A really wonderful complex and textured wine that is an absolute treat. The nose is very aromatic with layers of lively freshness, salinity and opulent floral fragrance with peach blossom, pear and hints of white pepper. On the palate it is creamy and rich with a vibrant acidity, and concentrated flavours of sumptuous ripe nectarine and yellow grapefruit. The long finish reveals hints of chamomile, dried Mediterranean herbs, roasted hazelnuts, ginger and cardamom.
A wine that works with aromatic spiced food or simply with a roasted cod.
"Mullineux barely need any introduction. They're a leading name in South African wine and they've built their reputation on wines like this. There's such a wonderful balance with the complex flavours at work and incredible purity. I'd have this as a weekend treat with some scallops."
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’ five times by the Platter Guide in 2014, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2023, 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.
The 2021 Old Vines White is a blend of eight sustainably farmed parcels that are up to 67 years old from across the Swartland. Four, composed of Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Clarette Blanche and Grenache Blanc, are planted on the schist-based soils of the Kasteelberg. These stony soil lend structure to the blend. Two parcels of 40-65-year-old, dry land, bush vine Chenin Blanc, one parcel of Viogner and a 60-year-old heritage Semillon Gris vineyard are grown on the decomposed granite soils of the Paardeberg. The age of the vines, and the granite content in the soil, results in concentrated, complex wines with vibrant acidity. The final parcel of Chenin Blanc, grown on the iron-rich soils of the rolling hills west of Malmesbury, provides lifted acidity and rich texture.
The grapes were hand-harvested and chilled in Mullineux's cold room facility. Pressed as whole bunches, the juice is allowed to settle with minimal sulphur additions. Fermentation took place with indigenous yeasts and lasted up to nine weeks. The wine was left without additional sulphur on its lees until spring, with 11 months spent in third and fifth fill French oak 500L barrels and one new 2000L Foudre. During this time the wine finished malolactic fermentation. The barrels were racked and blended just before the following vintage and bottled unfiltered.