Browse Tag


You dirty Raats

Raats Family 2009 “Original” Chenin Blanc (Coastal Region) – This is the unwooded cuvée, and tastes just as I remember from the source: very, very dense, almost syrupy, yet retaining just…just…enough acid for a sort of leaden balance. Stone fruit and pretty flowers, with a bronzed quality. Very fresh, but the opposite of lively. (8/10)

Raats in the belfry

[vineyard]Raats 2008 “Original” Chenin Blanc (Stellenbosch) – An unoaked cuvee. Appealing, sunny fruit, showing hay, gum, and fresh apricot. The texture’s overtly creamy, and while it retains a certainly lightness of spirit, the wine would be improved by a little more acidity. There’s a long, pure finish, and despite the absence of crispness, I really enjoy this wine. (11/08)

Raats 2006 Chenin Blanc (Stellenbosch) – The difference between this and the “Original” is the élevage; some of this wine is barrel-fermented, a “world-classing” technique to which my initial reaction is dismay. Chenin shouldn’t need makeup to achieve greatness. And yet, here’s the first volley in South Africa’s attempt to prove me wrong, and I’m already wavering. There are the expected elements of cream, butter, and a more luxurious texture, but there are some surprises as well. For one thing, a salty, iron-rich minerality is brought to the fore. And while the finish is even thicker than in the “Original”, there’s a clear sensation of a greater quantity of balancing acidity. It’s all very mysterious. I still think I’d rather drink the “Original”, but this does make a compelling case for itself. (11/08)