37.5cl * Sustainable & Vegan * 7.5% ABV * 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.
Their Straw Wine is one of the great sweet wines of the world. Grapes are hand harvested from old vines sites then left to dry in the shade outdoors for 2-4 weeks, which allows moisture to evaporate naturally from the berries, concentrating sugars, acids and flavour. When the grapes have shrivelled half way to becoming raisins, they are crushed and pressed as whole bunches then fermented in separate old French oak barrels. A portion is allowed to oxidise slowly, to build complexity, another is 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. A very slow fermentation (11 months) brings layers and layers of complexity.
The resulting wine has an incredibly intense nose of dried fruit, marmalade, marzipan and honey. Rich and viscous in appearance, complex aromas include an enticing blend of peaches, lemons and grapefruit with a hint of ginger. On the palate, it is powerful and intense, with around 300 grams per litre residual sugar, but this is balanced by a vibrant acidity and a clean, fresh and very long finish.
Best served chilled at 9 to 11 °C.
4.5 Stars Platter / 96 Vinous