Raats Family Wines recently released the second vintage of their unique and visionary Eden High Density Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc and it’s as close to paradise as you’ll get here on earth.
Raats decided that wines crafted for the Eden range would be “quality by design” and over and above soil preparation, also put serious thought into clone selection such as the near extinct Montpellier and high-density planting formation. The 0.8 hectare vineyard within a stone’s throw of the Raats tasting room in the Polkadraai region of Stellenbosch was meticulously organically rehabilitated over a three year period before planting in 2009.
Winemaker Bruwer Raats and his viticulturist cousin Gavin Bruwer Slabbert then proceeded to plant the first high density single vineyard blocks of Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc of its kind in the country. Picking the right clones was imperative and Raats finally managed to obtain cuttings of the Montpellier clone from a mother block in the Nuy Valley for his 0.6 hectare Chenin Blanc. The rest of the 0.2 hectare was planted with 214 clone of Cabernet Franc.
“Our vision has always been to create exceptional wines with a unique sense of place and we feel that we have definitely achieved this with the 2015 Eden vintages. These wines come from blocks with a rich history and significance. I think it is the biggest achievement for a winemaker to stand in a vineyard and imagine what the wine would taste like and then experience that strong sense of place in a glass – like with these two wines. Personally I believe that the 2015 vintage might turn into a thoroughbred vintage – maybe even on par with the spectacular 2009,” mentioned Raats.
The Chenin Blanc manages to maintain that exquisite balance between complexity and elegance with density and concentration on the palate and a freshness and acidity at the finish.
The Cabernet Franc shows a fruit density of dark fruit, red berries and that elusive perfume distinct to wines from the Loire. Wine critic Christian Eedes proclaimed the Eden High Density Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2015 to be the best of modern-era South African reds by scoring 97 points. Eedes also awarded 95 points to the Eden High Density Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc. In his definitive South Africa Special Report due for publication this month, Wine Master Tim Atkins scored both wines 94 points.
For more information, visit www.raats.co.za.