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Wine.com (CA) USD 29.99 750ml

Mullineux White Blend 2012

Winemaker's Notes:

Neal Martin - Wine Advocate Having followed Chris and Andre Mullineux’s ascendency from their days working at Tulbagh Mountain Vineyard (see Fable), through their maiden vintage in 2008 to the present, there is something almost inevitable about their fairy tale story. It was just meant to be. Spearheading the Swartland revolution alongside Eben Sadie, Adi Badenhorst et al., their wines have raised the benchmark of what wine-lovers should expect from both Mullineux and Swartland itself. And that is not just good fortune, but rather hours and hours of hard work, with Chris out in the vineyards and Andrea in the winery. The fact that they still have to rent a winery in the town of Riebeek Kasteel makes it even more remarkable – this is no case of chucking wads of cash to ensure quality (which does not necessarily work anyway.) In essence, the challenges that they have faced seem to drive them forward, inevitably toward single vineyard bottlings that debuted with the 2010 Schist and Granite Syrahs, and hopefully toward their own winemaking facilities in the near future. Their Kloof Street white and red offer a wallet-friendly introduction to their wines, although I would not hesitate in spending a few more dollars on their White and Red Blend or if you can get your hands on one of the 99 cases produced, their Schist and Granite Syrahs. On this point, I asked Chris for some background on these wines “The winemaking is pretty similar, and for us the main difference is the soils, and specifically the moisture holding capacity of them. The schist soils are very rocky, shallow and steep, so any excess water tends to run off while the decomposed granite soils are much deeper, with a layer of clay about 2 meters below the surface that holds moisture. As a result the vines grown in the schist soils tend to struggle more and have more open canopies, smaller bunches and berries with thicker skins. The wines tend to be more dense and structured. Vines grown in Swartland’s decomposed granite have a slightly easier time as they have more moisture in the subsoil, so the canopies are larger with more shade and the bunches and berries are larger with thinner skins. The wines, therefore, tend to be more floral and perfumed (from the extra shade), and fresher.” I asked Chris whether there were any significant differences between the recent vintages. “There was not much to differentiate 2010 and 2011. Both were good vintages in the Swartland: relatively dry winters and cool summers without any major heat waves before we harvested. There were some heat waves after we harvested in 2011, and this compounded with the two preceding dry winters had more of an impact on vintages 2012 (very uneven ripeness) and 2013 (some vineyards with low acidities).” Mullineux epitomize elegant, terroir-driven, traditionally tailored wines that deliver nuanced scents and flavors while rarely treading over 13.5% alcohol. They do not shortchange wine-lovers on flavor, yet at the heart of their best blends there is an intellectual aspect that leaves you wanting more. If you have not discovered Mullineux yet – what are you waiting for? Winery Tasting Note 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 flavours, and sugar into a super intense, but balanced treat.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. Winemaking Winemaking: Grapes are harvested at normal ripeness level of 23° Brix. They are left to dry outdoors on racks and wires for roughly 3 weeks. This process allows moisture to evaporate from the berries, concentrating sugars, acids and flavor. When the grapes have shriveled half way to becoming raisins and the sugar has increased to about 52° Brix, they are brought to the cellar where they are crushed and pressed whole bunch, and racked straight to old 225L barrels. A small amount of sulphur (30ppm) is added to inhibit bacteria but allow the natural yeast to ferment. Fermentation takes roughly 6 months, and stops naturally when the yeast cannot ferment any further. Once fermentation is complete we treat the barrels differently. Some barrels are not topped, but allowed to oxidize slowly, to build complexity. Some barrels are topped every few months, but left without sulphur, and the remaining barrels are dosed with sulphur and are topped every couple of months to maintain their purity and fruit. After 12 months all the barrels are racked and blended, and the wine is bottled unfiltered and unfined. Maturation 12 months in old (5th fill) 225L French oak barrels

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Mullineux Family Wines:
We are a small, highly focused Family winery based in the village of Riebeek Kasteel producing a select Family of hand-crafted wines from the granite and shale based terroirs of the Swartland Region of South Africa.   The Swartland is a beautiful and wild place. The landscape is a series of rolling hills, with a few significant outcrops of rock that form the Paardeberg, Riebeek Kaste... Read more
We are a small, highly focused Family winery based in the village of Riebeek Kasteel producing a select Family of hand-crafted wines from the granite and shale based terroirs of the Swartland Region of South Africa.   The Swartland is a beautiful and wild place. The landscape is a series of rolling hills, with a few significant outcrops of rock that form the Paardeberg, Riebeek Kasteel and Piketberg Mountains. It is not an easy place to establish vines, and is a region that has as much of an influence on the vineyards and people who farm there as the people have on the land itself. This brings to mind what film director David von Ancken has to say about the old American West.   “The primal, universal power of the landscape strips away everything but the truth of men’s souls.”   In much the same way, we feel the Swartland landscape bares the souls of grape vines, and in those varieties that can take the ruggedness, true personality of site is revealed. Read less

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Neal Martin - Wine Advocate Having followed Chris and Andre Mullineux’s ascendency from their days working at Tulbagh Mountain Vineyard (see Fable), through their maiden vintage in 2008 to the present, there is something almost inevitable about their fairy tale story. It was just meant to be. Spearheading the Swartland revolution alongside Eben Sadie, Adi Badenhorst et al., their wines have raised the benchmark of what wine-lovers should expect from both Mullineux and Swartland itself. And that is not just good fortune, but rather hours and hours of hard work, with Chris out in the vineyards and Andrea in the winery. The fact that they still have to rent a winery in the town of Riebeek Kasteel makes it even more remarkable – this is no case of chucking wads of cash to ensure quality (which does not necessarily work anyway.) In essence, the challenges that they have faced seem to drive them forward, inevitably toward single vineyard bottlings that debuted with the 2010 Schist and Granite Syrahs, and hopefully toward their own winemaking facilities in the near future. Their Kloof Street white and red offer a wallet-friendly introduction to their wines, although I would not hesitate in spending a few more dollars on their White and Red Blend or if you can get your hands on one of the 99 cases produced, their Schist and Granite Syrahs. On this point, I asked Chris for some background on these wines “The winemaking is pretty similar, and for us the main difference is the soils, and specifically the moisture holding capacity of them. The schist soils are very rocky, shallow and steep, so any excess water tends to run off while the decomposed granite soils are much deeper, with a layer of clay about 2 meters below the surface that holds moisture. As a result the vines grown in the schist soils tend to struggle more and have more open canopies, smaller bunches and berries with thicker skins. The wines tend to be more dense and structured. Vines grown in Swartland’s decomposed granite have a slightly easier time as they have more moisture in the subsoil, so the canopies are larger with more shade and the bunches and berries are larger with thinner skins. The wines, therefore, tend to be more floral and perfumed (from the extra shade), and fresher.” I asked Chris whether there were any significant differences between the recent vintages. “There was not much to differentiate 2010 and 2011. Both were good vintages in the Swartland: relatively dry winters and cool summers without any major heat waves before we harvested. There were some heat waves after we harvested in 2011, and this compounded with the two preceding dry winters had more of an impact on vintages 2012 (very uneven ripeness) and 2013 (some vineyards with low acidities).” Mullineux epitomize elegant, terroir-driven, traditionally tailored wines that deliver nuanced scents and flavors while rarely treading over 13.5% alcohol. They do not shortchange wine-lovers on flavor, yet at the heart of their best blends there is an intellectual aspect that leaves you wanting more. If you have not discovered Mullineux yet – what are you waiting for? Winery Tasting Note 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 flavours, and sugar into a super intense, but balanced treat.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. Winemaking Winemaking: Grapes are harvested at normal ripeness level of 23° Brix. They are left to dry outdoors on racks and wires for roughly 3 weeks. This process allows moisture to evaporate from the berries, concentrating sugars, acids and flavor. When the grapes have shriveled half way to becoming raisins and the sugar has increased to about 52° Brix, they are brought to the cellar where they are crushed and pressed whole bunch, and racked straight to old 225L barrels. A small amount of sulphur (30ppm) is added to inhibit bacteria but allow the natural yeast to ferment. Fermentation takes roughly 6 months, and stops naturally when the yeast cannot ferment any further. Once fermentation is complete we treat the barrels differently. Some barrels are not topped, but allowed to oxidize slowly, to build complexity. Some barrels are topped every few months, but left without sulphur, and the remaining barrels are dosed with sulphur and are topped every couple of months to maintain their purity and fruit. After 12 months all the barrels are racked and blended, and the wine is bottled unfiltered and unfined. Maturation 12 months in old (5th fill) 225L French oak barrels

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