'The varietal that can best communicate where it’s from is Grenache. It listens'. - Adi Badenhorst
'Raaigras' is the oldest Grenache vineyard in South Africa, planted in the early 1950s. Consisting of just 12 rows of vines, Adi cheekily tells us that it's pronounced 'Rye Grass' 'which I suppose rhymes with Rayas'. We love this nod to this famed expression of Grenache and feel that the Raaigras is suitably exceptional in its own right. Smooth and rounded, with notes of dark berry fruit and white pepper. Approachable in its youth, but still capable of ageing for years to come.
'superb length. The standout this year.' - Neal Martin, Vinous
The 2019 Raaigras, pure Grenache including 15% stems, has a vibrant bouquet of red cherry and strawberry scents, demonstrating a little more presence than Badenhorst’s other reds. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, crisp red berry fruit and a liberal sprinkling of white pepper. The whole bunch addition lends more presence and density compared to other cuvées from Badenhorst, and there is superb length. The standout this year.
Adi Badenhorst is a farmer first and foremost. In 2007 he bought a dilapidated old winery on the northern side of the Paardeberg Mountain in the Swartland. It was rough around the edges, but with magnificent old vineyards that just needed a bit of love. Since then he and his wife have worked tirelessly to breathe new life into the farm, and today it is one of the most interesting vineyard sites in the area.
Adi's focus is on producing wines that are authentic celebrations of the Swartland and its unique growing conditions. His Family Red and White wines are deliberately designed to give the best expression of 'place', whilst his single-vineyard bottling's hail from small parcels of old vines, each with their own terroir expression. He is also experimenting more with skin contact wines and has recently started producing an approachable orange Chenin/Semillon within his Saceuters range. To taste Adi's wines is to taste the Swartland distilled into a glass. Remarkable and delicious.
Read our interview with Adi, on the blog now.