2016 Jasper Raats Signature Wines Driefontein Sauvignon Blanc
Jasper Raats is a man on a mission – he and and wife Sally globe-hopped at some of the top wineries in the world before returning home to South Africa in 2006, where he became the wine-growing consultant to Longridge and quickly converted it to biodynamics.
But Jasper’s quest didn’t stop there. After having farmed in some of the great vineyards of the world – and helped make those wines – he wanted to bring that international glory back to his home country. He is on a mission to show the world that South Africa’s oldest vines, when treated with utmost biodynamic care, can produce wines on par with anyone else in the world.
In 2015 he did it with his Right Bank Bordeaux Blend Misterie. Here’s how bold Jasper Raats decided to be. He gathered a distinguished panel of wine experts, including wine critics, sommeliers and restaurateurs to taste Misterie’s first vintage with some of the recognized best Right Bank style blends in the world, including Chateau Trotanoy Pomerol, Chateau La Fleur-Petrus Pomerol as well as Masetto from Tuscany. These wines are all in the price range of several hundred dollars a bottle – if not several thousands. And you know what – Misterie bested them all.
Now he is back with a single parcel of Sauvignon Blanc – Driefontein. Made from a one-acre vineyard in Heldeberg planted on decomposing granite soils sometime in the early 20th century, this is a dynamic, amazing Sauvignon Blanc in a French Sancerre style:
The nose opens with a gorgeous array of flavors – lemon, Kaffir lime leaf and white peach develop a fruit level to the nose that is inviting and expressive. But fruit is not overdone: It gently and harmoniously melds with a level of wet stone minerality and touches of sea brine. This impeccable balance between fruit and stone is developed on the palate with a racy minerality that is also knit together with a gorgeous and profound texture. The finish is minutes long with a fine filigree of minerality, freshness, and verve. It’s gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc and certainly one of the best I have tasted.
But that’s not all. Jasper really did do it again. Gathering up some of France’s greatest Sauvignon Blancs, he hosted a blind tasting including Vatan, Cotat, Boulay, Bourgeois, and Dagueneau. And guess what? With a panel of international experts, Driefontein Sauvignon claimed victory. Great wine is where you find it, and I encourage you to explore this magnificent bottle.