These wines are made at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek, which was founded by Analjit Singh. The partnership with Chris and Andrea Mullineux started in 2013 when Analjit, who had visited South Africa for the first time in 2010 for the FIFA World Cup, bought into Mullineux. Chris and Andrea were brought in as winemakers at Leeu Estates, enabling them to work with fruit from Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and other regions beyond Swartland. “Rosa Kruger, our viticulturalist, had for years been enthusing to us about various parcels of fruit, but as they were outside the Swartland, we couldn’t use them in Mullineux,” explains Chris. Rosa Kruger, named ‘the queen of the Cape’s old vines’ by Tim Atkin MW, has been almost single-handedly responsible for finding and saving many of the Cape’s most venerable vineyards and also works with Fairview in Paarl and Gabriëlskloof in Walker Bay.
The fruit for this wine comes from a dry-land bush vine Cinsault vineyard planted in 1932 in the clay rich soils of the eastern slopes of Franschhoek mountains. This is South Africa’s second oldest registered red wine vineyard. The soils there promote the production of bold wines.
Drought in 2018 reduced yields in South Africa by up to 50% of normal volumes. In general, however, the lower yields resulted in significantly smaller grape bunches and berries, leading to wines with higher than normal extract and concentration levels. The canopies were also more open allowing more sunlight onto the grapes resulting in thicker skins, more tannins and darker fruit aromatics.
The grapes were crushed to tank, with 100% whole clusters. Minimal sulphur was added, and no further additions were made. Fermentation began without inoculation and the cap was punched down twice a day to aid extraction of tannin and flavour. Temperatures were not allowed to exceed 28°C. Fermentation lasted eight days. The wine remained on its skins for two weeks after fermentation to promote the extraction of soft, rounded tannins. The wine was then drained and pressed to barrel. The wine was racked and blended mid-way through the year and bottled after 20 months' ageing in 500 litre French oak barrels.
The intensely aromatic nose is full of red berry, spice and heathland character. The intense palate shows succulent mixed berries, charcuterie and some savoury notes. The grippy tannins give structure and texture to the wine.
|Grape Varieties||100% Cinsault|
|Notes||Sustainable, Vegan, Vegetarian|