‘California Zinfandel has re-surfaced from the murky depths with a fresher face and greater poise,’ wrote Decanter magazine recently when punting the Fog Monster Bedrock Red; a radical new-wave red produced from 125-year-old vines and made by Andrea Mullineux. Chris and Andrea, Wine Enthusiast’s Winemaker of the Year and originally from California, have been sourcing unique vineyards in the Sierra Foothills that are exposed to interesting climatic conditions. In particular, the fog that rolls in from the Pacific Ocean.
We are excited to offer their sensational Fog Monsters along with wines from Chris and Suzanne Alheit’s exciting new California project – Wilson Foreigner.
David Wilson and Chris Alheit met while learning their craft during a harvest at Flagstone. A decade later, they have started the Wilson Foreigner project that sources exciting varieties from unique vineyards. The result is an incredible Albariño and a classy Valdiguié that offer new-wave styling, elegance and favourable texture rather than overt varietal character and sweet fruit.
These 5 wines are a must-try for all Alheit and Mullineux fans. View all the wines. Before their harvests begin, join the Chrises on Wednesday, 24 January to taste their US wines alongside a few of their local gems. Book for the Cape Town tasting.
Wilson Foreigner, Rorick Vineyard Albariño 2015
The block is situated along a steep, east-facing spine of quartz and mica soils at 2,000 ft. above sea level. ‘Intense sunshine moderated by cool alpine nights through the growing season build beautiful characteristics in the fruit,’ says their website. It offers richness not unlike the Cartology with an underlying acidity and fine complexity that carries through to a very long finish. Dare we say profound Albariño?
R475 per bottle
Wilson Foreigner, Valdiguié 2016
Rancho Chimiles, part of the original Mexican land grants in California, has been owned and farmed by the Wilson family for decades. The first vineyard was planted in 1972 with Valdiguié; known at the time as ‘Napa Gamay’. Prior to the late 1980s, the variety was widely planted in the Napa Valley and was favoured for its ability to produce table wines with great colour, concentration and acidity. Think fine Beaujolais with Rhône-like pepper, pitched tannin and clarity. Youthful, bright and intriguing, it is the epitome of new-wave wine.
R535 per bottle
Fog Monster, Bedrock Red 2014
‘This is a predominantly Zinfandel field blend, with about 12 other varieties, from Morgan Twain Peterson’s historic 125-year-old Bedrock vineyard. Planted by General Sherman and General Hooker. The wine is serious and structured [with] not too much extraction. This again was a mostly whole-cluster fermentation. Just 560 bottles.’ – Chris Mullineux
R995 per bottle
Fog Monster, Chenin Blanc 2013
This vintage has been imported before and we have the last 36 bottles! With just 11.8% alcohol and matured in concrete eggs, this Chenin leans towards the more natural style yet it shows fine precision. It is intense and mineral with lemon zest and elegant marine notes. Quite tightly wound and remarkably fresh. Only 1,200 bottles were produced.
R775 per bottle
Fog Monster, Moss Zinfandel 2014
The Moss Zinfandel is all you want from a Zin – spice, bright fruit, herbs and richness without the high alcohol and Coca-Cola sweetness. It is new-wave California wine at its best with beautiful clarity and a fine depth that mirrors the Mullineux’s style. Delicious, refined and rewarding with plenty of structure for cellaring.