Recently I came across Raats winery from Stellenbosch and the wines were eye opening to say the least. I've traveled and tasted through South Africa. I've tasted hundreds of South African wines over the years. These wines stand out as the BEST Bordeaux blends I've ever tasted from the region. If you love Bordeaux, you'll love these wines. If you love Cabernet Franc in particular, this winery has catapulted to the top of my list as one of the global masters of this varietal.
Upon further exploration, I learned there is a fantastic story behind this winery.
You can find out more by watching this four minute video about the family.
I also learned I am not the only one who was impressed with the quality in the bottle. The winery has already been recognized by Platter's guide as the winery of the year in 2018 and by major US critics with numerous 94-96pt scores. I suppose like most wine lovers, I'm guilty of overlooking this winery and this region. Frankly, I don't have that many clients asking for South African wines. These wines will help change that. Wine lovers in the know are already aware that there are some stunning wines in South Africa. These wines sit atop the pyramid and are not to be missed.
As to the distinctions between the two vintages available, the 2014 has a higher dose of Cab Franc and Malbec, which softens the wine and the additional year in bottle makes it very appealing, sexy, and delicious now. The 2015 reminds me of 2016 in Bordeaux or 2013 in Napa in that it is tightly wound and tannic. The blend is meditative, muscular, and luxurious. This wine will benefit from decanting and additional time in bottle. Both wines have a long drinking window of 10+ years ahead of them. As far as value, these wines are worth the original SRP of $100+ and they out-drink many global peer wines at that price. But, with today's offer price, these wines are quite simply, a can't miss opportunity.
The 2015 MV de Compostella spent 12 months in barrel before each variety was blended, then another 12 months in barrel including 33% new French oak. It has a beautifully defined bouquet of blackberry, burnt toast, brown spice and light pencil lead aromas that gain intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh blackberry and bilberry fruit, a killer line of acidity and the sense of symmetry that imbues the best MVs I have tasted over the years. It remains one of the Cape’s finest red wines. ~96pts Vinous Media
Perhaps the best vintage of Compostella to date, this is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec. It showcases a beautiful elegance and herbal edge in waves of cigar tobacco and blackcurrant leaf, with a grounded fruit core of blackberry, plum and cassis. Additional notes of leather and German chocolate cake lend depth and intrigue, while the finish exhibits a masterful evolution between all these components with each sip. Well-structured and superbly balanced, it boasts gripping tannins and ample acidity to frame the ripe fruit. A beauty that should mature masterfully, drink 2023–2033. ~95 pts Wine Enthusiast
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