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Overview of the Wine
Raats Family Wines, founded in 2001 by brothers Bruwer and Jasper Raats, is focused solely on crafting world class Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, best known as the premier grapes of France's Loire Valley. The small, family-owned winery has quickly established itself as a New World leader in the production of these two varietals, garnering tremendous critical acclaim – including consistent 90+ ratings – and a dedicated fan base.
Raats is truly a family operation, and the clan firmly believes that South Africa's proliferation of older Chenin Blanc vineyards provides a unique opportunity to craft terroir-driven wines that serve as international benchmarks for the varietal. Raats owns several hectares of estate vineyards in the Polkadraai Hills. In addition, they source Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc from several extremely low-yielding old vines parcels where Bruwer maintains complete control of viticulture. These sites are characterized by complex soils of sandstone and decomposed granite.
For Bruwer, the greatest part of crafting wines under your own label is that "you don't have to worry about shareholders or catering to a market, or to keeping within a cellar's style. You can have freedom of expression in something that you believe in." The Raats family continues to win over hordes of thirsty consumers worldwide with their passionate belief in the classic, versatile and decidedly stylish varietals of Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.
Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin Blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Somm Secret—Landing in South Africa in the mid 1800s, today the country has double the acreage of Chenin Blanc planted compared to France. There is also a new wave of dedicated producers committed to restoring old Chenin vines.
Grape / Blend
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Distinctive yellow apple, kiwi fruit and pineapple core, alongside notes of green melon and limes, bursting with fresh fruit flavors. A zesty citrus flavor lingers on the palate, with a long mineral finish.
91 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
On the nose of the 2019 Original Chenin Blanc, peach skin, pineapple and honeysuckle all pop out of the glass with precision, followed by wet stone and fresh lemon pith. There is no oak to speak of on the palate. The medium-bodied wine shows its freshness in the mouth along with additional flavors of banana peel and pear slices across the mid-palate. It's a beautiful wine that shows precision, mineral tension and fresh fruit flavors, ending with a lingering finish that delivers pleasure to the drinker. This wine is delicious and is also a great value. Bravo!
90 Points - Vinous
The 2019 Original Chenin Blanc comes from two soil types: decomposed granite and sandstone, with six months’ aging on the lees. The lively, outgoing bouquet features bold lemon curd, damp straw and mango aromas. The palate is fresh and crisp on the entry with notes of lime and orange zest, leading to a vibrant, zesty finish. Delicious.
Product size: 750ml