MR de Compostella 2018

By , 10 June 2021

Comment

3

The good reputation of 2017 is now well established whereas 2018 is generally viewed as having been “challenging”. That said, the recently released MR de Compostella from Bruwer Raats and company, supersedes the 2017 in quality, at least at this early stage.

Of course, Raats sources grapes from various sites across Stellenbosch allowing him at least partially to circumvent the difficulties any particular growing season might present and whereas the 2017 vintage saw Cabernet Sauvignon the most dominant variety, the 2018 leads with 54% Cabernet Franc followed by 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, 5% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. In addition, the 2018 ended up spending approximately 27 months in barrel compared to the usual 22 to 24 months.

Somewhat surprisingly given the amount of Cab Franc, the result is a muscular, full-bodied wine. Red and black berries, violets, some leafy character and cigar box on the nose while the palate is substantial but also entirely seamless – good depth of fruit and fine tannins. It’s an impeccably well managed offering as followers of this label have come to expect. Price: R1 650 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

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  • Marius+Small-Smith13 June 2021

    Hi Christian. Your description of the MR being impeccable and a South African benchmark and yet ending with 94 points is a surprise. Yet a recent Chenin hits 97 points. Do we need to worry about our Bordeauxs?

    • Christian Eedes14 June 2021

      Hi Marius, I think that for all the prestige that Cape Bordeaux Red Blends have, Chenin Blanc (especially when made from old vines) delivers the truly exceptional more readily. That said, Cape Bordeaux is hardly a weak category, and while the improvement gains have been significant over the past decade, I suspect that all other things being equal, we shall see even better wines in the not too distant future. There is also the issue of age-worthiness to consider, the best of current Cape Bordeaux destined to outlast the best Chenin, simply by virtue of being red rather than white.

  • Pieter10 June 2021

    Thanks Christian. I’ve been wanting to invest in a bottle of MR de Compostella, and wasn’t sure if I should go for the 2017 or 2018. I see Greg Sherwood rated the 2017 98 points, and the 2018 only 97 points. But your review seems quite clear that the 2018 is the way to go!

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