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BAS: Good Luck Charm for South African Winery

Posted: Thursday, 05 November 2015 18:10

 

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BAS: Good Luck Charm for South African Winery

Nov 05: If Chris Mullineux or his wife Andrea, partners of the Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines in Swartland, South Africa were fond of Bollywood movies, they would have called up his Indian partner Analjit Singh last Thursday in the inimitable style of the late actor AJIT and said, ‘BAS (Boss), we have again been chosen as the Winery of the Year- for the second time by Platter Guide 2016 and won loads of awards. Are you our Good Luck Charm or what!’ writes Subhash Arora who recently tasted a couple of these wines at a private tasting

Click For Large ViewBAS is how Bhai Analjit Singh is known in South Africa when they don’t address  him as Leeu (Singh). He is an equal partner with the founder Chris and his wife Andrea (a token stake is still with one original investor). Always targeting to be number one or two in any industry that he spearheads in India, he must have been very pleased for taking the well-known innovative viticulturist Rosa Kruger’s advice and invested into the Mullineux Estates in 2013 through his holding company and changing the name to Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines.

Mullineux has received several honours according to the Platter’s Guide 2016 including the maximum number (5) of 5-stars for Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines:


Granite Chenin Blanc 2014
CWG Auction Reserve The Gris Semillon 2014
White Blend 2014
Iron Syrah 2013
Olerasay Straw Wine NV

Besides, Mullineux Iron Syrah 2013 has been rated as the Red Wine of the Year and Mullineux Olerasay Straw Wine NV as Dessert Wine of the Year by Platter’s.

It’ a big achievement to be awarded 5 stars in Platter’s Guide. Wineries are first assigned an individual taster of repute. Based on his ratings, all wines which receive  rating of either Four and Half Stars or nominated for Five Stars go through a blind tasting -over 600 wines were in the running this time.

According to my Platter’s Guide 2015 which I picked up from South Africa a couple of months ago, Last Year, the winery had won 3 5-stars. Another Swartland winery Sadie Family Wines  which had earlier won the recognition of the Winery of the Year’ for Platter’s Guide’ 30th edition, 2010 had won the historical distinction last year.

The Induction of BAS into Mullineux might be considered a good luck charm since his entry has brought the distinction for Mullineux being chosen as the Winery of the Year for the second time along with a maximum 5-stars and  2 wines in the Best of Category wines.

I had recently tasted the White Blend and the Iron Syrah at an exclusive and private tasting. I found them both outstanding and the Syrah as comparable to the best of International Shirazes.

An Expert’s Opinion

Whether Analjit Singh has been a Good Luck Charm or has had played  a more positive and productive role in the winemaking is a matter of conjecture but I contacted my most reliable and experienced contact in South Africa, Cathy Van Zyl MW for her opinion.  

The South African Master of Wine Cathy Van Zyl is the wife of Philip Van Zyl, Editor of the Platter’s Guide, South Africa’s most revered Wine Guide which is awaited with baited breath every October –end and quoted extensively by the star winners after the results are announced. She is currently busy on her MW duties in England. But she did chat with me about the winery and the Award.

She says, ‘Meticulous attention to detail combined with passion has seen the team of Andrea and Chris succeed much in a short space of time. They're a confident couple- confident and talented couple, but are not scared to ask for advice when they believe they need it. For example,  working with Rosa Kruger. Their wines are of exceptional quality exhibiting precision, depth and character.

Talking about character, they do exhibit the lattice tannin structure and texture I associated with wines from the Swartland, which is where the Mullineux source fruit for their top tier wines. Critical, too, is their willingness to experiment - hence their Gris (for the Cape Winemakers Guild Auction) and their flor influenced sweet wine.’

As one might expect, Cathy does add, ‘South Africa has many excellent wines. the Platter’s 5- star list is a testament to that. While Andrea and Chris accounted for 5 of those top starred wines, demonstrating their skill, it is equally exciting to see the breadth of the industry in the number of producers who were awarded their first-ever five star this year, and the number of those who achieved one or two five stars.’

Click For Large View‘I’d also like to point out the achievements of Spier, which was awarded 4 five- stars-one less than Mullineux. This is a great accomplishment as this producer's output is much bigger than Mullinuex. Without detracting from Andreas and Chris achievement (their wines are head and shoulders above so many) it is exceptionally hard to deliver quality consistently on a large scale, and Spier does it admirably, ‘ she opines as an expert on South African wines as she lives in South Africa and works a lot with South African wines.

Cathy has not had an opportunity to meet BAS yet but ‘we are looking forward to the fruits of the partnership. He has bought a lot of land in Franschhoek. He seems to back them 100%,’ she says. Knowing his penchant for things South African, she says ‘I hope he buys a game farm.’

Who knows, with his growing interest and a nose that smells an opportunity from far off, he may just buy a game farm too, though he is committed to develop hospitality projects of never-before features. He also tells me he wants to promote the hospitality projects made in this sector.

Subhash Arora

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Comments:

 
 

Chris Pohl Says:

Baie Prachtige - and great news!

Posted @ November 06, 2015 17:11

 
 
       

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