This is a seamless and sophisticated red showing waves of black plums, violets, black tea, cloves, graphite, bitter chocolate and bay leaves on the nose. There’s weight and depth here, beautifully present from the start to finish, yet it is weightless at the same time. Elegant, medium-bodied, with super fine tannins and a long, persistent finish. 35% cabernet sauvignon, 26% cabernet franc, 20% merlot, 17% malbec and 2% petit verdot. Try after 2024.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (November 2023)
The latest MR de Compostella confirms the wine's standing as one of the best red blends in the Cape, especially in a vintage like 2021. Pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with 26% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 17% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, it's a beautifully structured, nuanced cuvée with violet and pencil shaving aromas, subtle wood, plenty of underlying power and structure and a youthful, refreshing finish.
Tim Atkin MW, TimAtkin.com (October 2023)
The MR de Compostella from Bruwer Raats and Mzokhona Mvemve possesses one of the most successful critical track records out of almost any red wine produced in South Africa let alone just in the Cape Bordeaux Blend category.The newest 2021 release astonishingly takes this wine to yet another higher niveau of quality with a blend of 26% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Malbec, 20% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot.
Made from vines aged between 9 and 22 years old, all grown on deep decomposed dolomitic granite soils with Table Mountain sandstone, the aromatics are wonderfully bold and exuberant displaying seductive notes of blackberries, crème de cassis, violets, sweet cherry tobacco, black cherries and tart black plum. The lifted perfumed intensity is incredibly pure and piercing with salty liquorice, cedar spice and beautifully detailed maritime oyster shell nuances.
In the mouth, the concentration and focused steely intensity is astounding – tart, bright and architecturally soaring, shaping this wine into a powerful, linear, multi-dimensional masterpiece. Packed full of salty cassis, tart plum and black currant, the tightly wound core of power, refined extraction and polished marble tannins leave you in no doubt that this harmonious, vibrant beauty is a spellbinding, timeless classic in the making. If you wanted just one wine to convince an international fine wine connoisseur of the true greatness of South Africa’s finest terroirs and winemaking, you have found your candidate! Simply an incredible wine.
Drink this beauty from 2024 and savour over the next 30+ years. But you might need more than just one or two cases in your cellar!!
Greg Sherwood MW, GregSherwoodMW.com (October 2023)
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.
A white grape variety that is believed to have originated in Egypt. It takes its name from a village in the Saone-et-Loire departement where it is grown to produce Pouilly-sur-Loire. It is widely planted around the world though more often as a table grape than for wine production.
It was first planted in Alsace in the 17th century and is generally blended with other grapes and sold as Edelzwicker. The authorities are not keen on the grape and have banned any new plantings. It is a relatively easy variety to cultivate although its naturally high vigour means it is not suited to very dry and very fertile soils.