Mullineux and Leeu Passant join our South African portfolio
We are delighted to have strengthened our South African portfolio by being appointed UK agent for Swartland-based Mullineux and Leeu Passant of Franschhoek. The wines will be available from late September 2020.
Attracted by the potential of Swartland’s old vineyards on ancient soils, Chris and Andrea Mullineux founded their eponymous estate in Riebeek-Kasteel in 2007. Chris graduated in oenology from Stellenbosch and met Andrea, a graduate in viticulture and oenology from UC Davis, while they were both working in France.
Their ‘Single Terroir’ Chenin Blancs and Syrahs hail from small, usually dry-farmed, parcels. The varieties are vinified similarly and simply so that their distinctive characters shine through in the glass: greater structure from the shale and schist-based soils of Riebeek Kasteel Mountain; fresh minerality from the quartz of Kasteelberg; lifted perfumes from the granite of Paardeberg; and richness from the iron-based rolling hills west of Malmesbury. The combination of indigenous yeasts, whole bunch pressing, gentle extraction, older, larger French oak barrels, 100% malolactic and no filtration lends the Mullineux wines their signature texture, intensity, elegance and balance. The ‘Mullineux’ and ‘Kloof Street’ ranges blend fruit from across Swartland and receive the same care and attention in the cellar as the ‘Single Terroirs’, while their Straw Wine is one of the world’s great sweet wines.
In 2013, Chris and Andrea partnered with Analjit Singh, paving the way for a new project – Leeu Passant – based at Analjit's stunning Leeu Estate in Franschhoek. As with Mullineux, the focus here is on wines with a sense of place, made by tapping into the heritage of the Cape’s most venerable vineyards. Viticulturist Rosa Kruger, who was instrumental in establishing the Old Vine Project in South Africa, introduced Chris and Andrea to several exciting parcels in Stellenbosch, Wellington and Franschhoek. These included two of the oldest registered vineyards in South Africa, both with dry-farmed Cinsault bush vines: the ‘Basson’ vineyard, planted in 1900 near Wellington, and the ‘Lötter’ vineyard, planted in1932 in the lower Franschhoek mountains. The Leeu Passant wines are also naturally fermented with 100% whole clusters and matured in large neutral French oak barrels, preserving their marked freshness, bright aromas and grainy tannins.
David Gleave MW says: “It is not without reason that Mullineux is one of the most lauded estates in South Africa. In short, Chris and Andrea Mullineux are producers of outstanding wines that are fresh and vibrant expressions of variety and site. We are thrilled to be able to offer them to our customers.”
If you would like to know more about these wines, please get in touch with your usual contact.