Raats Family Wines, Eden High Density Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2021
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.
Decomposed Granite soils planted at 8000 vines per hectare planted around 8 years ago and trained in an individually staked trellis system at 8000 vines per hectare. Grapes were hand harvest during the second week of February. All grapes are from the Raats Eden High Density single vineyard block in Polkadraai, Stellenbosch.
Grapes were whole bunch pressed and no settling took place. It went straight to barrel for a natural fermentation. The wine was kept on its lees for 11 months in 300L tight grained French oak.
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 50
The wines fresh and delicate yet inviting nose displays peach blossom, greengage, lime, green apple, white peach, pineapple, ginger, angelica and peppery spiciness. The palate shows notes of quince, granadilla, kumquat, mandarin orange, melon, pear and lemon-meringue against a backdrop of steely minerality. Hints of roasted hazelnuts and almonds add to the complexity of the palate. The wine is exceptionally linear and fresh with a fine texture and finishes with notes of fennel and the ginger spiciness promised by the nose.
Enjoy with oysters, bouillabaisse, scallops or other seafood, or even slow roasted pork belly.
Vinous 94 Points
The 2021 Chenin Blanc Eden High Density Single Vineyard comes from the tiny patch of vines literally outside Bruwer Raats's house, half aged in concrete egg and half in neutral oak. This has a nuanced bouquet with mirabelle and jasmine, traces of dried apricot and peach skin. You can really lose yourself in these aromatics. The palate is succinctly balanced, very focused and quite linear with razor-sharp definition, quite spicy on the finish with stem ginger and a touch of white pepper. This is one to lay down. 94 Points, NM, August 2022.
Tim Atkin South Africa Special Report 2023 95 Points
Bruwer Raats' high density vineyard is a 0.6-hectare block in his back garden that was planted with the superior Montpellier clone in 2009. Wonderfully intense, chiselled and racy, this has subtle wood spices, taut, mouth-watering acidity, fennel, citrus peel and green apple flavours and a long, tapering finish. 2024-30. 95 Points, TA, August 2023.
Chenin Blanc 100%
6 x 75cl
Award: Vinous 97 Points
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Special Report 2023 92 Points
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Report 2022 94 Points
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Special Report 2023 93 Points
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Report 2022 96 Points
2018 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 97 Points