermented and aged in barrel (40% new), it has a solid mix of richness and freshness, is beautifully balanced, and will drink nicely for 2-3 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, June 2015), 91 pts
"A blend of top sites Celilo and Conner Lee, this appealing wine displays aromas of candy corn, corn silk and chamomile. The stone-fruit flavors are elegantly styled, showing a sense of restraint and balance that carries through the lingering finish."
- Wine Enthusiast (September 1st 2015), 91 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
The Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years.
Lakeview Vineyard is the winery’s mid-block vineyard planted to a combination of clone 6 & 337 Cabernet Sauvignon on 101-14 rootstock. Excellent drainage from the rocky and chalky soils plus plenty of sunlight throughout the day produces wines of bold character with mouth filling flavors.
Organic farming methods are used to produce this Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview vineyard. Vines are 17 years old. Ageing in French oak barrels (85% new) for 20 months, then 12 months in bottle prior to release. Non-filtered.
"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #222, December 2015), 95 pts
"Darker tonalities of fruit along with distinctly savory undertones are two of the signatures in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview Vineyard. Rich, ample and powerful, the Casey's Lakeview offers notable richness to fill out its broad-shouldered frame. Hints of lavender and mint add nuance in a virile Cabernet Sauvignon that needs at least a few years to fully come together. - Antonio Galloni"
- Vinous (October 2015), 94 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
Laird Cabernet Sauvignon Flat Rock Ranch is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Our Flat Rock Ranch vineyard is located near the north corner of where Yountville Cross Road meets Silverado Trail, on State Lane. This prized, complex fruit from the Yountville Appellation is a result of unique geological and meteorological conditions: volcanic soils similar to the adjacent Stags Leap District, but also display ancient coastal deposits, and sedimentary and alluvial soils that provide beneficial stress for our vines. Marine air currents from San Pablo Bay to the south are caught when they reach the “Yountville Mounts,” providing a natural cooling effect that balances warm, sunny days that ripen the rich tannins of our hallmark Cabernet Sauvignon to elegant distinction.
Tasting Notes: Bold violet-red color introduces a captivating bouquet of blueberries, tea leaf, and vanilla. This full-bodied wine has flavors of cassis, hazelnut and briary undertones with fresh acidity and chewy tannins on the palate.
"A focused and poised young cabernet with blackberry, blueberry and cherry aromas and flavors. Full body, velvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Shows depth and power. Better in 2019."
- James Suckling (December 2016), 93 pts
"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Flat Rock Ranch, from another Yountville site, is softer than the Mast Ranch, with sweet tannin, dense purple color, plenty of crème de cassis, blackberry and blueberry. There is a nice floral element as well, and the wine finishes full, rich and impressive. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #222, December 2015), 94 pts
Mullineux Tinta Barocca 2013 is made from 100% Tinta Barocca
This Tinta has a pretty floral nose with notes of mulberries and blackberries. The palate is complex and characterful and deliciously juicy with flavours of aniseed, tomato leaves and fresh dark berries. The very fresh finish balances the big tannins. Serve slightly chilled if preferred and drink within 5 years.
Source of Grapes:
Grapes for our 2013 Tinta Barocca were sourced from a single parcel of gnarly 36 year old dry farmed bush vines grown in the decomposed Granite of the Paardeberg mountain. We lease the parcel on a long term basis, and have close and direct involvement in their viticultural management.
Grapes were harvested on 8th February 2013
This wine is made in a very traditional Portuguese style. Hand picked grapes are cooled in our cold room, where after the bunches are destemmed into half-ton fruit bins, and foot stomped for a couple of hours until the pulp and skins are completely broken down, and the grape pips float to the top. We then leave the bins to macerate for 3 to 4 days and in that time all the required color and tannin are released. After 3 or 4 days, at the first sign of fermentation, we press the must directly to barrel for fermentation and maturation. The barrels are racked in Spring to blend the wine, which is then returned to barrel and bottled unfiltered and unfined after 11 months in barrel.
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.
Capitain Gagnerot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
SOILSChalky soil with fossils from the Bajocian era mixed with red clay and laves. Heavy earth containing iron.
VINIFICATION / MATURING
Harvested by hand, sorted and destemed.
Alcoholic fermentation in open vats, for about 15 days with 2 punch-down a day at the beginning.
Maturation in oak barrels (10% new barrels) for 12 to 15 months.
Colour : Deep garnet red.
Nose : Black fruits aromas (blackcurrant, blueberry).
Mouth : Strong structure and powerfull tannins. After 10 to 15 years of ageing, it turns to crystallized fruits aromas with a long finish.
Game in a sauce, Burgundy cheese (Citeaux)
Brize Les Gres Anjou Blanc is made from 100% Chenin Blanc.
This is a dry wine. Easy drink, fresh with good acidity. The aromas are persistant with Apricot and Peach.
The wine is made with grapes grown in a parcel called "les grès".
Pair with cheese and Seafood.