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The Cabernet Franc Grape


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About Cabernet Franc

(Synonyms: Achéria, Ardounet, Bidure, Bordeaux, Bordo, Boubet, Bouchet Franc, Bouchy, Breton, Cabernet Gris, Cabernet, Cabrunet, Capbreton Rouge, Carmenet, Couahort, Gros Bouchet, Grosse Vidure, Plant Breton, Plant de l’Abbé Breton, Sable Rouge, Trouchet, Tsapournako, Verdejilla Tinto, Véron, Vidure, Vuidure)

Background

Map showing Bordeaux

Cabernet Franc is a red-wine grape originating in Bordeaux, but now very widely grown (worldwide, it is one of the twenty most-planted wine grapes). It is generally considered one of the dozen and a half or so of world-class red-wine grapes (those in boldface in the varietals list to the left of the page).

Cabernet Franc is one of the traditional grapes used in the red-wine blends that characterize Bordeaux (blends known to the British as "claret"). Americans are used to wines that are bottled and marketed by varietal name (which now requires that the wine must be at least 75% of the named type); but in most of Europe, the tradition has been to produce named blends, with laws specifying—usually quite tightly—what percentages of what grapes may be used. The principal Bordeaux grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, though there are others. Cabernet Franc wines are considered softer and less assertive than Cabernet Sauvignon, and act to moderate Bordeaux blends.

Map showing the Loire valley

As a monovarietal, however, Cabernet Franc dominates along the Loire river, in the Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur-Champigny regions; but it is now also common from American wineries, from California to Virginia.

Terms most frequently heard in connection with Cabernet Franc wines are "spicy" and "vegetal". The oft-remarked vegetative quality profoundly attracts some and profoundly repels others. Some vintners, especially in the New World, work at avoiding that quality in their wines, but not a few wine drinkers seek out French renditions to obtain it. Chacun à son goût.

Factoid: Cabernet Franc is one of the parent grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon (the other being Sauvignon Blanc).

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Some Descriptions of Cabernet Franc Wines

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Some Cabernet Francs to Try

(About this list.)

Though the Loire V alley of France is Cab Franc’s native home, nowadays most of the decent yet reasonably priced Cab Francs come from the New World, especially South Anerica.


Vina Maquis Cabernet Franc

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.



Marcelo Pelleriti “Signature” Cabernet Franc

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.



Brady Vineyard Cabernet Franc

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.



Catena Zapata “Catena Appellation San Carlos” Cabernet Franc

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.



Familia Zuccardi “Serie Q” Cabernet Franc

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.

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For a Splurge

Our nomination is split between two wines from the same maker: Thierry Germain’s Domaine des Roches Neuves, in the Saumur-Champigny appellation of the central Loire Valley.

Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny “Clos de l’Echelier” (circa $56 - $75):

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.

Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny “Les Mémoires” (circa $55 - $96):

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.

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This page was last modified on Saturday, 30 October 2021, at 11:26 pm Pacific Time.