Raats Family Estate - 'Dolomite' Cabernet Franc 2015

$37.00
Sale price

Regular price $37.00

"Individually crafted from unique vineyard parcels, Dolomite wines express great purity of fruit and balanced elegance. Displays succulent red fruits coupled with a beautifully smoky, mineral quality. Supple, extremely moreish and a great example of this much under-rated variety."

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Raats Family Estate

Raats are a top estate found in the Stellenbosch region who are specialists in the crafting of exceptional wines from Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. It is their mission to consistently produce Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc of outstanding quality from South Africa and to establish these wines as international benchmarks. It is headed by Bruwer Raats who is said to be "the most exciting and forward-thinking winemaker in Stellenbosch" - Neal Martin, Wine Spectator.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is a red grape that isn't made into single varietal wines not nearly as much as it should. Instead it is one of the main grape varieties in the 'Bordeaux Blend' where it is blended with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon but will usually be lucky to make up more than 10-20% of the blend. It really comes into its own in the Loire Valley, specifically in Chinon and Bourgeuil, where it shows off its more herbaceous and lighter characteristic.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch is the leading quality region in South Africa. It is home to many of the most famous estates and many of the top wines. Generally speaking it is a red wine hub with Pinotage, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon at the helm, though recently more white wines are taking over.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir. 

"Individually crafted from unique vineyard parcels, Dolomite wines express great purity of fruit and balanced elegance. Displays succulent red fruits coupled with a beautifully smoky, mineral quality. Supple, extremely moreish and a great example of this much under-rated variety."

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Raats Family Estate

Raats are a top estate found in the Stellenbosch region who are specialists in the crafting of exceptional wines from Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. It is their mission to consistently produce Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc of outstanding quality from South Africa and to establish these wines as international benchmarks. It is headed by Bruwer Raats who is said to be "the most exciting and forward-thinking winemaker in Stellenbosch" - Neal Martin, Wine Spectator.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is a red grape that isn't made into single varietal wines not nearly as much as it should. Instead it is one of the main grape varieties in the 'Bordeaux Blend' where it is blended with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon but will usually be lucky to make up more than 10-20% of the blend. It really comes into its own in the Loire Valley, specifically in Chinon and Bourgeuil, where it shows off its more herbaceous and lighter characteristic.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch is the leading quality region in South Africa. It is home to many of the most famous estates and many of the top wines. Generally speaking it is a red wine hub with Pinotage, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon at the helm, though recently more white wines are taking over.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir.