Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2019

95 point-rated, less than $20: 2019 Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc

SOLD OUT! Rated 95 points by the conservative-scoring Vinous Media, this will go down as one of our top red wine deals of 2022. Seriously folks, you will not find a red wine produced anywhere in the world that offers this level of quality-to-price ratio. We just took shipment of 10 cases (120 bottles) -- that is all we will get this year.

Some believe it was the Raats family that brought Cabernet Franc to South Africa from the Loire Valley in France. Whatever the case, winemaker and vigneron Bruwer Raats produced an iconic version of the grape with his 2019 Dolomite Cabernet Franc.

Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc

2019 Raats Family Wines 'Dolomite' Cabernet Franc 

95 points Vinous Media 


I have been a longtime fan of the wines of Raats Family Winery. This is a unique estate, as Bruwer Raats and his family focus solely on Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc, two Loire Valley transplants. We have stocked their Chenin Blanc and Red Jasper Blend for a number of years, but the estate's Dolomite Cab Franc is new to the US, and it truly demonstrates Bruwer's mastery of this variety.

100% Cabernet Franc from Raats's cooler, southern-facing, dry farmed vineyards in Stellenbosch, the vines are grown in decomposed dolomite and granite soils, thus the name. Raats is a very meticulous grower and maker, and his Cabernet Franc yields are ridiculously low, but it is these miniscule yields that pack these grapes with such mind-boggling aromas and flavors. In addition, all of the grapes are hand-picked and hand-sorted three times before they are crushed. Only the good stuff makes it into this bottle.

Aged for 18 months in high quality and expensive Vicard and Mercurey French oak barrels (25% new), the wine was bottled without fining or filtration. The result is a modern classic and a wine I know will get lots of people talking. Offering up heady aromas of rosemary, lavender, brown spices, and brambly berries, the palate is multifaceted and layered with silky tannins and mouth-watering acidity. Overall, this is just a beautiful wine and a great value as well.

Don't trust me, here's what Neal Martin of Vinous Media had to say. "The 2019 Cabernet Franc Dolomite has an energetic, tensile nose of wonderfully defined red and black fruit, sage, bell pepper and clove aromas. 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. Drink 2022-2042." Mine will not last that long :), but go for it!

Let me wrap it up folks. 95 points, less than $20, and offering up to 2 decades of cellar potential -- sign me up! I'm sure plenty of folks will be "signing up" for this one, and once those 20 cases are gone, we'll be waiting for the next vintage to be released.

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville