If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out which wine you like! Every time I see a bottle of Raka Quinary I think of Tiro, a friend of mine, who introduced me to the wine as one of his favourites. I did not know where the wine farm was situated. Checking online, it makes the region an accidental follow, in the neighbourhood of the wine of last week, the Benguela Cove Sauvignon Blanc. The farm is situated in the valley of the Kleinrivier mountains, the southernmost mountain range in South Africa.
The Raka Quinary 2013 has a very unassuming label. One that you would easily overlook on the shelves of wine that retailers typically have at their disposal. With the black and gold label, with white fonts that are so tranquil on the dark bottle, there is nothing loud that grabs the attention of one’s eyeballs. The logo of the mermaid drinking wine, leaves me curious as to what the name means and the story behind the logo.
I bought my bottle from Woolworths and paid R104-00, making this a Category B wine. It was a cool evening in Joburg, fitting for a red wine. The cold front had been forecast for the weekend, and the day had started off with some rain, so it had been grey, wet and cold. Strange weather for autumn in Joburg.
By contrast, the colour of the wine was a majestic red, with the intensity of the burgundy colour in line with the expectation of the grapes that dominated the blend. It’s a blend of five grape varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon (48%), Merlot (29%), Cabernet Franc (12%), Petit Verdot (7%) and Malbec (4%). At 14% alcohol, the legs on the wine, or tear drops, were so mesmerising to watch as they clung to the glass after I swirled it to nose the wine.
On bringing my nose to the wine glass, I picked up dark berries. There was a cooling effect on the back of my nose, as I breathed in the aromas. It left me looking forward to the sip. On sipping the wine, it was relatively sharper than the fruity nose that created my expectations. The tannins were not what was causing this sharpness, although the tannins were quite supple. Considering the fruity tones I was picking up in the nose, and in tasting, the wine was relatively more tart than I would have expected. I had a few more sips to finish what was left for tasting, then poured another glass, this time to drink. I used my wine pourer to allow the wine to breathe.
Using the wine pourer made all the difference as it released the wine flavours and reduced the sharpness. Decanting the wine, or using a wine pourer, introduces oxygen to the wine. This has an effect of reducing the effect of some aroma compounds into less detectable smells. It also reduces the concentration of certain acids and tannins, making the wine taste smoother. Do not under estimate the effects of increasing the air to wine contact when you pour the wine. The fruity tones, were now more consistent with the nose, and I got tastes of blackberry. The wine paired well with my dinner, where the star of the dish was my lemon infused grilled chicken.
The Raka Quinary 2013 is a great wine, with structure and a balance that I like, so a HIT by my rating. It is medium bodied, so not at all heavy like the Demorgenzon Maestro Red I shared with you a few weeks back. Interestingly enough, the five grapes in the two wines are the same, only the mix is different and the grapes are from different regions. Noticably different, and that’s the fun you can start having when understanding the detail in the wines South Africa has to offer. I have yet to visit the wine estate, but will make it a destination, given it is 17 kilometers outside of Stanford.