B Vintners Haarlem to Hope 2018

By , 20 January 2020

While Raats Family Wines sees Bruwer Raats and cousin Gavin Slabbert focusing on two specific varieties, namely Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc with a view to constant gradual improvement, their other undertaking known as B Vintners Vine Exploration Co is less a “side project” and more a vehicle to operate in unchartered territory. “Stellenbosch is very diverse. We get to work with multiple primary grape growers and B Vintners allows us to go digging and delving into some of the more unique sites,” says Slabbert. Tasting notes and ratings for two of the current releases as follows:

Of the Cape.

B Vintners Haarlem to Hope 2018
Price: R250
61% Chenin Blanc, 36% Semillon, 1.5% Muscat Blanc and 1.5% Muscat d’ Alexandrie. Notes of pear, white peach, dried herbs and hay plus a hint of reduction on the nose while the palate shows pure fruit, fresh acidity and a pithy finish. Leaner and lighter than original vintages, the result of a conscious decision to lessen the Sem component. Some waxy character to the fore with time in the glass.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

B Vintners Liberté Pinotage 2017
Price: R300
30% whole-bunch fermentation before maturation lasting 14 months in French oak, 10% new. The nose shows red and black cherries, plums, a little earthiness, cinnamon and other spice. The palate is relatively round and smooth textured. Well balanced and very flavourful, this remains a cleverly toned down take on the variety.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

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