Wholewheat wines from the Cape

Monday, 22 July, 2013
Tastings organised by generic promotional organisations are rarely great showcases for quality. For obvious reasons, they feel they have to show wines from all producers rather than the best producers. And in some cases the best producers can sell their wines so easily back home that they are unwilling to participate in expensive voyages overseas to pour precious bottles for foreigners, not all of whom will truly value them.
This is why, for example, I'm frequently disappointed by the tastings organised at the top of New Zealand House in London. The view of central London below is amazing but the view of the NZ wine scene provided by what's on the tasting tables, substantially from the biggest companies, is rarely as inspiring.

September is the month when, usually, South Africa, Chile and Argentina put on separate generic tastings in London. Next month, for the first time, they are pooling dates and resources, and wines from all three countries will be on show over two days at Olympia under the joint banner The Beautiful South. At JancisRobinson.com we'll do our best to pick out the wheat from the chaff in the vast tasting book.

RAATS, Stellenbosch
: Bruwer Raats
Raats Family Wines is a boutique winery situated in the Polkadraai Hills area of Stellenbosch, South Africa. The Estate was established in the year 2000 and is considered a specialist in crafting world class and truly distinct wines from Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc from older vineyards.

It is their mission to establish these wines as international benchmarks. Raats Family Wines have already earned a stellar reputation internationally as a New World leader in the production of these varietals. "The difference for us is that in everything we do we try to resonate the quality in our wine and that eventually becomes our marketing angle. We do it small, we do it fantastically and we do it so differently to anybody else." Bruwer Raats.

Raats, Original Chenin Blanc 2012 - Coastal Region
16½ points - Drink 2013 - 2016

100% Chenin Blanc. Floral, broad, honeyed nose. Very juicy and absolutely brilliant as a textbook example of the variety. Clean but not lacking in character. 13.5% £9.99 RRP

Raats, Family Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2011
17 points - Drink 2013 - 2019

100% Chenin Blanc. Three blocks, all over 50 years old and 20% fermented in large old oak. Pale straw colour. Deep flavoured with honey and tang verging on oily. Extreme Chenin! Chewy finish. Very serious. 13.5% £14.99 RRP

Raats, Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2011 Stellenbosch
16 points - Drink 2013 - 2017

95% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec. He still makes the Family bottling of Cab Franc at closer to £20 but this is his bid to make Cabernet Franc popular by making it rather like Pinot Noir. Transparent and different. Only just Cab Franc! But easy to like when young. GV 14% £10.79 RRP

Read more about the Raats Family Wines on page 8 - click HERE to download the pdf.