Andrea Mullinuex says of her fixation with straw wine that it is an effort to “showcase the sun” – botrytis is difficult to obtain locally while harvesting late means forfeiting acidity so instead she opts for grapes that have been dried which has the effect of “concentrating everything”.
Mullineux Essence 2012 is from Chenin Blanc grapes left extra-long to dry and which went into the press at 72⁰ Balling, the resulting juice having “the colour of Coca-Cola and the taste of honey”. Fermentation occurred in a single 225-litre barrel and took four and a half years to complete. The result is a wine with an alcohol of 4%, residual sugar of 610g/l and a total acidity of 14g/l!
The nose shows marmalade, apricot, ginger and cinnamon. The palate is inevitably very flavourful but what is particularly striking is the texture – thick to the point of greasy. The acidity, however, is really punchy and the wine is surprisingly drinkable as a result. It’s a complete geek out. Price: R1250 per 250ml bottle.
Editor’s rating: 93/100.
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