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Getting to know Platter’s Winery of the Year – Mullineux and Leeu Family Wines

What it's like to taste wine from one of South Africa’s most celebrated wine brands.

by: Candice Bresler | 16 Sep 2019
wine farms in franschhoek

It was love at first sip.

Mullineux Wines has long been on my radar but, as their vines mainly benefit from the soils of the Swartland, I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to experience their wines first-hand without getting out the padkos for a roadtrip up the coast.

Imagine my delight when I realised that there’s a little slice of Swartland magic nestled right in the heart of Franschhoek. And, given the Mullineux’s recent partnership with Anjalit Singh of the Leeu Collection, their home-away-from-home makes perfect sense, in the most delicious and quaffable way possible.

Let’s get to know Mullineux and Leeu Family Wines a little better, shall we?

The tasting room takes the form of The Wine Studio and is situated in the beautiful grounds of Leeu Estates, the Leeu Collection’s signature property in Franschhoek. And, while the team could have easily let the wines do the talking – we are talking about Platter’s Winery of the Year 2019 – as much detail went into the actual tasting room as into crafting the exceptional wines on offer.

mullineux wine

Guests can enjoy a number of wines from the Mullineux and Leeu Family Wines collection, presented in what the team calls an “immersive wine experience”. Starting at R115 per person, there are three different tasting options – including the Leeu Passant tasting, which allows guests to sample the estate’s flagship Leeu Passant dry red and Stellenbosch chardonnay – the latter holding the title of Platter’s Chardonnay of the Year, too. Just in case you need a little extra nudge.

Are you a member of the Food24 Wine Club? The best part is that our wine expert picks the wine for you! 

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So, let’s chat about the wines.

The Mullineux team focuses on only two varietals – chenin blanc and syrah – allowing an undivided focus on molding these grapes into the best wines possible. One of the first stand-out wines was the Old Vines White, which has “notes of ripe pears, almonds and peaches, and a clove-like finish“, carefully left to rest in French oak barrels for 11 months; and the Kloof Street Swartland Rouge, which at only R130 a bottle we couldn’t quite say “no” too, and took a few bottles home with us.

Moving down a winding path of chenin in various iterations, we arrived at the heavy-hitter of the afternoon and the lone chardonnay: Platter’s Chardonnay of the Year, the Leeu Passant Stellenbosch chardonnay. The team describes it as a “classy wine”, and I can’t think of a better description. The beautiful label alone demands a quiet hush as it reaches the table, before the pale gold liquid rushes into your stemware – because, yes, when you encounter a wine this special, “glasses” make way for stemware, darling. Originating from the loam-rich soils of the Helderberg Mountain, this chardonnay brings with it hints of citrus blossom on the nose, with vibrant citrus zest on the palate. It’s a wine that demands thought and contemplation, and given its price point, you’ll want to linger on it for as long as you can.

wine from mullineux

Our wine experience was sweeter still, as we ended with a sneaky tasting of their Straw Wine. As someone who is instantly drawn to anything along the sweet or fortified line, it was always going to be love at first sip for me, but it did make me feel a little better knowing that it also took home the title of best in its category, Vin de Paille, in this year’s Platter’s Awards. Although, at this stage, are we even surprised anymore?

ALSO READ: What is South Africa’s most iconic wine?

Images by Candice Bresler

Read more on: wine  |  franschhoek  |  swartland  |  drinks

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