Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Mike Ratcliffe: South African Cabernet Franc pioneer

A relaxed Mike Ratcliffe with a bottle of the 2007 Cabernet Franc, Warwick Estate

It was off to the Louis Latour annual portfolio tasting this afternoon, primarily attracted by the opportunity to taste the Michel Redde wines (report to follow). While there I took the opportunity to catch up with Mike Ratcliffe (Warwick Estate, Vilafonté) and, in particular, the Warwick 2007 Cabernet Franc.

Mike parents, Norma and Stan, were the first producers to plant Cabernet Franc in South Africa with their first vintage in 1985. Having tasted the Warwick Cabernet Franc I have to wonder why there isn't more Cabernet Franc planted here. The fragrant 2007 (case: £133 + vat) was the latest vintage on show with attractive soft, round fruit and enough structure to allow it to age. I guess that Cabernet Franc continues to be overshadowed by its noisy and robust offspring: Cabernet Sauvignon, whose brashness doubtless came from the genes of Sauvignon Blanc – the other parent.

Mike told me that there are plans to hold a vertical tasting of the Warwick Cabernet Francs in London some time this year. Ought to be a fascinating occasion!


Anonymous said...

Jim, I think the Warwick family was originally from Edmonton Alberta.


Jim's Loire said...

Have left a comment on the Warwick blog, so may ne Mike will pick up on your comment, Bob.

Edmonton's most famous wine producers?

Unknown said...

Aha - indeed Mike will pick up. Yes, Norma Ratcliffe my mom was born in Edmonton. More to folow on Cabernet Franc vertical - we have been waiting some time to do this.
Announcement will come via

Jim's Loire said...

Thanks Mike. Look forward to hearing more about the vertical.