Red, Drink now

2009 Mullineux Syrah, Swartland, South Africa

2009 Mullineux Syrah, Swartland, South Africa

Red | Drink now | Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines | Code: 7981 | 2009 | South Africa > Swartland | Syrah/Shiraz | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

92/100

WA - Sourced from six vineyards to represent the different terroirs of Swartland, the 2009 Syrah was 20% whole cluster fruit and it was raised in 10% new oak for 12 months. The nose is taciturn at first but a few swirls of the glass soon wakes it up with enticing scents of dark berried fruit, a dash of white pepper and kalamata olive that opens nicely with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with plump blackberry, boysenberry and a touch of black plum with very fine acidity. This leads to a caressing, fleshy finish that belies the structure underneath. Classic in style, reserved but ambitious, the 2009 Syrah should repay several years aging. Drink 2013-2018.

For the sake of disclosure, I have known Chris and Andre Mullineux-s financial backer long before they established Mullineux Family Wines. However, this Swartland producer is too important and their wines too good to pass over. Along with Eben Sadie, Chris has been at the forefront of the so-called -Swartland Revolution.

He adopts a minimalist approach to his wine with particular focus upon expression of terroir and this has resulted in the debut of two single vineyard releases in 2010, with the goal of translating the granite and schist soils of Swartland. This is Old World mantra applied to the New World to great effect. But let us begin with their entry-level range entitled -Kloof Street,- which is sourced from vineyards under long-term contracts.
(Neal Martin - WA - August 2011)

The Producer

Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines

Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines

Mullineux and Leeu Family Wines is one of the stand-out producers in South Africa's budding Swartland region. Winemakers Chris and Andrea Mullineux’s ambition is to bottle wines that are a true expression of the Swartland, and all steps of their winemaking process are taken with this in mind. They work closely with a select group of growers who follow sustainable, reasoned farming practices.

In the cellar, apart from minimal amounts of sulphur, nothing is added to or removed from the wine. They do not make use of any yeasts, acids, tannins, enzymes, or fining and filtering agents. ‘Leeu’ (Afrikaans for ‘lion’) was added to the name recently to recognise the contribution of a new investor to the project.

Apart from their wonderful Syrah, Chenin blanc-based white blend and a super rich Straw Wine made from air dried Chenin Blanc, fermented and matured in old barriques, Mullineux now have a range of spectacular single vineyard Shiraz and Chenin Blanc wines, each of which illustrates the amazing potential of the Swartland terroir. Volumes of the single vineyard wines are tiny, so availability is extremely limited.

The Grape

Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah/Shiraz

A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.

South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.

The Region

Swartland

Swartland

After Stellenbosch, t, the west coast district of Swartland (25 miles due north of Cape Town, between the towns of Malmesbury and Piketberg) now ranks as the Cape's most exciting wine-producing district.

Settled initially by nomadic Khoikhoi from Namibia, the Dutch brought trade, vines and unrest to the region in the 17th century.

The British then transformed the area into the Cape's bread basket, viticulture being developed only more recently. This contrasts with an ancient geology which has brought a mix of shale, arenite sandstone and granite soils air-conditioned by the Atlantic Ocean nearby.

Chenin Blanc and Shiraz seem to do best, as exemplified by the wines of Eben Sadie and Mullineux.

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