#332 RAAR Grenache Blanc 2023


🔬 W.O. Swartland. The fruit comes from some fairly low-yielding bush vines, planted in sandy soils.
The grapes are all hand-harvested – which is kind of a given when you are getting fruit from bushvines. The fruit is whole bunch pressed, and is then barrel-fermented using only native yeasts. in older 300L French oak barrels. Barrel aging on the fine lees for 8 months adds texture and mid pallet weight.
Alc: 13% | RS: 3.6 g/l | TA: 5.9 g/l | pH: 3.27


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A diamond in the dust

The Riebeek Wine Co. is an unequivocally large wine factory. Based in the Swartland, and sourcing grapes from a huge number of Swartland farmers, the co-op produces literally hundreds of wine products each year. A superficial assessment of the business may deem it to be all quantity and no quality; all commodity, no class. But this just isn’t.
Because gleaming brightly from between the myriad turning cogs of commerce that make up the Swartland Wine Company is the RAAR range of small-batch wines produced by the company’s Boutique Winemaker, Sheree Nothnagel.
The RAAR range is the stuff of wine geek dreams; old vine Palomino; carbonic maceration Shiraz, skin-contact Chenin, Petite Sirah…with a few Platter 5-star awards thrown in for good measure. I only mention the accolade because it demonstrates two things:
1. Sheree Nothnagel is not only a gifted winemaker, but also extraordinarily versatile.
2. The Riebeek Wine Co. put some very serious resources behind the RAAR range. They do not treat it as a token gesture to appease the marketing department, but rather a very serious effort to faithfully present the Swartland terroir of which they appear to be very proud.
We’re enormously excited to showcase more of these wines in the near future. But for now – you’ll have to make do with just one: Thre Grenache Blanc 2023.

If you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll have to hunt this wine down in your own time. But until then, here are my tasting notes and some technical specs:


👃🏼 Very light touches of lemon bonbons, orange blossom, fresh fennel, cardamom, nutmeg, and a leesy oatmeal.
👄 Supreme juicy skyscraping citrus acidity, but also FULL and laden with stone fruit and citrus. So elegant, but with a touch of barley candy sweetness against the acid. Intense! Such a lovely mix of sweet orange candy vs laser-like citrus acidity.
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