The 2020 Chenin Blanc Iron has a crisp, precise, citric bouquet with subtle orange zest and grilled almond aromas percolating through with aeration. The well-balanced palate delivers a fine bead of acidity and more substance and density compared to Mullineux’s other whites in this vintage. Hints of mango and guava interlace with minerals on the finish. Excellent.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2038
Tim Atkin 96
Any new wine from Chris and Andrea Mullineux is worth seeking out, but that’s especially true of this dense, ferrous, concentrated Chenin from red koffeeklip soils to the west of Malmesbury. Smoky, flinty, struck match aromas segue into a layered peach and waxed lemon palate with just a hint of oak.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2027
Greg Sherwood 95
Hailing from the red rich, gravelly-clay Koffieklip soils on the rolling hills outside of Malmesbury, this dry land bush vine vineyard is always the first to ripen. In 2018 the Mullineux’s took over the whole parcel, allowing them to allocate rows that would truly show the natural texture, alluring extract and balanced acidity that these small and concentrated Chenin Blanc grapes grown on Iron soils contribute to the variety and final wine. The grapes were harvested on the 20th January 2020 with a yield of just below 3.7 tons/Ha (20 Hl/Ha). The Iron Chenin Blanc vineyard always has a low juice-to-berry ratio due to its adaptability to the soil in conjunction with its meso-climate, which is why the Mullineux’s are incredibly careful when hand-harvesting these minuscule quantities. After oxidative pressing to barrel, indigenous yeast took the must through primary fermentation and natural malolactic fermentation was not inhibited. Sulphur was only added after natural settling occurred, and the 2020 vintage was bottled after 11 months ageing in 3rd and 4th fill 500L French oak barrels. A portion of these Chenin Blanc grapes from circa 30-year-old vines used to be blended into the Kloof Street Chenin Blanc with their lower alcohols and higher dry extract levels that are comparable to a red wine. This maiden release 2020 shows great power, freshness and vibrancy with aromatics bursting with yellow and orange citrus fruits, orange peel, tangerine and white peach with a notable struck flint, gun smoke character. The palate is equally complex and shows richness, density and power, the result of picking riper golden bunches together with some green bunches that lend notes of green citrus and a tantalisingly tangy freshness. What the Iron cuvee lacks in delicacy, racy acids and mineral bite, it more than makes up for with its concentration, foursquare savoury palate density and classic smoky Burgundian reduction. A fabulous new addition to the single terroir range that represents uncompromising fruit selection and quality. (1,560 bottles produced.)