Bruwer Raats has always focused on Loire varieties Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, about which he’s passionate.
We’ve judged together at Fontevraud in the Loire a couple of times, once memorably topped off with lunch at La Licorne. Splashing out, we bought a transporting (heavenwards) bottle of spice-kissed, super fine tannined Clos Rougeard Saumur-Champigny which made its mark on us both.
Both these qualities (spice and fine tannins) are a trait of Bruwer’s Cabernet Franc, as are the region’s floral notes. And though he packs in so much flavour, he’s got delicate touch with the variety.
So it’s great news that he’s made an entry level Cabernet Franc exclusively for the UK. What’s more, it’s currently on deal at Majestic (£7.99 down from £9.99), who are offering 20% off any 2 bottles of South African wines (as part of their usual case purchase – 12 bottles online, 6 bottles in store). Here’s my note:
Raats Granite Blocks Cabernet Franc 2010 (WO Coastal Region)
A bright plum hue with ruby flashes, this medium bodied red is vivacious and complex. It shows lifted five spice and inky, floral notes with a core of fleshy blood plum and juicy, crunchy even, pomegranate (or should that be Pomegranite?), wed to fine and velvety tannins. There’s an undertow of sweet earth and a hint of smoky braai about it – a Cape sensibility - which I reckon would make it a fine companion for lightly grilled lamb chops or tuna. Well balanced with beautifully integrated acidity, it’s a distinguished and distinctive wine for the money - £9.99 or currently £7.99 on deal at Majestic. 13.5%