MR de Compostella 2021

By , 26 October 2023



There are few examples of the Cape Bordeaux Red Blend as elegant and sophisticated as MR De Compostella and the recently released 2021 again shows great refinement. A blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 17% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, the nose shows top notes of roses, violets and herbs before red and black berries, olive, oystershell, vanilla and pencil shavings. It’s medium bodied (alcohol is 14%) with succulent fruit, fresh acidity and fine-grained tannins making for a creamy texture. Price: R2 050 a bottle.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

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9 comment(s)

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    Donald Griffiths | 31 October 2023

    When a well known and respected wine commentator tweets that a score of 18/20 (the scale used by another well known wine commentator) is equivalent to 95+ /100 then you can understand the cynicism of educated consumers about scores. But much like democracy the 100 point system is not perfect, its just better than all the others.

      Greg Sherwood | 31 October 2023

      Donald, Totally agree the 100 point scale is certainly the lesser of evils. But personally, leaving the 20 point scoring system behind was one of my my cherished moments in my wine career! We were taught 12 was basically faulty… so we had and 8 point range to use. Over the years, the half point 0.5 started being added and used widely… and then even… a + added as well… like 16.5+/20. But for all the efforts to try and make the 20 point scale more intricate… when you taste 100 very good wines, the nuance of various scores is minimal and so the actual note on the wine becomes so much more important. I find the 100 point scale far more expressive and nuanced and while there is inevitably some score inflation globally, if for no other reason because we have to judge wines within an international context, I think it is a little unfair that some categories are judged more harshly than others.

        Kwispedoor | 1 November 2023

        Greg, I’m not convinced that the 100-point system is significantly more intricate than the 20-point system. Not the way the 100-point system is used in practice by most people, in any way. If it’s used like Michael Fridjhon uses it, perhaps. But most people now only use the last 20 points. (how often do you score a wine below 80 or see it scored thus by anyone else?) And from 12 to 20 points (on the 20-point system), there are already 17 possible scores, including half points – and that’s before adding the +’s.

        The 100-point system is more universal and arguably easier to use and understand, but not really more intricate. It remains a bit futile to score wine but what it usually does accomplish, is to add dimension to a good tasting note.

    Daniel | 27 October 2023

    What a wine, probably one of the best crafted Bordeaux blends in South Africa over the years.
    It’s interesting that when wines are rated 98/100 it’s usually a Shiraz or a Chenin Blanc. When one looks at Bordeaux varietals and blends it’s interesting to note that most of them only score up to 95 sometimes 96/100. Can you perhaps shed some light on this matter?

      Jos | 27 October 2023

      Not only is there a bit of disconnect with regards to ratings per grape variation, but also these short-form reviews makes it impossible to gauge why a specific whine score 90 or 98, the text usually reads the same.

      If a reviewer gives 95%+ there has to be something extra that elevates it ahead of peers and that rarely comes through in these short reviews.

      With this review, it reads exactly like any other review ranging from 93-98.

        Christian Eedes | 28 October 2023

        Hi Jos, Your comment points to the absurdity of the 100-point rating system which implies a level of accuracy in wine assessment that simply isn’t attainable. Why do we use it? Because it’s international convention. In reality, there probably isn’t that much difference between a 93-point and 98-point wine, depending on the drinking occasion.

        Jos | 29 October 2023

        I don’t buy the 93-98 being much of a muchness, surely when you consider a wine a 98, something you rarely do, there has to be something quantifiable that stands out.

        Otherwise why rate at all, just give your notes and give a buy/don’t buy stamp.

      Christian Eedes | 28 October 2023

      Hi Daniel, The short answer is that I believe Chenin Blanc and Shiraz/Syrah are genuinely world-class whereas the Bordeaux varieties and blends, while often very good, don’t consistently surpass their international counterparts. I know this doesn’t sit well with many producers and consumers alike because Bordeaux varieties/blends hold such privileged status but my job as a critic is to call what’s in the glass.

        Greg Sherwood | 28 October 2023

        Maybe part of the problem is critics don’t get to taste sufficient top rated international 95+ Bordeaux blends in SA? (Yes you taste some) We use the 100 point scoring system as an internationally accepted convention. But then if we do so, there’s an obligation to compare and contrast a 96,97,98 point Bordeaux with an equivalent style and quality wine from SA.

        I taste many top rated 95+ scored Bordeaux every week and South Africa’s very best can and do compete, whether tasted sighted or blind. MR 2021 is better and more deserving than a “mere” 95 point score suggests. Critics need to have the courage and conviction to stop and reflect and say… “no hang on, yes this is very good, but it has something extra special that differentiates it from the last handful of 95 point scoring wines .” I also feel the consumers’ frustration when they say they struggle sometimes to differentiate quality with some of your ratings, more often than not with Cape Bordeaux Blends.

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