The 2004 maiden vintage of MR de Compostella marked a pivotal moment for the South African wine landscape, a wine which spearheaded the emergence of ultra-premium wines locally and set a new benchmark with its revolutionary debut price of R350—making it the most expensive wine of its time. Its price surpassed other wines by a remarkable 40%, and its impact resonated globally, capturing widespread attention and admiration. The wine has been met with critical acclaim since and the recently released 2021 continues on this impressive trajectory. It not only meets, but exceeds expectations and is poised to make its best appearance yet. Bruwer has certainly backed this horse as the most significant release to date, a sentiment echoed by the reputable UK-based Master of Wine Greg Sherwood
“”The newest 2021 release astonishingly takes this wine to yet another higher niveau of quality. If you wanted just one wine to convince an international fine wine connoisseur of the true greatness of South Africa’s finest terroirs and winemaking, you have found your candidate! Simply an incredible wine.” – Greg Sherwood, Master of Wine awarding the MR de Compostella 2021 99 points
Bruwer approaches his wine in the vineyard, but always makes reference to the notion that a horse doesn’t win the derby without a jockey. The human element in wine is essential. In this oenological race, the triumvirate of the creator, the vineyards, and the resulting wine stand united atop the podium, showcasing an intertwined narrative of craftsmanship, terroir, and the ultimate liquid expression.
A harmonious cuvee celebrating Stellenbosch vineyards, this memorable Bordeaux blend is comprised of 26% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Malbec, 20% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot. A symphony of petrichor aromas resonates, eloquently narrating the very essence of their origin—narratives etched in the granite soils from which they took root. Dark fruits intermingle with dried fennel seeds, and a musing lick of salt. The wine has a piercing concentration, immense purity of fruit laced with well articulated tannins and a glistening acidity.
The launch of 2021 MR de Compostella
Hosted at The Fat Butcher, the launch marked a significant moment for Bruwer, celebrating his ties to Stellenbosch – a region to which he has dedicated three decades of perfecting the art of winemaking and advocating for South African wines on the global stage after sanctions were lifted. Those attending the launch were treated to memorable vintages from the MR de Compostella library.
Bruwer noted that 2013 was the most challenging wine on release due to it’s tightness and tannic profile but today, nearly 10 years later, it was one of the highlights of the flight – soft, impressive, and starting to show the full potential of MR de Compostella.
The 2016, was a difficult vintage incredibly which brought forth the highest-rated wine on Vivino, quite possibly due to the increased Cabernet component.
The warmth of 2017, amidst a series of warm years, offered a unique diurnal temperature variation, resulting in an exceptional vintage in the Cape, with shows showstopping concentration, structure, and balance.
The 2018 vintage marked by the drought, witnessed a 35% drop in crop production, which in turn turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It offered good density and structure, emphasising the importance of the timing of harvest.
Sadly, there was no MR de Compostella in 2019, but this absence underscored the testament to quality and it was in turn declassified into a bumper edition of Raats Family Wines Jasper Blend.
The 2020 release, although challenging due to the pandemic, provided a wine that was accessible and lifted in its fruit profile.
The 2021 vintage, as Bruwer aptly puts it, is a celebration of the long term. It combines all the elements of an exceptional harvest – cold winters, rain, cool nights, and balanced vineyards. With its exceptional attributes, the 2021 vintage stands out as the finest MR de Compostella yet.
MR de Comspstella’s key to success has been its unwavering consistency, standing proudly as one of South Africa’s most highly accoladed wines. This legacy continues to be defined by exceptional excellence.
Photo credit Damian Van Der Walt Curator Photography