Think of a bookish, old school professor sweeping autumn leaves from his pathway or gathering redcurrants. He is dressed in a worn, red cardigan flecked with pencil shavings. And while he’s of elegant stature, the man is quietly confident: rights to his textbooks have recently been sold, so his reputation is spreading worldwide!
It took a while, but you can now find delicious wines made with Cabernet Franc in regions around the world where you might least expect them! As far as the classics go however, Cabernet Franc is a well known feature in France’s Loire Valley (as well in red Bordeaux blends), where it makes light to medium-bodied red wines that sing with crunchy, redcurrant flavours and autumnal, leafy notes. These are earthy, old school wines with a slight whiff of lead pencil. Lighter and leafier than Cabernet Sauvignon*, you can glug Cabernet Franc for lunch (chilled can be quiet nice) or dinner as the nights start to close in. Come to Mr. Franc for Autumn in a glass!
*FACT 1: Cabernet Franc is father to the beefy, international ‘rugby star’ grape: Cabernet Sauvignon.
FACT 2: Synonyms for Cabernet Franc include ‘Bouchy’ and ‘Breton’ in France, ‘Bordo’ and ‘Cabernet Frank’ in Italy.
CABERNET FRANC TASTING TOUR
Cabernet Franc tops the bill in France’s Loire Valley and you’ll find doses of it in ‘Meritage’ or ‘Bordeaux Blends’ around the world. Here are three styles to try:
Chile – A bit of sun can actually work wonders for this grape as the wine below shows: Fuller-bodied again with spicy red fruit, chocolate and tobacco leaf flavours. It’s soft, easy drinking and tangy. Try:
The lighter styles from France or Italy work particularly well with vegetables, but are also often served with roast chicken, turkey, ham and even steak frites. Heavier styles such as those from Hungary, Chile, Australia and California will do well with mushrooms and heavier meat dishes, like stews.