Neal Martin - 28/04/2017
James Molesworth - Wine Spectator, 31st Dec 2016
About this WINE
Raats Family Wines
Bruwer Raat started Raats Family Wines in 2000. Having carved out a reputation as a New World leader in the production of Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, Bruwer crafts soil-specific wines that embody the unique characteristics of the Stellenbosch wine region.
Amongst the Raats portfolio, Bruwer makes a wine called Mvemve Raats (MR) de Compostella, a collaborative venture with his friend Mzokhona Mvemve that began with the 2004 vintage. Just one wine is made each year: a Bordeaux blend.
The composition changes, because they both taste through barrels and only those that score 90-plus when sampled blind make it to the final blend.
Stellenbosch is South Africa’s best-known wine region, producing a wide variety of wines from leading estates, even though it accounts for less than 20 per cent of the country’s total production. Designated wards within the wine region are Jonkershoek Valley, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Bottelary, Devon Valley and Papegaaiberg.
At 17,500 hectares, Stellenbosch remains the Cape's most famous and important fine wine district, thanks to its proximity to Cape Town, to the cooling influences of False Bay, its mountainous (ie Helderberg, Simonsberg), granitic topography and its centres of learning such as Elsenburg Agricultural College.
Cabernet Franc is widely planted in Bordeaux and is the most important black grape grown in the Loire. In the Médoc it may constitute up to 15% of a typical vineyard - it is always blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and is used to add bouquet and complexity to the wines. It is more widely used in St.Emilion where it adapts well to the cooler and moister clay soils - Cheval Blanc is the most famous Cabernet Franc wine in the world, with the final blend consisting of up to 65% of the grape.
Cabernet Franc thrives in the Loire where the cooler growing conditions serve to accentuate the grape's herbaceous, grassy, lead pencil aromas. The best wines come from the tuffeaux limestone slopes of Chinon and Bourgeil where growers such as Jacky Blot produce intense well-structured wines that possess excellent cellaring potential.