If pressed, SWMBO and I will admit our love in wine is for Riesling, especially German Riesling. It’s that special balance of fruitiness with acidity and sugar. Few other wine varieties come close. Albarino is similar, but usually has more drive, and not quite the finesse and poise. The other variety than springs to mind is Chenin Blanc; the fruitiness isn’t quite the same, and the acidity is more in charge. However we have had examples as delicious as any Riesling in our experience.
So when Gordy and Pia were in town, we went to a lovely eatery with a specially curated wine list by a resident MW. Gordy and Pia knew exactly what they wanted, and knew it would tickle our fancy, It was the 2016 Mullineux ‘Kloof Street’ Chenin Blanc from Swartland in South Africa. It’s not the Mullineux’s top tier by any means, but the wines are very accessible as this was. Simply, it was deliciously honied, as Riesling can be, but had that white stonefruit and floral edge in flavour that Chenin Blanc has. The acidity was poised but not cutting. A treat to drink, and surprisingly dry technically at 3.4 g/L, but the fruit richness makes it exotic and rich. It’s not Riesling, but close in many ways. I must admit that it’s pushed my image of Chenin Blanc up a notch, especially at this affordable level. I’ve always had respect for the sweeter Loire Chenins that are called ‘honey monsters’. This Mullineux is a ‘honey child’.