Mullineux Olerasay 2º
By Christian Eedes, 14 July 2020
Comparisons are odious, or so the saying goes, but in the case of Alheit Vineyards Lost & Found 2019 and Mullineux Olerasay 2º, two extreme versions of straw wine, which is in itself an extreme method of making wine, drinking them next to each other serves the useful function of the one providing a counterpoint to the other.
Lost & Found 2019 is from Breedekloof vineyard of Hanepoot thought to have been planted in the late 1800s; Olerasay 2º is made using the solera fractional blending system and includes portions from every vintage between 2008 and 2019. As it so happens, both have been released at much the same time, the former set to retail for around R950 per 375ml bottle and the latter at a shade under R800 per 375ml bottle.
Having tasted Lost & Found 2019 on its own, which prompted me to rate it 98 on the 100-point quality scale, I was later able to revisit it alongside the Olerasay 2º – how would the much-hyped solera wine show?
The Olerasay nose is initially shy but opens up to reveal dried peach and apricot, marmalade, honey, some waxy notes, mushroom and earth with hints of dried herbs and spice in the background. The palate is super-concentrated and thick textured but it also possesses arresting acidity. The wine is very clean and focused but equally, it’s extremely dense and forceful and you have the sense of consuming the very essence of Swartland Chenin Blanc.
Between the two, Lost & Found has more striking aromatics and is lighter and fresher while the Olerasay has more intensity. While I admire the ambition and technical know-how that went into producing Olerasay, I think Lost & Found is the more beautiful.
CE’s rating for Mullineux Olerasay 2º: 95/100.
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