Raats Family Wines, Old Vine Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2022
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.
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 Special Report 2023 92 Points
Three Stellenbosch vineyards on decomposed granite and Table Mountain sandstone supply the raw material for this reliably impressive Chenin Blanc from Bruwer Raats and Gavin Bruwer. Marrying wood, concrete egg and stainless steel components, it has engaging flavours of pear, peach and nectarine with underlying grip and tension. 2023-27. 92 Points, TA, August 2023.
Chenin Blanc 100%
6 x 75cl
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Report 2022 96 Points
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Special Report 2023 93 Points
Award: Vinous 93 Points
Award: Vinous 94 Points
2018 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 97 Points
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Report 2022 92 Points
Award: Tim Atkin South Africa Report 2022 94 Points