The formation of MR de Compostella epitomizes the meeting of two strong winemaking minds and an existing friendship between Mzokona Mvemve (the M) and Bruwer Raats (the R). de Compostella itself refers to a constellation of stars, with each shining star being a tiny addition to the larger blend of the galaxy that makes for something spectacular. Together, the MR de Compostella is driven neither by style nor variety, but by its leading star component – quality.
Always in the pursuit of perfectionism, every vintage marks the start of a new challenge for Mzokona and Bruwer.
“With MR De Compostella, we set out to achieve consistent, world-class quality wine every vintage. To do this, we ensured that the five Bordeaux varieties that we cultivate – namely Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and of course, our speciality, Cabernet Franc – are planted in the soil they are each best suited to. This results in a lot of small parcels in our vineyards – sometimes there will be a row or two of Cabernet Sauvignon in the far left corner of that vineyard, or some Malbec in the very specific right hand corner of this one. It’s not exactly practical, but it’s the only way we can make magic happen,” explains Bruwer.
In truth, the magic of MR is in the process, as each vintage requires refined craft, skilled precision and endless patience. Once each individual component has been matured in separate barrels, the wines are lined up for a blind tasting. This is a lengthy task, whereby Mzokona and Bruwer score each wine individually, before tallying up an average score, removing everything below 90 points, and taste again. The results are all led by outstanding quality, with the overall winner eventually becoming the leading component in the new vintage, the second being the second leading component and so on and so forth. This special process is repeated per wine, per vintage.
While rigorous, this tried and test method has resulted in 11 elegant yet completely different vintages of MR de Compostella – a wine as consistent in quality as it is at winning awards – and that results in something truly beyond our world.
“When we started MR De Compostella, we wanted to do something exceptional in terms of wine quality. The belief is that one can do better if one joins minds, knowledge and winemaking philosophy.”
Mzokona Mvemve, December 2017