Mullineux - 'Olerasay' #2

$150.00
Sale price

Regular price $150.00

" The Olerasay 2° is 100% Chenin Blanc with 8.5% alcohol and 331g/l of residual sugar, not that you notice those figures. It was bottled on 17 January 2020. It is an ethereal wine that gives me no choice but to use a simple word loaded with meaning and one I rarely use with respect to wine...'perfection'. The 375ml bottle was examined over the course of two weeks during which time it barely changed. Each time I put it under a microscope looking for a fault. I never found one. Golden in colour, it has an intoxicating bouquet with orange sorbet, quince, lemon verbena and a very slight Aszú-like note that hovers in the background.

Having recently tasted plenty of Sauternes, I can’t help noticing how the aromatics are unencumbered by a thick cloak of oak, thereby lending the bouquet brightness and vividness that is totally enthralling. This all translates across to the crystalline palate. The perfect seam of acidity cuts like an ancient Samurai sword through the viscous fruit whose purity is off the charts.

This electrifying Olerasay does not mess about – it immediately thrills the senses with its mélange of blood orange, apricot, crushed minerals and passion fruit. There is so much energy in this wine. The finish has a weightless quality that means, despite its high residual sugar level, the wine is actually easy to drink and is not weighed down by its own unctuousness. The killer aspect of this is the soupçon of bitter orange that hits the back of the throat. I suspected that a perfect Olerasay was possible after the first iteration. This is it. Despite this being a Cellar Favorite, don’t feel you are committing a heinous crime popping the cork now because who knows where we will be by the end of 2020. Just bear in mind that this wine will last decades.  100/Drink 2020-2080.  Antonio Galloni  Vinous magazine

Every year we make a vintage straw wine and hold back a portion that we do not bottle, but blend into the Solera,” Chris Mullineux explained. “The Solera is therefore refreshed with the new vintage each year. All barrels of the Solera are a fractional blend containing all vintages from 2008 to 2019. We have not bottled Olerasay every year as we want it to be significantly more concentrated, complex and distinct from our Vintage Straw Wine. For this, we bottled 6,180 bottles which was about half of the Solera and the remainder is resting in our cellar to be added to and built up into the future. We refer to this bottling as Olerasay 2° (Segundo) whilst the first bottling that contained vintages from 2008 to 2014 is Olerasay 1° (Primiero).” "

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Mullineux Wines

Mullineux was established in 2007, when Chris and Andrea Mullineux settled in the Swartland wine region, 60 kilometers north of Cape Town. Within a very short time period the winery established itself as one of South Africa’s most celebrated wine brands, both locally and on the international front. By 2020 the winery had received thirty 5-star ratings from Platter’s South African Wine Guide, as well as being awarded Platter’s Winery of the Year an unprecedented 4 times in 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2020.  
In addition, Andrea was named Wine Enthusiast’s 2016 International Winemaker of the Year and in 2016 Chris & Andrea were Tim Atkin’s South African Winemakers of the Year. 

In 2013 Chris & Andrea joined forces with Analjit Singh. Together with founding partner Peter Dart they started a parallel winery in Franschhoek called Leeu Passant. The Leeu Passant winery is located on Leeu Estates


 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is a versatile white grape varietal that is producing a wide range of white wines all around the world. Historically, and where it is planted most, is in the Loire Valley of northern France. Here it is famous in Anjou-Saumur particularly in Vouvray, where it is usually found as a sparkling or dry white wine.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Swartland

Swartland is a large wine-producing area 65 kilometers (40 miles) north of Cape Town in the Western Cape of South Africa. Traditionally a wheat-producing region, it now specializes in making rich, fruit-driven wines particularly from the shiraz, chenin blanc and a vast rang of other southern French, Portuguese and Spanish varieties.

Swartland covers a large area, encompassing the vineyards on the northern side of the Paardeberg mountain in the south to the plains of Piketberg in the north. The smaller ward of Riebeekberg and the Kasteelberg Mountain lie in the eastern part of the region, while the cooler district of Darling separates the area from the Atlantic Ocean. The topography is varied, and vineyards can be found on steep mountain foothills or on gently folding hillsides. 

The climate is hot and dry, which viticulturists have used to their advantage in Swartland's vineyards. Dry conditions significantly reduce the risk of fungal diseases among the vines, and a lack of water in the soil leads to lower yields and smaller, more-concentrated fruit. Hardy, drought-resistant bush vines have been utilized in the hottest, driest parts of the region.

The dominant soil type in Swartland is Malmesbury shale, named for the town of Malmesbury that sits in the middle of the region. There are also pockets of granite, particularly around the Paardeberg area. While these soils are well drained, they also hold enough water in their lower reaches to support the irrigation-free farming technique that is used extensively throughout the region. Bush vines will dig especially deep to get to the water reserves in the soil, resulting in stronger vines and particularly concentrated flavours in the grapes.

Swartland (Afrikaans for 'black land') is named for the native renosterbos (rhinoceros bush) that turns black after rain. Chenin Blanc and Shiraz are the most important grape varieties in the region; the latter is often blended with grenache and mourvedre. 

Benefitting from its proximity to Cape Town, the region is well set up for tourists interested in food and wine tasting. It offers a well established wine route (also featuring olive growers) focused around Malmesbury and Riebeek Kasteel.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

" The Olerasay 2° is 100% Chenin Blanc with 8.5% alcohol and 331g/l of residual sugar, not that you notice those figures. It was bottled on 17 January 2020. It is an ethereal wine that gives me no choice but to use a simple word loaded with meaning and one I rarely use with respect to wine...'perfection'. The 375ml bottle was examined over the course of two weeks during which time it barely changed. Each time I put it under a microscope looking for a fault. I never found one. Golden in colour, it has an intoxicating bouquet with orange sorbet, quince, lemon verbena and a very slight Aszú-like note that hovers in the background.

Having recently tasted plenty of Sauternes, I can’t help noticing how the aromatics are unencumbered by a thick cloak of oak, thereby lending the bouquet brightness and vividness that is totally enthralling. This all translates across to the crystalline palate. The perfect seam of acidity cuts like an ancient Samurai sword through the viscous fruit whose purity is off the charts.

This electrifying Olerasay does not mess about – it immediately thrills the senses with its mélange of blood orange, apricot, crushed minerals and passion fruit. There is so much energy in this wine. The finish has a weightless quality that means, despite its high residual sugar level, the wine is actually easy to drink and is not weighed down by its own unctuousness. The killer aspect of this is the soupçon of bitter orange that hits the back of the throat. I suspected that a perfect Olerasay was possible after the first iteration. This is it. Despite this being a Cellar Favorite, don’t feel you are committing a heinous crime popping the cork now because who knows where we will be by the end of 2020. Just bear in mind that this wine will last decades.  100/Drink 2020-2080.  Antonio Galloni  Vinous magazine

Every year we make a vintage straw wine and hold back a portion that we do not bottle, but blend into the Solera,” Chris Mullineux explained. “The Solera is therefore refreshed with the new vintage each year. All barrels of the Solera are a fractional blend containing all vintages from 2008 to 2019. We have not bottled Olerasay every year as we want it to be significantly more concentrated, complex and distinct from our Vintage Straw Wine. For this, we bottled 6,180 bottles which was about half of the Solera and the remainder is resting in our cellar to be added to and built up into the future. We refer to this bottling as Olerasay 2° (Segundo) whilst the first bottling that contained vintages from 2008 to 2014 is Olerasay 1° (Primiero).” "

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Mullineux Wines

Mullineux was established in 2007, when Chris and Andrea Mullineux settled in the Swartland wine region, 60 kilometers north of Cape Town. Within a very short time period the winery established itself as one of South Africa’s most celebrated wine brands, both locally and on the international front. By 2020 the winery had received thirty 5-star ratings from Platter’s South African Wine Guide, as well as being awarded Platter’s Winery of the Year an unprecedented 4 times in 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2020.  
In addition, Andrea was named Wine Enthusiast’s 2016 International Winemaker of the Year and in 2016 Chris & Andrea were Tim Atkin’s South African Winemakers of the Year. 

In 2013 Chris & Andrea joined forces with Analjit Singh. Together with founding partner Peter Dart they started a parallel winery in Franschhoek called Leeu Passant. The Leeu Passant winery is located on Leeu Estates


 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is a versatile white grape varietal that is producing a wide range of white wines all around the world. Historically, and where it is planted most, is in the Loire Valley of northern France. Here it is famous in Anjou-Saumur particularly in Vouvray, where it is usually found as a sparkling or dry white wine.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Swartland

Swartland is a large wine-producing area 65 kilometers (40 miles) north of Cape Town in the Western Cape of South Africa. Traditionally a wheat-producing region, it now specializes in making rich, fruit-driven wines particularly from the shiraz, chenin blanc and a vast rang of other southern French, Portuguese and Spanish varieties.

Swartland covers a large area, encompassing the vineyards on the northern side of the Paardeberg mountain in the south to the plains of Piketberg in the north. The smaller ward of Riebeekberg and the Kasteelberg Mountain lie in the eastern part of the region, while the cooler district of Darling separates the area from the Atlantic Ocean. The topography is varied, and vineyards can be found on steep mountain foothills or on gently folding hillsides. 

The climate is hot and dry, which viticulturists have used to their advantage in Swartland's vineyards. Dry conditions significantly reduce the risk of fungal diseases among the vines, and a lack of water in the soil leads to lower yields and smaller, more-concentrated fruit. Hardy, drought-resistant bush vines have been utilized in the hottest, driest parts of the region.

The dominant soil type in Swartland is Malmesbury shale, named for the town of Malmesbury that sits in the middle of the region. There are also pockets of granite, particularly around the Paardeberg area. While these soils are well drained, they also hold enough water in their lower reaches to support the irrigation-free farming technique that is used extensively throughout the region. Bush vines will dig especially deep to get to the water reserves in the soil, resulting in stronger vines and particularly concentrated flavours in the grapes.

Swartland (Afrikaans for 'black land') is named for the native renosterbos (rhinoceros bush) that turns black after rain. Chenin Blanc and Shiraz are the most important grape varieties in the region; the latter is often blended with grenache and mourvedre. 

Benefitting from its proximity to Cape Town, the region is well set up for tourists interested in food and wine tasting. It offers a well established wine route (also featuring olive growers) focused around Malmesbury and Riebeek Kasteel.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.