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.
For this delicious sweet wine, grapes were hand harvested at normal ripeness level of 23 Brix then left to dry in the shade outdoors for 2-4 weeks. This allowed moisture to evaporate naturally from the berries, concentrating sugars, acids and flavour. When the grapes had shrivelled half way to becoming raisins, they were crushed and pressed as whole bunches, and racked to old 225 litre barrels. Fermentation took around six months, slow due to the high sugar content in the must, and stopped naturally when the yeast could not ferment further. The barrels were then treated differently. Some were not topped up, but were allowed to oxidise slowly, to build complexity. Some were topped up every few months, but left without sulphur, and the remaining barrels were dosed with sulphur and topped up every couple of months to maintain their purity of fruit. After 12 months, the barrels are racked, blended and bottled unfiltered and unfined.
This has more than 300g/l residual sugar, and year on year has been an outstanding, delicious sweet wine, packed with orange peel, dried apricots, red apples, honey, subltle ginger spices and floral notes. The sweetness is balanced with delicious, mouth-watering acidity, so this is just anything from cloyingly sweet - just pure joy!! Worth a try instead of a classic Sauternes.