Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2020


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Additional information


South Africa




90% Cabernet Franc; 10% Malbec




92 Points Decanter Wine of the Week May 2023, 92 Points Tim Atkin MW South Africa Report 2022, Bruwer Raats – Winemaker of the Year 2023: Tim Atkin MW SA Report 2023

Good to know

Organic practices, Vegan

Tasting Notes

Bags of smoky blackberries, dark cherries and hints of leather on the nose in Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc. This draws you in to savour the succulent, spicy black fruit flavours coupled with good structure and length; very moreish, fresh and full-bodied at the same time!

This is a terrific example of Cabernet Franc with a small addition of Malbec. The result is like a succulent Loire, or even a gentle Bordeaux, that is stylish, rich, but elegant and above all approachable, with a nice balance of fruit, integrated tannins and a velvet, smooth finish. This 2020 vintage is superb and will age gracefully. It has received excellent reviews from Decanter and Tim Atkin MW, and will be drinking well through to 2028 with careful cellaring.  It represents fantastic value.

How the wine is made

Bruwer Raats is the grower and wine maker of this wine and he just loves the underated Cabernet Franc grape, and has made it his mission to bring out the best from his 25 – 35 year-old-vines grown in dolomite granite soils of Stellenbosch. The grapes for this wine are hand-picked and hand-sorted, and after fermentation this wine went through a malolactic fermentation in stainless steel before being aged in 300 litre French oak barriques for 14 months.

About the producer

Bruwer is a gentle giant of a man and his reputation is starting to match his stature. His mastery of chenin blanc and cabernet franc is bringing him praise from around the world as “the most exciting and forward thinking winemaker” in Stellenbosch. As part of the new wave of South African winemakers, he crafts soil specific wines that embody the unique characteristics of the region. With hand harvesting, whole bunch pressing and using natural fermentation without fining or filtering it helps him create wines that are world class.

Hot off the Press – Tim Atkin MW Special South Africa Report 2023 – his Podium of Awards awarded Bruwer Raats with Winemaker of the Year 2023


2020 Vintage

“Wow, super good value!’ were the first words I wrote on tasting this – and not surprising with Cabernet Franc maestro Bruwer Raats behind it. A 10% addition of Malbec gives lovely plushness and 14 months in oak adds a gentle smoky depth, but the flavours are all Franc: inky blue and blackberries, blood plums, crushed herbs and lingering graphite freshness, all cloaked in supple tannins.  Drink 2023 – 2027. ” 92 Points. Decanter Wines of the Week May 2023

“Dolomite is the cheapest of Bruwer Raats’  impressive trio of Cabernet Francs, made with fruit from Bottelary and the Polkadraai HIlls. Very lightly wooded to let the fruit express itself, it has violet and green pepper aromas and a racy, refreshing plum and black cherry palate. 92 Points; Drink 2023 – 2028,” Tim Atkin MW  Special Report South Africa 2022

2019 Vintage

“Energetic, tensile nose of wonderfully defined red and black fruit, sage, bell pepper and clove aromas; hints of dried blood emerge with time. The palate is very well balanced, taut and fresh, with supple tannins, a fine bead of acidity, a harmonious, sophisticated finish, and suggestions of black pepper on the aftertaste. This is a brilliant Cabernet Franc from Raats that will age gloriously. 95 Points.”  + Best Value Red South Africa: Neal Martin, Wine Critic, Vinous.  June 2022


2018 Vintage

“Produced in the driest vintage for 50 years, which lowered the crop by 35%, this stylish scented Cabernet Franc wouldn’t look out of place in Saumur-Champigny in the Loire Valley. Perfumed, intense and deeply coloured, with subtle wood and classic capiscum and green herb characters. 91 Points. Drink 2021 – 26. Tim Atkin MW Special Report South Africa 2020 (2018 Vintage)

“Dolomite is the cheapest red in the Raats’ range and is intended to be a “pure expression of Cabernet Franc”, according to Bruwer Raats. Sourced from three sites and blended with 5% Malbec, it’s grassy, juicy and oral with some tannic backbone.”  90  Points: Drink 2020-24  Tim Atkin MW Special Report South Africa 2019

2017 Vintage

“The idea behind this wine is to make a “very pure expression of Cabernet Franc” according to Bruwer Raats. Light and leafy, in the style of a St Nicolas de Bourgeuil, its a tangy, refreshing introduction to the joys of the variety”.  90 Points; Drink 2018 – 2023.  Tim Atkin MW Special Report South Africa 2018.

In his Special Reports on South African Wines over the years and including 2023 Tim Atkin MW classified the top wineries into groups, placing Raats as a First Growth. This wine is terrific value and of a consistent, high standard.

Retails in a few Independent wine merchants £14.95 – £18.99

Food match: A perfect match with game, beef and pork, it will also be a good wine to drink with casseroles, roasts and spicy meatballs and full-flavoured vegetarian dishes.

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