Platter’s 2018 over Mullineux

Mullineux Essence Straw Wine 2012 (95 pts)
Unique & special; took 4.5 years to ferment this ultra-concentrated chenin. 2012 amber gold, stonefruit pips & dried fruit, tealeaf note reminiscent of fine tawny port. Just 5% alcohol, sumptuous 610 g/l fruit-infused sugar, yet has tangy freshness. Knockout. 250 ml.
 
Mullineux Schist Syrah Roundstone 2015 (94 pts)
Vineyard on the Mullineux Kasteelberg farm Roundstone. Deeper, denser, darker toned than terroir siblings, 2015’s wild berry fruit concentration belies the structural elegance. As all these, latent power promises a long future. In magnum too, like others.
 
Mullineux Granite Chenin Blanc 2016 (93 pts)
Amongst oldest vineyards in Paardeberg. Single-terroir chenins made the same as syrah, with year oak, to allow site expression. It’s perfume & freshness in 2016, interweaving of lily, nectarine, thatch, delicate & refined; quiet assurance.Mullineux Old Vines
 
Mullineux Quartz Chenin Blanc Leliefontein 2016 (93 pts)
From quartz-rich single Kasteelberg block. Highly reflective stones shine sunlight back into the canopy, aiding ripeness without sugar increase. Thrilling, expressive fruit in 2016, richer in the flavours; perfect balance, poise.
 
Mullineux Iron Syrah 2015 (93 pts)
Dryland vineyard in Malmesbury hills with iron-rich koffieklip soil, giving distinctive ferrous/savoury nuance to 2015. Silky dark fruit, notes of scrub & white pepper, good tannin framework. Masterly balance, sleek & poised, like 2013 (). No 2014.
 
Mullineux Granite Syrah 2015 (92 pts)
3 syrahs made the same to highlight terroir: whole bunch, natural ferment, barrel & up to 2,000L foudre 2 years, unfined/filtered. 2015 Paardeberg vines, decomposed granite soils. More perfumed than others, florals & fruit, tightly focused & mineral seamed, great freshness & length.
 
White 2016 (92 pts)
Was ‘White Blend’. Chenin base with 4 others, from older vineyards & Swartland’s 4 soil types, so 2016’s complexity is guaranteed: stonefruit, beeswax, unblanched almonds, shot through with salty acidity. Seamless & pure.
 
Mullineux Syrah 2015 (90 pts)
A blend of the 3 soil types specified in the terroir range, half the time in barrel. Aromatic 2015 more serious than the seductive first impression; lush fruit & complex layers distract one from the lithe musculature promising a very long life. Also in magnum.
 
Mullineux Kloof Street range Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2016 (89 pts)
From 45 year old vines on 2 Swartland sites, only quarter oaked to allow fruit expression: powerful thatch in 2016, stonefruit, blanched almonds, house-style minerality at the end. Great quality for its price.
 
Mullineux Kloof Street range Swartland Rouge 2015 (87 pts)
Mainly syrah & cinsaut, earlier drinking than other reds. Perfumed 2015 has succulence, elegance, freshness, complex flavour expression, balance yet grip. Similar blend in 2016 preview, more red fruit, same elegant harmony.
 
Mullineux
Remaining true to the Swartland with their Mullineux range, stellar husband-and-wife team Andrea (cellar) and Chris (vineyards) have proved the success of dedicated partnerships. Specifically focusing on site and soil differences for syrah and chenin (a masterclass for wine lovers), and with the talented aid of viticulturist Rosa Kruger for identifying potential old blocks, the Mullineux have established themselves as part of the core quality of the exciting, modern Swartland – but without setting out to impress. The wines, sensitively and naturally handled, have a subtlety and purity that show respect for the vineyards, and unequivocally reflect SA terroir diversity, earning them deserved local and international acclaim. A new Franschhoek-based project, Leeu Passant (see entry), sees them roaming the wider winelands.