(V) and (VG)This aromatic Syrah has notes of spicy citrus zest, black fruit, and violets, which follow through on the palate. Made entirely of Syrah grapes from sustainably-farmed parcels of vines aged between 22 and 30 years, from across the Swartland. This is an elegant and restrained wine, yet it has good body and a silky texture, balanced by a fresh, natural acidity. The finish is long, with supple, dusty tannins. Good with roast lamb, cheese and game.
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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.
A potential rival for the crown of ‘world‘s greatest black grape‘, Syrah has emerged relatively recently as one of the most-planted grape varieties worldwide. The two ‘classic‘ regions in which it thrives are the Northern Rhône valley, where it makes fabulous, dense, spicy wines which age majestically for decades, and Australia, to which it was introduced in 1832 by the settler James Busby and goes by the name Shiraz. The two different names usually denote two very different styles. Shiraz has come to be used for richer, blacker wines with more ripe fruit flavour on the mid-palate, while Syrah tends to be used for structure-driven wines with more restrained flavours of black pepper and spice with characteristic black fruit. The grape is thick-skinned and prefers warmer climates, although its flavours tend to degenerate jammy if subjected to too much heat. Excellent examples in the Syrah style can be found in the Languedoc-Roussillon, the Hawkes Bay area of New Zealand and now some cooler parts of Australia; in its Shiraz guise Australia is still the heartland, but is also cultivated in South Africa and California.