The Mullineux Semillon Gris

semillon south africa

The Mullineux Semillon Gris

mullineux semillon gris

Now this is an interesting wine. It’s a Semillon Gris from Swartland (South Africa) stars Mullineux.

This is what Andrea Mullineux says about it:

Sémillon Gris is historically significant in South Africa, not just for the old vine aspect, but for its previous popularity. In the early 1800s, 80% of the vines in South Africa were thought to be Semillon. By the mid-1800s 50% of the Semillon had gone through the natural mutation and turned into Semillon Gris. This variation of the variety only happens slowly, vine per vine, after the vines are at least 30 years old. My vineyard, planted on Paardeberg decomposed Granite in 1959, is 55 years old and has only partially turned gris. I would say 70% of the vineyard is now Sémillon Gris, so it is hand picked to ensure that ONLY the gris bunches are picked.

Although this CAN happen in other parts of the world, it is extremely rare and rarely recorded. That is why it is so special for South Africa. It has proven itself to have adapted to our terroir and does very well, even in the extreme Swartland.

What happened to all the Semillon Gris? By the late 1800s most of the Semillon had been ripped out to make way for newly popular plantings of Palomino and Muscadel, then to Cinsault and Chenin, and eventually Cabernet and Chardonnay. There is not a lot of Semillon Gris around these days.

The grapes were pressed whole bunch to neutral barrels where it aged for one year. The label alcohol is 13%, pH 3.2, TA 5.8g/l.

The wine is really distinctive, with lots of personality. It’s only being released as an auction wine in the Cape Winemakers Guild Auction (which takes place today).

CWG Mullineux The Gris Semillon 2013 Swartland, South Africa
Very interesting nose: really mineral and spicy with a hint of reduction and some subtle marmalade notes. The palate is complex with sweet pear and ripe apple characters, with mineral undertones. Fresh, precise and beautifully balanced with a supple personality. Good acidity, beautifully integrated into the rest of the wine. 94/100

1 Comment on The Mullineux Semillon GrisTagged , ,
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

One thought on “The Mullineux Semillon Gris

  1. Indeed a lovely wine, and pleased to advise that I managed to secure two cases at the CWG auction, although it was not cheap!! about R700 a bottle but it will be good to track the progress of this wine over the next few years.

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