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Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2017

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While Andrea and Chris Mullineux’s own-label brand sees them working with exclusively with Swartland vineyards, the newer Leeu Passant label allows them to venture further afield, two wines in the range namely the Stellenbosch Chardonnay and the Dry Red, the latter termed “a deconstruction/reconstruction of great old SA wines” by Andrea. Tasting notes and ratings for the newly released 2017s as follows:

Sharp, sharp.

Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2017
Wine Cellar price: R650
From a Helderberg vineyard 400m above sea level. Matured for 12 months in 225-litre barrels, 30% new. A very expressive nose with a top note of blossom before lemon and grapefruit plus a hint of reduction. The palate has lovely depth of fruit, coated acidity and a super-long, salty finish. It’s a beautifully judged wine with great poise and detail and my favourite vintage to date.

Editor’s rating: 96/100.

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Leeu Passant Dry Red 2017
Wine Cellar price: R1000
A blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cinsault and 18% Cabernet Franc sourced from various vineyards. Some reduction before red and black fruit, rose petal and fresh herbs on the nose. More heft on the palate (alcohol: 14.5%) than previous vintages – rich and smooth textured, the tannins supple, the finish long and dry. Relatively showy compared to the light-bodied and herbal 2015 and the seamless and very deft 2016.

Editor’s rating: 94/100.

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