Raats Family Wines continues its incredible track record in Robert Parker’s highly regarded The Wine Advocate with all his wines scoring over 90 points in Neal Martin’s 2012 overview of South African wines.
In his report South Africa: The Cape Crusaders, Martin enthusiastically proclaims South Africa as the most exciting New World country currently on the international wine scene. He ascribes this to a new generation of winemakers and credits their fortitude, tenacity, talent and determination to create South African wines true to their vision for some outstanding wines.
Martin selected five Raats wines in his listing of high quality, individual, limited production wines that are heralding a bright wine future for the country and describes the Raats portfolio as “a strong, but small portfolio with beautifully crafted, thoughtfully created wines that showcase South Africa at its best.” The 2009 Mvemve Raats De Compostella topped the list with a whopping 96 points. Its preceding vintage scored one of Neal’s highest scores and he considers the 2009 a worthy successor and one of South Africa’s finest wines describing the Bordeaux blend as “reticent at first, it unfurls like a burlesque dancer on a go-slow protest to reveal blackberry, fennel, warm gravel and a touch of mint that is beautifully defined.”
The 2010 Raats Cabernet Franc and the maiden vintage 2010 Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc both scored 92 points. Martin described the Raats Cabernet Franc as intense, yet well-defined and focused, while he lauded the great precision on the nose of the Dolomite, which makes it “just a delicious Cabernet Franc.”
The 2011 Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc, which is crafted from three different vineyards with vines older than fifty years, impressed with its “intense ripe nose, nice balance on the palate and impressive precision and focus on the taut dry finish. It is complex, beautifully balanced and a great example of top South African Chenin,” wrote Martin.
The 2010 Raats Red Jasper, named in memory of Bruwer’s father, scored 90 points and is described as superb. “The nose joyfully lifts from the glass with dark plum, bell pepper and a dash of white pepper that is very well defined and full of energy. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp, spicy black fruit laced with dark plum and soy that all leads to a structured, fresh and compelling finish,” enthused Martin.
Although no newcomer to international praise, Raats views the latest accolade as a great achievement. “Robert Parker is considered to be the most influential wine critic in the world and having my wines included in his publication is definitely a great way to start the year. I am particularly proud that so many of the wines in my portfolio have scored so impressively as it once again proves the undeniable consistency in quality of my cellar, especially if you take into consideration that the Red Jasper and Dolomite were maiden releases. I know my dad would have been proud of his wine,” mentions Raats.
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Winemaker Bruwer Raats of Raats Family Wines