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Raats Chenin Blanc 2009

Chenin Blanc from South Africa
  • ST91
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

This sublime bottling from Chenin master Bruwer Raats sets the standard for South African Chenin Blanc. The grapes are sourced from three distinct old vines parcels in Stellenbosch, all characterized by complex soils of Table Mountain sandstone and decomposed granite. Rich and intense, this profound wine strikes a perfect balance between elegance and power. It offers luscious flavors of honeyed pear, butterscotch, citrus, and ginger, with hints of mineral and spice that carry through on the lengthy finish.

Critical Acclaim

ST 91
International Wine Cellar

Bright full yellow with a green tinge. Musky aromas of honey, smoke and nutty oak are at once rich and vibrant. Silky on entry, then glyceral and honeyed in the middle, with a touch of sweetness counterpointed by very good mineral energy (from the granite soil?). This wonderfully round and seamless chenin blanc should go savory and truffley with several years of additional bottle aging. Made from vines in excess of 50 years of age, and it shows in the wine's depth.

WS 90
Wine Spectator

A ripe, friendly style, with a light toasty almond edge to the peach, fig and pear fruit flavors. The rounded finish is pure and lengthy.

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Raats, , South Africa
Raats
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... View More

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture...

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Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.