Raats Family Wines, Eden High Density Cabernet Franc, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2020
After making wine around the world and honing his craft in the Cape, Bruwer Raats established Raats Family Wines in 2000, based on a policy of ‘excellence through specialisation’, focusing on two unfashionable grapes varieties at the time, Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.
Purchasing the only land he could afford, some relatively cheap and ‘undesirable’ plots in the Polkadraai Hills, it soon became apparent that the unique granite-based terroir was producing some incredible wines, and is now recognised as one of the finest wards in Stellenbosch. His Eden High Density Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, and the iconic MR de Compostella hold a place as some of South Africa’s finest wines and sit comfortably amongst the best expressions of the varieties on the planet.
All grapes are from the Raats Eden High density single vineyard block in Polkadraai comprising of decomposed dolomite granite. Grapes were hand-picked at 22, 8⁰ Balling during the third week in February.
Bunches were hand-sorted. 20% went whole into an open-tank fermenter. The rest were destemmed and lightly crushed on top of the bunches. One punch down was done per day for a very gentle extraction. Natural fermentation took place after which grapes were basket-pressed. The wine spent 12 months in a new 300 L French oak barrel and a further 6 months in a fourth fill French oak barrel.
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 75
The nose shows lively dark berry fruit and Morello cherries with hints of star anise, ground fennel seeds and cedar. The wine is exceptionally linear and precise, yet lithe and elegant. The complex dark berry fruit follows through from nose to finish with a minerality that reflects the 100% decomposed dolomite granite of the soil. The wine is characterized by its amazing concentration derived from the extremely low yielding single vineyard.
Roast lamb, loin of venison, ostrich carpaccio, beef fillet with a red wine reduction, duck with plum sauce and game fish.
Tim Atkin South Africa Report 2022 96 Points
There is only a single new barrel of this intense Cabernet Franc from a high-density parcel of the 214 clone, located right next to Bruwer Raats' home, but what a wine it is. Racy and elegant, with some tobacco leaf notes from 15% whole clusters, bramble, cassis and redcurrant fruit and fine coffee bean oak. 2024-32. 96 Points, TA, September 2022.
Cabernet Franc 100%
6 x 75cl
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Special Report 2023 92 Points
Award: Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 97 Points
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Special Report 2023 93 Points
Award: Vinous 97 Points
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Special Report 2023 91 Points
Award: Vinous 93 Points
Award: Vinous 94 Points