Happy Cabernet Franc Day may not roll off your lips like many other holiday greetings but it is worth noting and celebrating. Many questions arise with Cabernet Franc Day. Let’s address the key topics.
1. What is Cabernet Franc? The grape originated in Bordeaux, France in the 1700’s for its first recording. Yet many wine scholars believe it is the parent to Cabernet Sauvignon. It has been known for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot to add in the production of Bordeaux’s. Cabernet Franc is a bit lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon.
2. What does it taste like? The styles and areas effect the bouquet, but generally speaking you can be assured that it will possess aromas of tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper and even violets. It also contributes to a peppery fragrance in many wines.
3. Is it a blending varietal or stand alone? Many wineries add a small percentage 1-5% to spice up their Cabernet Sauvignon. A limited number of wine aficionados collect and seek out this varietal for their cellar. If you are looking for a thick, chocolate, earthy varietal – this is the one! I am one of those who believe that nothing is more elegant than a 100% Cabernet Franc.
4. What are some of the best Cabernet Franc’s to purchase? Here are some of the key producers which I either have in the cellar or have tasted and can attest to their worthiness. I listed by AVA or sub-AVA to make it easier to figure out their location:
Napa Valley: Crocker & Starr; Trespass; Barnett, Keenan, YoungInglewood, Detert Family Vineyards, Ehlers Estate, Oakville East Exposure, Ovid, Titus, Viader, Vineyard 29, William Harrison, Kenefick Ranch
Sonoma Valley: Ledson Winery, Lang and Reed, Hook & Ladder, Pride Mountain, Gundlach Bundschu Winery, deLorimier Winery, Acorn Winery
Livermore Valley: Enoteca Five, Wood Family Vineyards, Steven Kent Winery, Wente, 3 Steve’s, Murrieta’s Well
Lodi AVA: Ink Blot by Michael David Winery
Central Coast: San Marcos Creek Vineyard
Calaveras County, Amador County, El Dorado County: No recommendations at this time.
Pick up a bottle and share with your friends — Happy Cabernet Franc Day!
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Per FTC disclosure: All wines were purchased at full retail or Club Membership pricing. The following wines were sold at industry discount: Wood Family, Inkblot, San Marcos Creek