Category Archives: Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc
(cab-uhr-NAY frahnk)

You won’t often find this grape bottled as a single variety as it can lean towards earthy, vegetal tendencies (think green pepper & olives). Its typical place is in a blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or both. Cabernet Franc’s home is the right bank of Bordeaux. It is an integral part in the blends of St-Émilion and Pomerol, adding structure and backbone to the softer Merlot. Yet some feel its potential has been overlooked. If Cabernet Franc has the right soils and it’s harvested at the right time- it can produce a delicious wine all by itself.

Notable Facts
Luckily, certain areas are creating wines that let this grape shine on it’s own. Cheval Blanc, one of the top Bordeaux wines in St-Émilion, consists of 60% or more of the Cabernet Franc variety. Loire Valley red wines made with Cabernet Franc often come from Chinon and Bourguil – they are deliciously balanced and subtle examples of Cabernet Franc at its best, showing smooth tannins and good fruit with herbaceous undertones. Long Island and Virginia have also had some success with this grape.

Successful Wine Regions:
Bordeaux, California (mostly for blends), Loire Valley, Long Island, Virginia

Common descriptors:
bell pepper, violet, raspberry, cherry, cedar

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Bringing back an old friend: The Wines of Chile have reached a new level

16_02_01 1500 Master Class Chile@Wine.com_3180_BlogWay back in the dark ages of wine retailing (circa: 1970s), fine wine shops had Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne. Chile was nowhere to be found and even California was an afterthought. As the years went by and California gained prominence with the Judgement of Paris, Chile got into the marketplace with its cheap Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlots. Often found in sale bins, these became the drinking wines of budget conscious wine imbibers. I drank so much of these bargain basement wines that I ended up throwing the whole class into the “good value” category. As an active retailer in San Francisco in those days, the wines of Chile gave me something “to stack high and let them fly.”

This is no longer the case. Continue reading Bringing back an old friend: The Wines of Chile have reached a new level