There’s no doubt you’ve heard about Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, or maybe you’re even used to drinking these wines on occasion. But if you haven’t tasted Cabernet Franc yet, you are missing out.
Wine aficionados single Cabernet Franc out every year since 2015, exactly on December 4th, paying appreciation to the heritage and singularity of one of the most sublime and sophisticated wine varieties in the world.
Compared to its foremost Bordeaux counterparts, our hero isn’t a common wine appearing on wine lists. Next time when you are in a wine store, do a once-over to see how many bottles of each grape you can spot. More likely there will be no unblended Cabernet Franc at all. But, on the bright side, think of it as a real gem - rare and hard to find.
Still unknown to many, Cabernet Franc is a wine with lots of secrets, and I am going to reveal them all to you.
Let me begin with a few interesting facts:
- DNA testing showed that Cabernet Franc is one of the parent varieties to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carménère.
- DNA analysis also helped to reveal the place of its origin. Most likely, Cabernet Franc came from Basque country in the western Pyrenees, where its bygone clones still exist under the name Acheria - the early Basque word meaning fox.
- Cabernet Franc forms an essential part of some of the world’s most famous Bordeaux blends, but not everyone knows that it is also capable of producing majestically beautiful single varietal wines.
- The legendary Château Cheval Blanc, which sets a lofty standard and crafts one of the world’s most cherished red wines, devoted two-thirds of their vineyards to Cabernet Franc.
- In the middle of the previous century, Cabernet Franc was as widely grown in Bordeaux as Cabernet Sauvignon. A few decades later the voguish Merlot took over, but experts say that the era of Cabernet Franc is nearly upon us.
- Noteworthy Cabernet Franc wines can be found around the world from Canada’s Niagara Peninsula to Hungary, Israel, Australia, and beyond, although, for supreme-quality wines you need a long, cool growing season.
- Such qualities like versatility and resilience make Cabernet Franc an ideal grape for biodynamic growing, and natural winemaking without the usage of pesticides, chemicals, and other harmful additives.
- Pure, sincere, natural… you get these adjectives when googling for a French translation of the word “franc”, and it is not surprising that it’s a part of the grape’s name. How else would you call a flawless, super healthy, early ripening auxiliary varietal that works as an insurance policy for Cabernet Sauvignon that doesn’t ripe successfully in the cool climate of Bordeaux?
Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?
And by the way - if you are wondering how to pronounce its name correctly, try saying “Ca-bear-nay Fro” and avoid pronouncing the n or c. “Fro” rhymes with “blanc”, not with “plonk”.
Picking A Bottle Of Cabernet Franc
Like with any other wine, the best way to learn about it is to try it. I would recommend starting with top-quality Cabernet Francs from the Loire Valley.
These wines stand alone for their bright acidity, crunchy tannins, and complex aromas, but you should take into consideration that the label on the bottle might not mention the grape’s name. It’s quite common for French wine to be labeled by region. You can take a look at the following examples from the Loire Valley of the Bordeaux region, France:
- Château de Targé, Saumur-Champigny, Loire, France
- Domaine de la Noblaie, Pierre de Tuf, Loire, France
- Domaine de la Butte, Mi-Pente, Bourgueil, Loire, France
- Lamé Delisle Boucard, Cuvée Prestige, Loire, France
- Château de Villeneuve, Le Grand Clos, Loire, France
Cabernet Franc Aromas & Taste Profile
Not as soft and smooth as fruity Merlot, and with less tannic structure than Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc wines at their best offer remarkable aromatic complexity, a lively freshness, and an unforgettable perfumed bouquet - everything you need for a sensational tasting experience.
The easiest way to describe its aromas is to present them as a shopping list for the farmer’s market:
- Raspberry, strawberry, blackberry
- Red plum
- Green and black peppercorn
- Green pepper
- Red pepper
- Herbs of Provence
For centuries, French winemakers observed their grapes trying to identify what affects them most and how to create the most favorable conditions for different varietals. That’s how the concept of terroir was born. This concept suggests that the interaction of climate, soil, bacteria living in the soil, altitude, and the geological history of the region create a complex environment where the grapes are grown.
The vineyards of Bordeaux constitute an outstanding example of how wine-growing expertise has allowed to carry out the best possible adaptation of grapes to distinctive terroirs characteristics. Soil type, water drainage, a nutrient profile that supports residing microbes and grapevines, elevation of land and steepness of the hills where vineyards are located, their exposure to the sun, and length of the growing season significantly affect the flavors and aromas of the grapes even within the single varietal.
Cabernet Franc requires a long, cool growing season to achieve its full potential.
If the climate is too warm and there is too much sun, the sugar develops too quickly resulting in a high octane wine (wine with a bit more alcohol) with lowered acidity, a thick texture, and a taste reminiscent of canned green beans.
If the climate is not warm enough, the wine becomes too funky with its forceful acidity and strong herbaceous flavors. But, in a few areas - like the Right Bank of Bordeaux with its limestone soils or some parts of the Loire Valley the terroirs provide the ideal conditions for this vacillate grape, allowing for the creation of magnificent wines with unprecedented flavor profiles. However, in the Loire, the wine characteristics strongly depend on the vintage, and in some years with cloud-covered summers the green notes of bell pepper can dominate over the other flavors.
The finest Loire Cabernet Franc wines are vibrant, elegant, and beautifully herbaceous, with balanced and delightful aromas of roasted red pepper, jalapeno, strawberries, raspberries, grilled herbs, and blackcurrant leaves emphasized by subtle notes of washed pebbles and pencil shavings. Also, you may experience delicious flavors of smoky tomato, sweet pepper, and sour cherry with a hint of black pepper and espresso on the finish, or a strong whiff of tobacco.
In comparison to the heavier Cabernet Sauvignon, refreshing and youthful Cabernet Franc is ready to be consumed soon after bottling. However, its small berries produce enough polyphenols, and wines made from the grapes that reached full ripeness are capable of aging beautifully over many years.
Perfectly-aged fool-bodied Loire Cabernet Franc wines exhibit lovely acidity, well-expressed tannins, low sugars along with a touch of smoky, earthy, leathery, and herbal notes and a long-lasting dried fruit finish.
But the highest recognition earned by Cabernet Franc comes from the blends produced at Château Cheval Blanc and Château Ausone, located in the Libournais (Right Bank) region of Bordeaux. Grown under the best possible conditions, Cabernet Franc grapes achieve ideal ripeness characterized by mouth-filling dark fruit flavors and expressive tannins. Blending it with Merlot in different proportions that vary from year to year allows creating astonishing Château Cheval Blanc and Le Petit Cheval - some of the best wines out there.
The 1990 vintage of Le Petit Cheval is known as a very unusual vintage composed of 98% Cabernet Franc and just 2% Merlot.
Rich and powerful on the palate, it delivers the flavors of ripe fruit, Morello cherry, and cocoa. Relatively tannic, with a beautiful long aftertaste, this wine is considered to be one of the greatest vintages of Le Petit Cheval over many years. It is still available on the market but it is vanishing fast, so don’t wait for too long if you want to try it.
A few wine producers from the Right Bank create Cabernet Franc as a single varietal wine, but those wines are rare and can improve for decades after bottling. Upon tasting, they show wonderful energy and freshness on the palate with a beautifully balanced delicate nature and long mineral-tinged finish enhanced by underlying hints of cedar, lavender, juniper, thyme, rosemary, and sage, along with flavors of Indian spices and damp soil.
Drinking & Storing Cabernet Franc
Aged Cabernet Franc should be served between 18-21°C (65-70°F), while younger Cab Franc wines – between 15°C and 18°C (60–65°F).
Serving it colder can hold in the distinguished floral aromas, and serving it warmer will affect the acidity and make the wine feel less dry and excessively fruity.
You should keep in your mind that the effects of poorly organized wine storage cannot be avoided since the speed of the average chemical reaction increases with temperature. If you keep your bottles on a kitchen wine rack at temperatures above 25°C (77°F), it will take less than a month for all aromas and flavors to get completely dull and lifeless. It should go without mentioning that if left in the trunk of your car on a warm sunny day, your wines will be completely ruined within an hour or so.
Therefore, if you are interested in aging top-quality wines at your home, including Cabernet Franc wines from the Loire Valley or from the Right Bank of Bordeaux, you will have to purchase a reliable wine cooler or build a cellar that is capable of maintaining the ideal storing conditions for both red and white wines.
The best temperature for storing red wine is somewhere between 11-14°C (52-58°F) but besides the temperature, you will have to provide proper humidity, ventilation, temperature stability, and other required amenities.
Collecting noble wines is one of the coolest hobbies I can think of - it allows you to enjoy one of life's great pleasures, enrich your ability to entertain at home, and shape your knowledge and reverence of wine.
Letting your young powerful vintages of Cabernet Franc up to seven or eight years old breathe after removing a cork will help soften the tannins. Just pour it gently into a suitable carafe and leave it aside for at least an hour. This process of aeration allows the layers of aromas to develop. Still, you should keep in mind that prolonged exposure to the air can negatively affect the aromas, so don’t leave your wine exposed to the air for longer than two or three hours.
As the Bordeaux experts suggest, the carafe for the young Cabernet Franc should be flared to give the wine a greater surface area to come in contact with the air, which encourages aeration and intensifies its aromatic expression.
On the other hand, seriously aged full-bodied wines do not need long aeration but may require decanting if there is any sediment accumulated at the bottom of the bottle. This sediment is natural, but it doesn’t look nice in a glass. Just transfer your wine into a crystal decanter when you are ready to drink the wine and serve it within a few minutes.
The most-fitting glass for Cabernet Franc is large and bell-shaped. When pouring the wine, don’t go above one-third of the way. Such glasses allow for holding the aromas of the wine better and deliver the bulk of the liquid, and therefore the acids and tannins to the sides and middle of the tongue, so you can taste the wine’s full depth and richness.
Best Food Pairings For Cabernet Franc
Due to its high acidity and moderate tannins, flavorsome and refreshing Cabernet Franc can be easily paired with a wide range of foods, especially with foods enhanced by herbs and spices.
If you are a devoted meat-eater, try combining your juicy, fork-tender Pork Loin with a glass of medium-bodied Cab Franc from the Loire Valley. Pork loin has enough fat to stand up to the bright acidity of your wine without diminishing its aromas. But if pork isn’t your thing, try out Greek Lamb Gyros cooked with fresh rosemary and garlic. This is a perfect complement to a bottle of Cabernet Franc.
Another option is a nice cheeseburger. A slice of cheddar will add tang and creaminess to the overall profile, while savory flavors of your wine (cherry, green pepper, roasted pepper, black currant, leather) will enhance the smokiness of grilled ground beef. I prefer to add an extra layer made of sautéed mushrooms because their earthy notes sing harmonically with the herbaceous aromas found in wine.
If you are fond of hearty old-fashioned Stews or Homemade Meatballs in tomato sauce, don’t forget to add a few slices of freshly prepared Garlic Bread for creating a pleasure-inducing comfort at its absolute best.
Lots of people just love spicy curries and if you are one of them, your next Chicken Tomato Curry paired with Cab Franc may become a fine example of a win-win combination. Just give it a try and see for yourself.
But meat devotees aren’t the only ones who can enjoy Cabernet Franc with their delicious dinners. If you are vegan or vegetarian, consider preparing various meals that revolve around grilling, roasting, and smoking because this wine calls for intensive flavors. I recommend Roasted Garlic Grilled Vegetables, Easy Grillable Veggie Burgers, and the delicious Vegan Bolognese. And if you fancy tofu, there is no limit to creating well-seasoned, rich in protein dishes that will benefit from Cab Franc’s acidity, bright aromatic profile, and silky tannins. Just don’t forget to add some fresh arugula, jalapeño, or red pepper flakes.
You may also prefer to sip your wine while consuming light snacks or cheeses instead of a substantial meal. Cheese and wine have always been about the process of flavor discovery. And I have already discovered that French Goat Cheese, Camembert, and Truffled Brie paired with Cabernet Franc create astonishing fusion through textural complexity and balance. The wine cuts the richness of the cheese with strong acidity and spice elements, while the cheese takes care of its prominent funk and earthy flavors.
Since we’re talking about cheeses, I’d like to mention two irresistible combinations that will definitely surprise you with their taste and flavors. Just pair your Cabernet Franc with Grilled Fontina, Mushroom, and Sage Sandwiches or with easy Quiche Lorraine. And the last pairing you can’t go wrong with is an upscale alliance of Bruschetta with its salty, tangy, and complex flavors of goat cheese, capers, mushrooms, and olives and aged, full-bodied Cabernet Franc.
Cabernet Franc: The Grandfather Of Wines
An old Medoc synonym for Cabernet Franc is Carmenet. This name was given to the Bordeaux family of wine-grape varieties by an ampelographer Louis Levadoux who proposed back in 1948 a detailed classification of French Proles Occidentalis (grape varieties that have their roots in Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, and Germany) into groups called eco-geogroups or sorto-types.
It is believed that Levadoux was aware of an undeniable historical significance of Cabernet Franc confirmed by modern science.
At the very end of the previous century, John Bowers and Carole Meredith - geneticists at a public research university known as U.C. Davis (California) published the results of a DNA analysis that helped to establish the role of Cabernet Franc in the origination of its famous progeny Cabernet Sauvignon.
Most likely, Cabernet Sauvignon was born due to an unpremeditated cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc that happened at some point in the Bordeaux region. More than that, Cabernet Franc turned out to be the father of Merlot and Carménère as well 👴🍷
According to Levadoux, the Carmenet eco-geo group includes Cabernet Franc, its main progenies Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Merlot, and its other descendants: Gros Cabernet, Merlot Blanc, and Hondarribi Beltza.
Today, the noble Cabernet family accounts for 20% of all grape varieties cultivated worldwide. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted variety out there, and Merlot is second, which speaks for itself considering the quality of wines of Cabernet Franc parentage.
Cabernet Franc itself is the seventeenth among the total number of existing 10,170+ varieties. And taking into account the growing interest of wine producers toward this wonderful grape and its growing popularity among wine aficionados, we can expect some drastic changes soon.
One of the first famous admirers of Cabernet Franc was the main antagonist of Alexandre Dumas's novel The Three Musketeers - insidious Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal of Richelieu. In real life, Richelieu lived from 1585 to 1642, and was known as a French clergyman and statesman or - simply - "the Red Eminence".
The cardinal’s family owned some land in wine-producing Fronsac (Bordeaux) and Armand Jean du Plessis himself cherished the wines from the Loire Valley. He made a dent in the universe not only as a prominent political figure of the XVII century but as an ardent wine lover. Here’s one of his veracious expressions:
"Whoever does not drink wine, misses a lot of pleasure, but whoever drinks the wine wrong, spoils the pleasure for himself and others”.
Richlieu chose his beloved Cabernet Franc to be planted on broad acres of the Abbaye de St. Nicolas de Bourgueil located on the right bank of the river Loire. The person responsible for extensive Cab Franc vineyards was an abbot known as Breton, and since then his name has been used in the region as a synonym of the variety name.
Among the other synonyms, I would like to mention the most important ones, including:
- Achéria, Ardounet, Arrouya
- Bordo, Bordeaux, Breton, Boubet, Bouchet Franc, Bouchet Saint-Émilion, Bouchy
- Cabernet Aunis, Cabernet Bresciano, Cabernet Francese, Cabernet Frank, Cabernet Franc Noir, Cabernet Franc Crni, Cabernet Gris, Cabrunet, Capbreton Rouge, Carmenet, Couahort, Crouchen Negre, Crouchen Noir
- Gros Bouchet, Gros Cabernet, Gros Vidure
- Messanges Rouge, Morenoa Veron Bouchy
- Noir Major
- Plant Breton, Plant de l'Abbé Breton
- Sable Rouge
- Trouchet, Trouchet Noir, Tsapournako
- Véron, Vidure, Vuidure; Verdejilla Tinto
Cabernet Franc In The Old World
The largest producer of Cabernet Franc is France that grows most of the world’s Cab Franc grapes. Within France, the grape and wine are identified with the Bordeaux region.
Because the flavors of Cabernet Franc are capable of creating a remarkable balance with its offsprings Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, its presence in Bordeaux blends often goes unnoticed from the outside but some wine producers market a full varietal Cabernet Franc and we already know how powerful and sophisticated it can be.
One of the most acknowledged winegrowers in Bordeaux to cultivate Cabernet Franc as its principal variétal is Château Cheval Blanc in Saint-Émilion. Also, I would like to mention three other chateaus - Angélus, Lafleur, and Le Dôme that prioritize Cabernet Franc over other varieties.
Starting with the 2004 vintage, Château Trotte Vieille began producing a limited amount of 100% Cabernet Franc from the vines that were planted in the 70-s of the XIX century.
Another Bordeaux estate that makes ultra-premium 100% Cabernet Franc is Paradise Rescued. This wine has distinguished aromas of red currants and cherries with some oaky notes, smooth tannins on the palate, and a lovely peppery zing on the finish.
There are a few more producers who are making pure Cabernet Franc wines like Château Civrac with their *Limited Edition* or Château La Dauphine with their ‘Prestige 100% Cabernet Franc cuvée’ aged in the clay amphora but the most unusual wine is probably multi-vintage Franc de Bel NV crafted by Château Le Bel.
Also, I recommend taking a look at Château Cheval Blanc wines if you are interested in the best Cabernet Franc-based blends, and now we can move toward the best ‘old world’ single-variety wines made in the Loire.
The most well known appellations for Cabernet Franc in the Loire Valley are Chinon and Bourgueil.
Today, Bourgueil vineyards cover 1,250 hectares of grape plantings on sandy, gravel, and sandstone soils. Over 90% of those plantings are Cabernet Franc grapes and the rest - Cabernet Sauvignon. Bourgueil Cabernet Francs are extremely aromatic with intense notes of cherry, strawberry, and violet that dominate in wines made from the grapes grown on the gravel soil while wines from the clay soils offer strong raspberry, blackberry, and spice flavors. You may try eight years old Loire, Bourgueil, La Chevalerie, La Chevalerie Bourgueil Grand Mont 2012 or 25 years old Catherine & Pierre Breton, Bourgueil, Loire Valley, Les Perrieres 1995.
Chinon microclimate and soils (gravel, limestone, and clay) allow the creation of extraordinarily complex and elegant wines with high acidity levels and moderately low tannins. Earlier vintages are hard to find, but you can invest in recent vintages and let them age for a few years.
Wines to consider:
- Chais Saint-Laurent Chinon Cabernet Franc
- Domaine Philippe Alliet Chinon
- Les Terrasses Chinon Cabernet Franc
- Paul Buisse - Chinon Cabernet Franc
Well-known for Montepulciano, and Sangiovese, Italy has proved itself as a country capable of producing a wide range of wines including Cabernet Franc which grapes flourish in the regions of Tuscany (particularly in Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast), Friuli-Venezia, Veneto, and Puglia.
Most wine producers grow Cabernet Franc together with other Bordeaux varieties for creating Bordeaux style blends, but there are some ambitious trend-setting winemakers who have managed to produce 100% rewardingly elegant Cabernet Franc wines that demonstrate rich, complex flavors.
A typical example of a Tuscan Cabernet Franc will show ripe aromas of sweet cherry, blackberry, cocoa, plum, coffee, cinnamon, and red pepper, complemented by flavors of dry pebbles and leather. Aged in French oak, this wine will be rich and creamy on the palate, yet acidic and with moderately high tannins.
In order to get familiar with Italian style, you can try earthy, full-bodied, and spicy Cabernet Franc, Casadei Filare, IT, 2015 that offers flavors of black fruits, leather, pepper, cinnamon, chocolate, licorice, and cedar.
Cabernet Franc In The New World
Instead of covering each country separately, we might simply cover all the countries together in one chapter.
USA & Canada
You will not be mistaken if you suggest that Cabernet Franc vineyards can be found mainly in California. For many years this grape has been grown in Napa and Sonoma just because Californian wine producers have been trying to copy the Bordeaux blending recipe.
Nevertheless, we can see some interesting 100% Cabernet Franc wines that offer lovely aromas of green pepper, black olives, cherries, raspberries, currants, violets, and herbs.
Wine to consider: La Jota Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain.
In addition to California, Cabernet Franc does remarkably well in Washington State, on Long Island in New York, as well as in Virginia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and the Finger Lakes. Also, some really small amounts were planted in Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio.
Washington State wines lack strawberry and raspberry aromas, as well as classy pepper flavors, but blackberry, plum, coffee, and cacao notes are still there and the best examples offer green herbs notes, spice, violet, and licorice.
Wine to consider: Spring Valley Cabernet Franc Katherine Corkrum, United States, Washington State, Walla Walla.
Oregon State is home to outstanding Pinot Noir wines, but if you are looking for “new World” Cabernet Franc that can show some classic acidity, silky tannins, prominent herbal notes, and Loire expression of woody characters like sweet tobacco, cedar, smoke, and pencil shavings, you can give a try to exclusive 2014 "Grand Reserve" Cabernet Franc.
If you live in New York, you can find North Fork or Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc wines locally and if you don’t - you will have to hunt them down online. Funky enough, savory, and zesty, these highly aromatic Cab Francs will enhance you forever. I have found for you a recent vintage from Château Niagara Winery, Western New York, and the 2015 Paumanok - Cabernet Franc North Fork of Long Island that perfectly reflects the cool climate of the region.
Due to its climate conditions, the growing season in Canada is relatively short which makes Cabernet Franc the perfect variety for the region. Its grapes achieve ripeness early enough allowing Canadian winemakers to produce alluring single-varietal wines with aromas of cherry, blackberry, raspberry, currant, tobacco, olives, earth, and spice. You can try 2015 Painted Rock Cabernet Franc, VQA Okanagan Valley where it still plays a minor role compared to other varieties, but in Ontario Cabernet Franc is on the rise. Resourceful winemakers from Inniskillin (Niagara Estate Winery) have already managed to create pink super-acid Cabernet Franc Icewine that smells and tastes like strawberry. I haven’t enjoyed it yet but it is definitely on my list.
In Argentina, Cabernet Franc is planted from north to south on more than 1200 hectares of elevated land which creates for the grape very good growing conditions. The wine is becoming quite popular and winemakers consider to expand Cabernet Franc vineyards.
Bottled as a single-varietal wine, it shows complex aromas of plum, cherry, blackberry, and cassis that lead to violets, tobacco, earth, leather, balsamic, coffee, exotic spice, black pepper, and eucalyptus flavors and long-lasting mineral finish.
Some vintages offer dark notes of chocolate, high acidity, and elevated tannins, while others may show reduced tannins, medium acidity, and delicate flavors of white pepper, charcoal, and earthy mushrooms.
These wines can be consumed relatively young, so I would recommend Kaiken Obertura Lujan de Cuyo Cabernet Franc 2015 and 2015 Andeluna, Pasionado Cabernet Franc.
Chile with its unique climate and geographic conditions has already become home to another Bordeaux variety - Carménère that was destroyed in France by deadly phylloxera pest. Chilean winemakers, driven by the terroir concept, are experimenting a lot within wine-producing territories trying to identify the best possible locations for their vineyards.
Today, Cabernet Franc grapes are planted in Colchagua Valley - the heart of Chilean viniculture, Maule Valley, Cachapoal, and Casablanca Valley making up to more than 1,500 hectares of vineyards total. Mostly, the variety is used for blending but single-varietal Cabernet Franc wines have already become fashionable among local aficionados.
Elegant and vibrant Colchagua Valley wines are acidic, bold, and juicy, with chocolate, red fruits, black cherry, and green peppercorn flavors. Tannins are noticeably high and the palate is rich with a touch of vanilla from oak aging.
I recommend trying Maquis Cabernet Franc 2017 - a fresh, energetic Cabernet Franc that exhibits some spiciness, which gently balances the black-fruit background. The acidity is good and the finish is long, with decreased tannins and delicious chocolate notes.
What type of wine is Cabernet Franc?
As a varietal wine (made from a single grape), Cabernet Franc is dry and medium-bodied with a remarkable, almost perfumed bouquet. It shows bright acidity, soft well-integrated tannins, delightful minerality, and appealing vegetal characteristics.
Great examples of Cabernet Francs may express red and black fruit aromas, the delicious fragrance of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries; very assertive herbaceous notes including dried oregano, thyme, eucalyptus, and black pepper; distinguished vegetal notes of green or red pepper and jalapeno, and earthy flavors of black olives and damp soil alongside with notes of cut tobacco leaf, cedar, coffee, leather, chalky dry gravel, and pencil shavings.
What is the difference between Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc?
Cabernet Sauvignon is a direct descent from Cabernet Franc, and wine made from underripe Cabernet Sauvignon can smell exactly like fully ripe Cabernet Franc what makes Cab Franc extremely useful in Bordeaux’s cooler years when Cabernet Sauvignon may not achieve full ripeness at all.
Overall, Cabernet Sauvignon made from fully ripened grapes has a darker color due to a thicker grape skin; it is higher in tannins and acidity, heavier and richer on the palate, and less perfumed and herbaceous than its sublime begetter.
Is Cabernet Franc sweet or dry?
Cabernet Franc wine made from Cabernet Franc grapes is a red dry medium-bodied wine with an easy-drinking structure due to high acidity and reduced tannins, and captivating combination of fruity, vegetal, herbaceous, and earthy flavors.
What food goes with Cabernet Franc?
Due to its high acidity and reduced tannins, flavorsome and refreshing Cabernet Franc can be successfully paired with a wide range of foods, especially with foods enhanced by herbs and spices. You can’t go wrong with the following pairings:
- Meatloaf, hamburgers, and cheeseburgers;
- Ham and sausages;
- Lamb kebabs;
- Grilled chicken;
- Roast duck;
- Lasagna or pasta bolognese;
- Pizza and calzone;
- Spiced curries;
- All kinds of cheeses including blue cheese, cheddar, goat cheese, Coeur de Chevre, gorgonzola, parmesan, aged Swiss cheese, and Mothais sur Feuille;