2016 Mullineux Syrah Swartland South Africa

SKU #1440159 92 points James Suckling

 A blue-fruited and deliciously fresh syrah that shows blueberries, black peppers and Chinese spices. Medium-bodied, linear and refined with polished tannins and a succulent, violet-flavored finish. Screw cap. Drink or hold.  (6/2018)

92 points Vinous

 The 2016 Syrah is 100% whole-bunch fruit, and I think this gives it the edge over the 2015. It has a very fresh, focused nose with more edginess than the previous vintage, offering touches of peppermint and dried herbs. The palate is very well balanced with fine tannin - quite a "cool customer," presenting a longer, more precise finish than the 2015. Excellent. Drink through 2030. (NM)  (8/2018)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 A blend of seven parcels, some on shale and schist, others on decomposed granite and one on iron-rich soil, this is floral and spicy. The sweet black fruit is concentrated yet transparent enough to show off the herbal notes and cocoa-scented tannins. With its vibrant acidity, it’s friendly to drink now, although it also has the poise to age.  (2/2019)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Focused, with a sanguine streak through the mix of black cherry, red currant and juniper notes. Picks up iron-tinged grip on the finish. (JM)  (9/2018)


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Price: $34.99

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
Alcohol Content (%): 14