2015 Longridge Misterie Right Bank Style Blend
Longridge is the project of Jasper Raatts, one of South Africa’s hottest vintners. Jasper and his wife Sally globe-hopped at some of the top wineries in the world before returning home to South Africa in 2006, where he became the wine-growing consultant to Longridge and quickly converted it to biodynamics.
But Jasper went even further with the creation of this wine – Misterie. It is the result of his long-term vision, one that started years ago when he noticed the superlative performance of Right Bank varietals in Helderberg’s cooler climate and poor ridgeland soils. Over the past decade, Longridge has cemented its reputation, culminating in a Top10 classification in 2017 by Top Wine SA for consistently highly rated vintages dating back to 2007.
“We have invested heavily in our soils and work hard in the vineyards to bring the best fruit to the winery. I believe your wine has to be excellent and you have to do everything well,” Jasper said. “But you then have to be bold if we want to survive in this industry.”
Here’s how bold Jasper Raats decided to be. He gathered a distinguished panel of wine experts, including wine critics, sommeliers and restaurateurs to taste Misterie’s first vintage with some of the recognized best Right Bank style blends in the world, including Chateau Trotanoy Pomerol, Chateau La Fleur-Petrus Pomerol as well as Masetto from Tuscany. These wines are all in the price range of several hundred dollars a bottle – if not several thousands. And you know what – Misterie bested them all.
Opaque purple-black colored, the 2015 Misterie slips effortlessly out of the glass with sanguine, seductive notes of kirsch, warm black plums, blueberry compote, red roses, Ceylon tea, violets, dark chocolate-covered cherries, licorice and cinnamon stick with wafts of iron ore, pencil lead, cigar box and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, profound and absolutely edifying on the palate, the densely packed, beautifully perfumed red and blue fruit layers possess a charge like defibrillators stimulating your heart to beat faster, each delivering achingly subtle floral and spice sparks, perfectly framed by very firm, fine grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing with incredible length and taking you to depths that extend to a provocative ferrous undercurrent. Stunning.
Yes, this is expensive wine. But when compared to its competition, it’s a bargain.