Mullineux & Leeu
Region: South Africa - Swartland
Pair With: Sugar Man - Sixto Rodriguez
It's a cold one out. It’s the type of bone-chilling cold where no matter how many layers, its just impossible to get warm. I’ve heard you can raise body temperature by thinking of a warm place – I guess it’s worth a try.
This time last year I was enjoying a sunny South African summer, casually drinking chenin blanc and syrah, while crushing cheese plates. January is when the wine business slows down and I can sneak away for vacation.
Choosing my destination has always been based on one question – what’s the wine like?
I settled on South Africa after reading about the emerging wine culture and the possibility of swimming with Great Whites.
I spent a few days in Capetown before heading to Stellenbosch and the surrounding wine region.
My first stop was scheduled to be a bio-dynamic winery called Reyneke - but it was closed for the day. So, puling an audible, we started the day at Kleinood - Afrikaans for something "small and precious". This small lot Syrah producer was kickass and the farm, complete with roaming wine dogs, was a place you never want to leave. Their olive oil was also dope and totally worth buying.
We bounced around for the rest of the day and finished at Mullineux & Leeu. A quick stop at Mullineux and it is evident why Wine Enthusiast named Andrea Mullineux the 2016 winemaker of the year. Pay for the premium tasting and you get a cool side by side soil comparison of Granite, Schist and Iron based Syrah.
I’m a big Shark Week fan so I couldn’t’ pass up the chance to swim with these beasts. After sipping wine for a few days, we jumped in a van and headed up the coast to cage dive. The sharks were as hungry as they are on the Discovery Channel, just a hell of a lot closer.
I don’t know if thinking about the South African weather has made me any warmer but drinking a few glasses of Mullineux Syrah has helped. This single vineyard Syrah is full of dark fruit, pepper and spice. You can tell the winemaker's put a massive amount of thought into creating this wine - I highly recommend.