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Raats Red Jasper 2013

Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
  • RP92
  • W&S90
  • WE90
14% ABV
  • RP92
  • JS92
  • RP91
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3.9 11 Ratings
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3.9 11 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This complex Cabernet Franc-driven Bordeaux blend shows dark berry fruit on the nose, along with the perfume and violets one would expect from an 85% Cabernet Franc wine. The palate offers luscious brambly berry fruit intertwined with hints of tobacco and dark chocolate. Silky tannins caress the palate, and a lovely minerality shines through on the long, supple finish.

Blend: 85% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Petit Verdot, 2.5% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Red Jasper is a blend of 85% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec, and 2.5% each of Merlot and Petit Verdot. Thus far, it represents the largest proportion of Cabernet Franc. Raised for 16 months in French oak (20% new), over the last 12 months it has evolved a more classic, tobacco-tinged bouquet that remains very well defined. The palate is also less fleshy, revealing its structure and agreeable austerity that renders this very "classic" in style. The acidity is perfectly in tune with the fruit with an almost foursquare finish. This is a perfect Claret doppelgänger in everything but price.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
More overtly cabernet franc-y than the 2012, this blend is on the plump edge of elegant, with complex scents of pomegranate, green olive and pine fronds. It gets plummier with air, the texture light, the fruit a little stewy, but firm, gripping and clean. Decant this for roast venison.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Known for working well with the grape, this Raats wine is Cabernet Franc dominant (85%), with additional components of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Forward scents of green pepper, tobacco leaf, cigar ash and menthol are framed by a fruity spice of blackberry and cassis. The medium-weight mouthfeel is approachable yet structured, with fine-grain tannins and a licorice-infused, brambly berry finish. Drink now–2019. Editors' Choice.
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Raats
Raats, South Africa
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Raats Family Wines, founded in 2001 by brothers Bruwer and Jasper Raats, is focused solely on crafting world class Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, best known as the premier grapes of France's Loire Valley. The small, family-owned winery has quickly established itself as a New World leader in the production of these two varietals, garnering tremendous critical acclaim – including consistent 90+ ratings – and a dedicated fan base.

Raats is truly a family operation, and the clan firmly believes that South Africa's proliferation of older Chenin Blanc vineyards provides a unique opportunity to craft terroir-driven wines that serve as international benchmarks for the varietal. Raats owns several hectares of estate vineyards in the Polkadraai Hills. In addition, they source Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc from several extremely low-yielding old vines parcels where Bruwer maintains complete control of viticulture. These sites are characterized by complex soils of sandstone and decomposed granite.

For Bruwer, the greatest part of crafting wines under your own label is that "you don't have to worry about shareholders or catering to a market, or to keeping within a cellar's style. You can have freedom of expression in something that you believe in." The Raats family continues to win over hordes of thirsty consumers worldwide with their passionate belief in the classic, versatile and decidedly stylish varietals of Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.

South Africa

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With an important wine renaissance is in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century.

Today, however, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot. But the Benguela Current from Antarctica provides brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

GZT10076683_2013 Item# 143364