Andrea Mullineux of Mullineux Family Wines counts the creation of the Chenin-based white blend as one of the major achievements to arise out of the resurgence of the Swartland. “By incorporating old-vine Chenin, these wines recognize our history but the other varieties involved [typically associated with the Rhône] are well suited to SA. Since the first examples came on the scene, there’s been a fantastic ripple effect and they now have sommelier backing around the world as they are so food friendly.”
The current-release Old Vines White 2016 is a blend of 62% Chenin Blanc, 15% Grenache Blanc, 11% Viognier, 8% Clairette Blanche and 4% Semillon Gris, fermentation occurring spontaneously and maturation lasting 11 months in old 500-litre barrels and one new 2000-litre foudre.
The nose is wonderfully complex with notes of citrus, peach and yellow apple, hints of earth and spice plus some yeasty complexity. The palate is rich and full despite a modest alcohol of 13% – a good core of fruit, coated acidity, nice texture and just a bit of phenolic grip on the finish. Quite forceful but utterly delicious. Price: R270 a bottle.
Editor’s rating: 93/100.
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