Tasting Note: This Chardonnay has oak notes, fresh passion fruit, lime and flint on the nose. The textured palate is packed with citrus zest and crushed shells and has long finish. Best served at 10-12°C, this wine will show optimally when decanted within the first 3 years after bottling and will reward if cellared properly over 5-7 years.
Technical Details at Bottling: Alcohol 14.0% – RS 2.3 g/l – TA 6.2 g/l – pH 3.36
Source of Grapes: Sourced from a parcel of Chardonnay planted in deep loam rich soils of Helderberg Mountain.
Date(s) Harvested: Grapes were hand-harvested on the 14th February 2016
Yields: 8 tons/ha = 48 HL/ha
Winemaking: The grapes are chilled in our cold room, where after they are pressed whole bunch and allowed to settle overnight. Minimal sulphur is added, and no further additions are made. The must is then racked to barrel for fermentation and temperatures are not allowed to exceed 24°C. Fermentation lasted 42 days after which the wine was left to complete malolactic fermentation and left unsulphured until bottling.
Maturation: 18 months in 225L French oak barrels; 30% new.
‘Leeu Passant reduced its range from two Chardonnays to one in 2016, and justifiably so. This breezy site on the False Bay side of the Helderberg is perfect for Chardonnay and has produced a nuanced, refreshing, beautifully balanced wine with racy acidity, fine oak and citrus peel acidity. A classy wine. 2019-28.’ – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2018, 96/100
‘Another incredibly serious, focused, grown up release from the Mullineuxs. Regal, refined and linear, the fruit comes from the same 26 year old Helderberg vineyard as the 2015 release. Beautiful lime and white citrus pastille fruit notes are very pure and pithy with an alluring wet limestone and waxy lemon rind edge. Very tight grained, tightly wound and taut, far more so than even the very serious 2015 release. The intense lemon and lime cordial freshness is supremely balanced and harmonious performing a sophisticated, choreographed Burgundy styled routine with an expertly judged amount of struck match reduction complexity. The finish has a dusty, gravelly dry mineral length that will impress the most educated fine wine collector. Cellar this beauty for 2 to 3 years before opening, and drink over 20+ years.’ – Greg Sherwood MW, 96/100
‘The 2016 Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Chardonnay comes from a single vineyard whereas the debut 2015 came from two. Drought affected the yield, which was 20% down. The wine was matured for 12 months in 225-liter French oak, 30% new. It has a forward and quite intense bouquet of dried honey, light tropical fruit (mango and a hint of pineapple) and a touch of white peach. The palate is well balanced with a spicy opening, very good weight, subtle tropical notes and just the right amount of salinity on the finish. Excellent.’ – Neal Martin Report 2018, 92/100
‘From a vineyard on the Helderberg in Stellenbosch. Fermented and matured for 18 months in 225-litre French oak barrels, 30% new. A subtle and complex nose of pear, white peach, dried herbs and attractive oak. The palate is marked by great fruit definition, snappy acidity and a pithy finish – it has a lot of the proverbial “coiled spring” about it. Very good now but sure to be even better in the three to five years. Alc: 14%.’ – Christian Eedes, Winemag, 94/100
Platter’s 96/100 *****
Whole bunch, barrel fermented/matured year (30% new), unfiltered. 2016 shows expected complexity, citrus to the fore, white-fleshed stonefruit, gentle savoury thread. In perfect health, beautifully crafted. 2015 (4.5 stars, 91 pts) was maiden vintage.