Winemaking cousins Bruwer Raats and Gavin Bruwer Slabbert finished 2015 on a high note with rave reviews rolling in for most of the wines in their increasingly expansive wine portfolio. Some of the accolade highlights were inclusions in the Red Wine Please! Top 25, the Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 as well as great ratings from legendary critic Neal Martin of The Wine Advocate.
Red Wine Please! named two Raats wines amongst their top twenty-five most memorable wines of 2015 with the 2011 Raats Cabernet Franc being placed second and the 2012 Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc in fourteenth place.
In his Cape Fearless article in The Wine Advocate, Neal Martin scored Raats wines between 89 and a whopping 95. Topping the rating chart was the Raats Eden High Density Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2014 on 95 points. Martin reckons that the genuine complexity evident in this wine must constitute it as one of the best South African Cabernet Francs currently produced.
Next up on 94 points was the ever-popular MR De Compostella, a magnificent Bordeaux blend that has wowed wine critics and connoisseurs since its maiden vintage in 2004. Loving the voluminous and very pure bouquet, Martin views the 2013 vintage as one of the most elegant releases since its debut. The same vintage also walked away as the best overall winner of the inaugural Riscura Red Hot Wine Awards, while the 2012 was one of only three South Africa wines to make the “Top 100 Cellar Selections 2015″ of the definitive US publication Wine Enthusiast.
Weighing in at 93 points is the Raats Cabernet Franc 2013, which Martin considers to have huge potential as it is “supremely well focused and classic in style with hints of tobacco and black pepper towards the finish.”
The Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2014 once again impressed as a superb expression of the varietal with 92 points, a score echoed by the Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc and the Raats Red Jasper 2013, which Martin considered “a perfect Claret doppelgänger in everything but price.”
Pronouncing the Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2014 as very subtle with a spicy finish, Martin viewed it as more approachable than others that he had tasted and scored it 89 points. Describing the debut Raats Eden High Density Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2014 as a very attractive Chenin Blanc, Martin is expecting the wine to improve as the young vines mature.
B Vintners Vine Exploration Company, Raats’ latest venture with his cousin Gavin Bruwer also captured Martin’s attention. Describing the wines as natural, yet quirky, Martin was impressed with these “interesting, cerebral wines that fortunately do not forsake drinkability for pleasure” and the terroir-driven nature of the wines.
Challenging readers to find a better Pinotage than the 2014 Liberte, Martin handed it a score of 93. The Strandwolf Chardonnay 2014 was proclaimed to be an outstanding Chardonnay reminiscent of a fine Meursault and also scored 93 points, followed by the 2014 Haarlem to Hope white blend with 91 points, 90 points for the 2014 De Alexandria and the Reservoir Road Pinot Noir 2014 scoring 88.
“It is great to see our collection of wines doing consistently well. We craft wines in very distinctive styles, which vary according to terroir and varietal. Having a highly respected wine writer such as Neal Martin recognising the wines and their potential shows that all our hard work in the cellar and the vineyard is paying off,” mentions Raats.
FULL RATINGS LIST FOR RAATS FAMILY WINES:
- 95 – Raats Eden High Density Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2014
- 94 – Mvemve Raats MR de Compostella 2013
- 93 – Raats Cabernet Franc 2013
- 92 – Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2014
- 92 – Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2014
- 92 – Raats Red Jasper 2013
- 89 – Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2014
- 89 – Raats Eden High Density Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2014
FULL RATINGS LIST FOR B VINTNERS:
- 93 – B Vintners Liberte 2014
- 93 – B Vintners Strandwolf Chardonnay 2014
- 91 – B Vintners Haarlem to Hope 2014
- 90 – B Vintners De Alexandria 2014
- 88 – B Vintners Reservoir Road Pinot Noir 2014
For more information, visit www.raats.co.za.