Swartland, swartland South Africa

Founded by Chris and Andrea Mullineux in 2007, this winery is now one of the most lauded in South Africa. Named ‘Winery of the Year’ four times by the Platter Guide in 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2020, Mullineux were also Tim Atkin MW’s ‘South African Winemakers of the Year’ in 2016. They chose the town of Riebeek-Kasteel, just west of Malmesbury in the Swartland, for its old vineyards on granite and schist soils, reasoning that, with such quality fruit, they would be able to make outstanding wines. It is an understatement to say they have been proved right.

As always with great wines, the story starts in the vineyard. The Swartland is warm and dry in the summer and benefits from a cooling afternoon breeze from the Atlantic Ocean, which borders the Swartland to the West. Disease pressure is low, which in turn means spraying is kept to a minimum. While the trend in much of the rest of the world is to reintroduce native plants to vineyards to ensure a more balanced ecosystem, the fashion for monoculture in the 1970s and 1980s bypassed the Swartland.  As a result, most of the vineyards that Chris and Andrea own and lease are planted amid native species like fynbos. These provide a home for native insects, which in turn act as predators of other insects that can damage the vines. Once again, this enables spraying to be kept to a minimum.

The Kloof Street wines are strikingly impressive. It is immediately evident in the glass that as much care goes into making these wines as the Single Terroir Syrahs and Chenin Blancs. The Swartland Rouge, a blend of 44% Tinta Barocca, 44% Syrah, 7% Grenache, 4% Cinsault and 1% Carignan, is made with fruit sourced from across the Swartland. As testament to their quality, 25% of the grapes are whole bunch fermented and the maceration lasts from four to six weeks. This gives a wine with an alluring perfume, lovely depth and vibrancy on the palate, and a zesty freshness on the finish. It is superb value. The Chenin Blanc is similarly impressive. Sourced from low-yielding (3-6 tonnes per hectare) vines, the fruit is whole bunch pressed then fermented in 85% stainless steel for freshness and 15% old French oak for texture.  

In short, Mullineux is an outstanding producer that we are delighted to add to our portfolio.


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