2015 Mullineux Family Wines "Schist" Syrah Swartland South Africa

SKU #1352582 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 A seductive and well-integrated veil of earthy spice—cinnamon stick, fruit cake, bark, black tea leaf—sits atop a ripe core of red berry and cherry fruits. Beneath that is a strong gravelly, flinty minerality that pervades the palate and expresses strongest on the finish. Medium weight, the tannins are firm yet fine, resulting in a rich, velvety texture. A beautiful and complex expression, this should continue to develop and unfold additional layers of flavor through 2031. (LB)  (3/2018)

93 points Decanter

 A single parcel of sustainably farmed Syrah vines has produced a mighty expression of the variety. Creamy, peppery red and black fruits showcase density on the palate, backed up by a berry-like acidity. There is ripeness and vibrancy here, but it remains balanced and elegant. 12 months in 25% new 500 litre French oak barrels, nine months in second fill foudres, and 10 months in bottle, unfined and unfiltered. (JB)  (9/2017)

92 points Vinous

 The 2015 Schist Syrah Roundstone has a raspberry and mulberry bouquet, touches of rose petal and sous-bois emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, quite saline, and almost briny in the mouth. The grippy finish suggests it will require another couple of years in bottle. (NM)  (8/2018)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Fleshy in feel, with layers of cassis, blackberry puree and warmed plum gliding over each other, picking up light mesquite, tobacco and savory accents on the finish. Approachable, but should gain some more nuance in the cellar. Drink now through 2025. (JM)  (6/2018)

K&L Notes

95 points, Tim Atkin: "Schist Syrah now comes entirely from Chris and Andrea Mullineux’s home farm, using fruit that they used to buy when they were at Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards. For me, it’s the most floral and focused of their three soil-based reds, with violet, blackberry and licorice notes, some pepper spice and a fine finish."

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Price: $129.99

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- 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.

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 (%): 13.5