The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2010

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Page 84 of 96

NEXT-GENERATION WinemAKeRS All Roads Lead to KEEP AN EYE ON THESE YoUnG SpeCiALiStS IN RHÔNE VARIETIES story and photos Christopher Sawyer Rhône Those who say Syrah is on the way out, listen up! At the annual Hospice du Rhône (HdR) held Paso Robles in early May, new releases of Syrah, Grenache, Viognier and other intriguing Rhône varieties were explored by members of the media, winemakers, sommeliers and a sea of consumers eager to learn more. Conclusion: There are more world-class Rhône style wines to taste than ever before—including a wide diversity of styles from California, Washington State, Southern Oregon, South Africa, Australia and other regions around the globe. As the rejuvenated Rhône revolution builds momentum, here are some of the gifted young winemakers to follow in the years to come. Romancing the Stones Chris and Andrea Mullineux, Mullineux Family Wines S outh African native Chris Mullineux was born in Cape Town, and after earning degrees in accounting and wine- making at the University of Stellenbosch, worked harvests at premiere wineries in South Africa, California and France. While attending a wine festival in Champagne, Chris met his future wife, Andrea, an aspiring young Californian who had worked harvests in Napa Valley and Stellenbosch after getting her degree in viticulture and enology at U.C. Davis. In 2007, the couple started Mullineux Family Winery in Riebeek Kasteel, a village at the base of Kasteelberg Mountain in Swartland, a rugged region approximately 40 kilometers north of Cape Town. Today, the grapes used to make the Mullineux Syrah come from separate parcels planted in the stony shale- and schist- based soils of Riebeek Kasteel Mountain and the rolling, clay and iron-rich soils west of Malmesbury, as well as from dry-land bushvines grown in the decomposed granite of Andrea and Chris Mullineux: making Rhône waves in South Africa. Paardeberg Mountain. During fermentation, Chris and Andrea like to use whole-bunch clusters to enhance the peppery flavors in the finished wine. The new release from the 2008 vintage is no exception. With perfumed aromas of fresh spring blossoms, violets and dark fruit, sultry flavors of ripe boysenberry, blueberry, black pepper, allspice and smoke and long supple finish; this fruit-forward wine seduces the palate with concentrated flavors and a long spicy finish—a yummy wine with a genuine South African accent. 84 / the tasting panel / july 2010

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