Atamisque Serbal Cabernet Franc
The slate rooves, and drably coloured walls host an extremely impressive modern winery, where winemaker Philippe Caraguel quietly plies his trade, bringing a touch of French restraint to the fruits of these 100% estate-owned vineyards. Atamisque also encompasses a golf course, a very nice restaurant, delightful guest accommodation and a trout farm! But who cares about all that when the wines are this good, and keep getting better with every vintage? All the Serbal wines are unoaked so the flavours focus primarily on the fruit and luckily the fruit is of such good quality that these wines are STUNNING! The nose has a strong note of green pepper (if you ever smell green pepper in a wine, think Cab Franc) and something woody. This ‘woody’ smell comes from the grape as this wine has seen no oak at all. The fruit is very clean, fresh and RED. Cherry, raspberries, cranberry and cassis!
Food Pairing – Anything in a tomato sauce is great here wether its pasta, meats, trout or seared aubergine. Even better if you can get a bunch of herbs in there like rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage.
What does estate-owned mean?
You see this phrase used quite a lot with New World winemakers as they proudly proclaim ‘It’s 100% estate-owned you know!’ All this means is that the winemaker owns the vineyards the fruit comes from. Why is this worth mentioning? Well because more often than not wineries will buy the grapes from farmers. This is a very traditional way of going about making wine. In burgundy and Champagne for example it is commonplace and in fact some Champagne houses like Gosset don’t own any vineyards at all. The idea behind owning your own Vineyard is that you can monitor the quality of the fruit from vine to bottle. Estate owners will argue it give them better control and better grapes. In reality it’s hard to tell the difference but can be a useful indicator of quality on a label.