Earlier in his career, Jasper Raats made top Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir in Marlborough, New Zealand and now that he’s back in South Africa, continues to work with these two varieties when it comes to his own-label wines to good effect.
Tasting notes and scores for current releases as follows:
Driefontein Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Wine Cellar price: R170
From 1ha Helderberg vineyard; nine months on the lees. Lime through blackcurrant on the nose and palate. Rich and full but simultaneously tight – an excellent counterpoint to the pyrazine-driven wines which still prevail locally. “My whole aim is to get proper physiological ripeness with acid intact,” he says.
Cuvée Rika Pinot Noir 2012
Wine Cellar price: R240
From Elgin fruit grown on “chalk with iron on clay”, matured for 14 months in French oak, 20% new. A particularly “adult” rendition in that it possesses more than just pretty fruit. A really complex nose showing red and black cherry but also musk, spice and even a little boot polish. The palate, meanwhile, shows pure fruit, fresh acidity and nicely grippy tannins.