Leeu Passant new releases

By , 2 April 2020

Famous five.

Andrea and Chris Mullineux treated trade and media to an online release tasting of the Leeu Passant wines recently – wines were delivered pre-lockdown and then participants hooked up via video conferencing app Zoom. The range keeps morphing, an Elandskloof Chardonnay discontinued early on but now two examples of Cinsault and a Cabernet Sauvignon being introduced. In any event, whatever appears under this label is accomplished and collectible.

Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2018
Price: R670
Matured for 18 months in French oak, 30% new. Pear, white peach, citrus, oatmeal and some struck match on the nose. Excellent fruit concentration without being unduly weighty, punchy acidity and a saline finish. Great focus and detail – this has layers and layers of flavour.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

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Leeu Passant Wellington Basson Cinsault 2017
Price: R565
From SA’s oldest registered red wine vineyard, planted in 1900. Matured for 20 months in 250-litre French oak barrels. A top note of rose before cranberry, raspberry and wild strawberry to go with hints of herbs and earth. Lovely fruit definition, bright acidity and tannins that are fine yet somehow still grippy, the finish long and dry. Has the variety’s inherent modesty about it but nevertheless compelling.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

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Leeu Passant Franschhoek Lötter Cinsault 2018
Price: R565
From a 1932 vineyard. Matured for 20 months in 500-litre barrels. Plums, cherries and spice on the nose. The palate is juicy, round and relatively soft. Gives the perception of sweetness, this only in the best sense (the wine is technically dry) and the tannins are very fine.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

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Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Price: R380
Grapes from a 39-year-old Firgrove site and two parcels on the Helderberg. Spontaneously fermented and matured for 12 months in 500-litre barrels and then 10 months in foudre. Red and black fruit, fresh herbs and violets on the nose. Lovely fruit weight – neither too light nor too heavy. Nicely poised with plenty of energy and crunch to the tannins. A very stylish take on Stelenbosch Cab.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

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The 2017 vintage of the Dry Red is still available at R1030 a bottle. It rated 94 points on release last year – see here. A blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cinsault and 18% Cabernet Franc sourced from various vineyards, it is tracking very well.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.

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