By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/7/2009 | Send Email
Graduating from the fruits of the sea to those of the vine has been a long, slow pulling in of the nets for Piet Dreyer, aka Pietie, the robust, salt-inflected, anecdotal, parrot-wielding, ex-squid fisherman turned landlocked proprietor of Raka Wines. Named for the black-as-pitch boat he often braved stormy waters in over 30-plus years to bring in his fresh catch, the Raka winery completed its first "land harvest" in 2002 in a new, modern gravity-fed cellar. Located in a slender valley in the newly-declared Kleinrivier appellation, Raka is blessed with a diverse range of micro-climates and soil types, a very good thing for all the red and white varieties currently under vine. The sparkling cellar is equipped with individual small fermenters to accommodate grapes from separate vineyard blocks. And the 2005 Raka Quinary is the bottled embodiment of such loving care, having spent 12 months slumbering in French oak before undergoing catch and release to our humble shores. This is a shimmering trophy of a wine, an ideal blending of fruit, fine-grained tannins, balance and finesse, as close to a young Bordeaux as I've tasted from South Africa, and well deserving of the five-star rating from the critics. Grab a bottle before they swim off the shelves!