Raats Family Wines, Old Vine Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2021
Bruwer Raats is a gentle giant of a man and his reputation is starting to match his stature. His mastery of chenin blanc and cabernet franc is bringing him praise from around the world as "the most exciting and forward thinking winemaker" in Stellenbosch.
As part of the new wave of South African winemakers, Bruwer crafts soil specific wines that embody the unique characteristics of the region. With hand harvesting, whole bunch pressing and using natural fermentation without fining or filtering it helps him create wines that are world class.
Soil specific wine from both vertical hedge and bush vines. From three specific vineyards in Stellenbosch. Average age of 45 years or older. Soil from natural combination of decomposed Dolomite granite and Table Mountain sandstone.
50% of the wine was fermented and matured in 300 litre French oak barrels to accentuate the soft, luscious flavours; 50% fermented in stainless steel to contribute a crisp acidity and bright citrus flavours. After 11 months, the two components are blended together and left on the lees for a further 2 months before bottling. Fermentation temperature: 18-22°C.
% wine oaked: 50
% new oak: None
This wine epitomises the understated elegance of Chenin Blanc. It's restrained, yet complex, nose offers quince, ripe pear, orange blossoms, nettles and spice. On the palate the wine shows pineapple and lemongrass and the cloves, nutmeg and ginger of the nose follow through against a backdrop of vibrant acidity, ending with a long spicy, limey note. The wine’s beauty lies in its lightness of touch and in the elegant way its complexity is revealed.
Pairs well with a variety of foods, but we recommend rich creamy mussels, smoked salmon and white fish with a beurre blanc sauce.
Tim Atkin South Africa Report 2022 93 Points
Using a combination of large barrels, stainless steel and concrete eggs, this is an intense, old-vine Chenin Blanc from a master of the variety. Floral and leesy, with beeswax and honeysuckle aromas, vanilla spicy oak and pear, yellow apple and waxed lemon fruit. 2023-29. TA, September 2022.
Vinous 92 Points
The 2021 Chenin Blanc Old Vine is 25% aged in concrete egg, 50% neutral oak and 25% stainless steel. It is very different from the "Original": wax resin, lanolin, white linen and traces of yellow fruit. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, smooth and slightly oily in texture with white peach and pear on the sustained finish. Wonderful. 92 Points, NM, August 2022.
Chenin Blanc 100%
6 x 75cl
Award: Wine Safari 95 Points.
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Report 2022 96 Points
Award: Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 97 Points
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Report 2022 92 Points
Award: Vinous 94 Points
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Report 2022 91 Points
Award: Vinous 93 Points