Kloof Street Chenin Blanc
We’ve been carrying wines from Andrea and Chris Mullineux since their first vintage was imported into the US. They make wines in South Africa, and are part of and leaders of the Swartland Independent Producers, a group of winemakers dedicated to promoting the wines of the Swartland, an area to the north of Capetown that heretofore had been known mainly for supplying grapes to winemakers in other South African regions.
The Swartland has been a winegrowing region for hundreds of years years, and there are many vineyards of older vines planted, especially of Chenin and Sauvignon Blancs, Rhône cultivars like Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Andrea (who is from Woodside) and Chris (who is South African) founded their eponymous winery in 2007, and joined forces with an investor a few years ago, changing their name to Mullineux Leeu Wines. They make wines in both the Swartland (under the Mullineux label) and in Franschoek (under the Leeu label).
Chris and Andrea’s ambition is to bottle wines that are a true expression of the Swartland for the Mullineux wines, and all steps of their winemaking process are taken with this in mind. They work closely with a select group of growers who follow sustainable, reasoned farming practices.
In the cellar, apart from minimal amounts of sulfur, nothing is added to or removed from the wine. They do not make use of any yeasts, acids, tannins, enzymes, or fining and filtering agents. ‘Leeu’ (Afrikaans for ‘lion’) was added to the name recently to recognise the contribution of a new investor to the project.
Apart from their wonderful Syrah, Chenin blanc-based white blend and a super rich Straw Wine made from air dried Chenin Blanc, fermented and matured in old barriques, Mullineux now has a range of spectacular single vineyard Shiraz and Chenin Blanc wines, each of which illustrates the amazing potential of the Swartland terroir (all under the Mullineux label). Volumes of the single vineyard wines are tiny, so availability is extremely limited. Last year, Andrea was named winemaker of the year by The Wine Enthusiast magazine, quite and honor for such a young winery (only nine years old!).
Kloof Street was their first brand, and this 100% Chenin is all about freshness, balance and great drinkability. Grapes for the Chenin Blanc come from vineyard parcels on a variety of soils in different parts of the Swartland. The wine is part tank and part barrel fermented. Pale straw in color, this wine has a nose of sun ripened pears and wet granite. The palate has a vibrant acidity balanced by a soft, round texture and some pithy character. The wine has a fresh, mineral finish.