5 Stars (*****) 2017 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Classically conceived Cape Bordeaux blend, a benchmark in SA for the style. Led by cab franc, the other 4 varietals supporting. 14 subdued & restrained: elegant cassis, black fruit, cedar & charming leafiness, with understated oak (just 30% new) in perfect harmony.
94 pts Wine Advocate Issue $230 April 2017
The 2014 De Compostella is a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 18% Malbec, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot, each from different parcels around Stellenbosch, including one new parcel from the Faure vineyard for this vintage. Bruwer told me that the barrels are tasted blind and scored, and they are whittled down to the best until they have the best wine. It boasts a very impressive bouquet with superb delineation and focus: blackberry, bilberry, a light marine influence and a hint of tobacco. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin on the entry that probably belies the structure of this wine. It is very harmonious, as usual, with a lovely sappiness towards the finish. Not as intense as other vintages that I have tasted, nevertheless it is one of the most refined, and perhaps the 2014 will require less bottle age than in previous seasons. In a word: class.
93 pts Wine Spectator 12/31/16
Richly layered, but suave rather than bombastic, with fine-grained tannins giving subtle support to the core of warm cassis, raspberry coulis and plum confiture notes. Offers a gorgeous backdrop of smoldering tobacco, presenting a loamy echo through the finish. Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2018 through 2024. 75 cases imported.
92 pts Wine Enthusiast Dec 2017
This blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 18% Malbec, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot opens with attractive green, herbal notes of peppercorn, laurel, blackcurrant leaf and plum skin. Smooth at first, with ripe plum and berry flavors on the palate, the fine tannins offer a pronounced yet dusty grip throughout the long, dry finish. It’s a well-balanced wine that should continue to gain complexity through 2022.
91+ pts Vinous/Stephen Tanzer May 2017
(one-third new oak aging): Dark ruby. Sexy musky scents of black cherry, cassis, black berry, licorice, pepper and wild herbs. Plush, ripe, sweet and savory, offering serious depth to its flavors of black fruits and woodsmoke. This wonderfully energetic wine really echoes on the finish. With its tannins well supported by fruit, this clever blend has the structure for a graceful evolution.