Regularly one of Wine Advocate's highest scoring South African Reds, and with 5 consecutive 5* awards from Platter, this is one of the great Fine Wines of South Africa, with a whopping 98+ points from Greg Sherwood.
98+/100 Greg Sherwood MW
"A very deep garnet-purple colour, the nose chimes with the beautiful aromatics of the Cabernet fruits, both Franc and Sauvignon. Superbly bright and lifted, this classy wine reveals attractive perfumed notes of cherry blossom, violets, lilacs and fresh rose petals underpinned by seductive chocolate coated red cherries, crème de cassis, sweet sappy sandalwood spice, bay leaves, fresh pencil shavings and crushed granite rocks. On the palate, the wine is more medium bodied but very refined striking an instant resemblance to the perfumed precision and seductive caressing texture of a Chateau Margaux first growth Bordeaux. There is power, there is intensity and there is focus aplenty but it is all delivered with such majestic elegance and finessed structure to be awe inspiring. Super fine and minerally tightly focused, the vivacious palate shows layers of cigar box, maraschino cherry, crushed black berries, cedar spice and fine-grained mineral sandy tannins. Already possessing incredible poise and focus, this wine shows clarity of purpose and an attention to detail very rarely seen on South African red wines. With little to no perceptible oak character, this impressive blend finishes with a very long, minerally accented persistence that is both compelling and incredibly pretty. A profound wine of beauty and certainly this winery's most noteworthy release since its blockbuster 2015. Cellar for another 5 years from release and drink over the next 30+ years."
Tim Atkin - South Africa Report 2018 "South Africa needs more G.T. Ferreiras and Mike Ratcliffes, more Waterford Jems, 4Gs, Raats MR de Compostellas, Vergelen Vs and Kanonkop Black Labels. Whatever you think of these wines - and they have all scored 95 points or more in this report - they are part of a growing fine wine sector in South Africa that will help to lift that low price ceiling to the place where it deserves to be. The long-term survival of the industry depends upon it."
Making Platter History… Renowned winemaking team Bruwer Raats and his cousin Gavin Bruwer Slabbert muscled their way into the history books when an unprecedented eight wines from the Raats stable received the coveted 5-star rating in the Platter Guide. No other winemaker has ever managed this accomplishment in one year, since South Africa's most definitive wine reference guide was first published in 1980. In addition, Raats Family Wines also walked away with the title of Winery of the Year. Leading the Platter party is the highly acclaimed 2015 MR de Compostella, a magnificent Bordeaux blend produced by Raats and winemaker friend Mzokhona Mvemve. This wine has consistently impressed local and international wine critics since its maiden vintage was released in 2004, with this being its fourth consecutive five-star rating.
The Wine Advocate Rating 93 points
Drink Date: 2019 - 2037
Reviewed by: Anthony Mueller, Issue Date: 31st Oct 2019, Source: Issue 245 End of October 2019
A blend of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cab Sauvignon, the 2017 De Compostella begins with a dark-fruited and juicy core, with dusty flowers and an herbal edge with oak that is pleasurable on the nose. The palate is fresh and clean with a greenness to it provided by the Cabernets. With a chocolaty sensation, the structure is still tight but is showing well, considering that this was bottled just a week before I sampled it. The finish is structured with focus, power and elegance. Keep an eye out for this bottling, and grab one if you can, as there were only 6,000 bottles made.
A little bit more info…
The formation of MR de Compostella epitomizes the meeting of two strong winemaking minds and an existing friendship between Mzokona Mvemve (the M) and Bruwer Raats (the R). de Compostella itself refers to a constellation of stars, with each shining star being a tiny addition to the larger blend of the galaxy that makes for something spectacular. Together, the MR de Compostella is driven neither by style nor variety, but by its leading star component - quality.
Always in the pursuit of perfectionism, every vintage marks the start of a new challenge for Mzokona and Bruwer.
"With MR De Compostella, we set out to achieve consistent, world-class quality wine every vintage. To do this, we ensured that the five Bordeaux varieties that we cultivate - namely Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and of course, our speciality, Cabernet Franc - are planted in the soil they are each best suited to. This results in a lot of small parcels in our vineyards - sometimes there will be a row or two of Cabernet Sauvignon in the far left corner of that vineyard, or some Malbec in the very specific right hand corner of this one. It's not exactly practical, but it's the only way we can make magic happen," explains Bruwer.
In truth, the magic of MR is in the process, as each vintage requires refined craft, skilled precision and endless patience. Once each individual component has been matured in separate barrels, the wines are lined up for a blind tasting. This is a lengthy task, whereby Mzokona and Bruwer score each wine individually, before tallying up an average score, removing everything below 90 points, and taste again. The results are all led by outstanding quality, with the overall winner eventually becoming the leading component in the new vintage, the second being the second leading component and so on and so forth. This special process is repeated per wine, per vintage. While rigorous, this tried and test method has resulted in 11 elegant yet completely different vintages of MR de Compostella - a wine as consistent in quality as it is at winning awards - and that results in something truly beyond our world.