2018 Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, Leeu Passant, Dry Red Wine, Western Cape, South Africa

2018 Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, Leeu Passant, Dry Red Wine, Western Cape, South Africa

Product: 20181531053
Prices start from £85.50 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2018 Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, Leeu Passant, Dry Red Wine, Western Cape, South Africa

Buying options

Available for delivery or collection. Pricing includes duty and VAT.


The palate feels full-bodied, layered and intense yet there is a freshness and finesse here that is unusual in many New World Bordeaux blends; there is a sense that the Cinsault is calming things down, adding sophistication and lift. A gravel minerality runs through the core, reminiscent of Left Bank, whilst the softness and richness of fruit has more in common with the Right. The quality of the corduroy-like tannins is excellent; they have initial grip before dissolving into soft powder and melting on the tongue, yet the wine has a tight edge to it, suggesting a few more years are required for the palate to mellow.

The long, rewarding finish is dominated by a concentrated, juicy blueberry and black cherry pie character and feels extremely pure. This is an elegant, sophisticated South African Bordeaux blend from the Mullineux winemaking masters at Leeu Passant. Only 900 cases were made.

Drink 2024 - 2030

Catriona Felstead MW, Senior Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd

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Critics reviews

Neal Martin, Vinous93/100

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon has a fragrant bouquet of dark berry fruit, Earl Grey and light wet clayey aromas, quite complex and engaging. The palate is very well defined and classic in style, with a lightly spiced opening and white pepper and sage developing later. There is just the right amount of dryness toward the finish to get the saliva flowing. Classy.

Drink 2022 - 2038

Neil Martin, Vinous.com (February 2021)

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Jancis Robinson MW16+/20

Mid to deep garnet. Already quite nicely integrated nose with a hint of oyster shells, though the palate is a bit suddenly pinched on the end. This is so much more youthful than the 2018 Franschhoek Cinsault from the same stable! This is well made but considerably less distinctive than the Cinsault 2018. There seems to have been a real effort to master the tannins but they do rather dominate the cassis fruit at the moment.

Drink 2022 - 2028

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (May 2020)

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Tim Atkin MW94/100

The Dry Red is something of a tribute to the Cape blends of the mid-20th century, with Cabernet Sauvignon partnered by 21% Cabernet Franc and 16% Cinsault. Floral aromas lead into a palate that's firm and grippy, with dark berry fruit, some underlying freshness and toasty 30% new wood.

Drink 2021 - 2027

Tim Atkin MW (August 2021)

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About this WINE

Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines

Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines

Mullineux & 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, as well as owning vineyards at their Roundstone Farm in Riebeeksrivier.

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 has a range of spectacular single-terroir Syrah and Chenin Blanc wines, each of which illustrates the amazing potential of the differing Swartland soils. Volumes of the single-vineyard wines are tiny, so availability is extremely limited.

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After Stellenbosch, 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 and vines to the region in the 17th century. Viticulture was 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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Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

The most famous red wine grape in the world and one of the most widely planted.

It is adaptable to a wide range of soils, although it performs particularly well on well-drained, low-fertile soils. It has small, dusty, black-blue berries with thick skins that produce deeply coloured, full-bodied wines with notable tannins. Its spiritual home is the Médoc and Graves regions of Bordeaux where it thrives on the well-drained gravel-rich soils producing tannic wines with piercing blackcurrant fruits that develop complex cedarwood and cigar box nuances when fully mature.

The grape is widely planted in California where Cabernet Sauvignon based wines are distinguished by their rich mixture of cassis, mint, eucalyptus and vanilla oak. It is planted across Australia and with particular success in Coonawarra where it is suited to the famed Terra Rossa soil. In Italy barrique aged Cabernet Sauvignon is a key component in Super Tuscans such as Tignanello and Sassicaia, either on its own or as part of a blend with Sangiovese.

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