Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Francis a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon.

A cross of it with Sauvignon Blanc resulted in Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc tends to be softer and has less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, although the two can be difficult to distinguish. Many of the red wines of the Loire are primarily Cabernet Franc.

Origins       

  • Bordeaux region.
  • Parent (with Sauvignon Blanc) of Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Was known as Bouchet in Bordeaux, or Breton in the Loire
  • Introduced to Loire by 18thC

Characteristics   

  • Ripens early, so useful in cooler climates    
  • In comparison to Cabernet Sauvignon: more perfumed; less structured; can be more herbaceous/stalky - not that pleasant!; aromas of pencil shavings/lead pencil, also violets         

Vinification / Maturation         

  • Vinification can vary. In the Loire can be made as charming, unoaked, fruity wine to be drunk the summer after the vintage; or more serious wine for ageing on the Bordeaux model.

Homelands

…within France      

  • The Libournais = right bank in Bordeaux: St. Emilion and Pomerol. Ripens well in slightly cooler zone. Blend ingredient: 15-25% left bank; 25-35% right bank. Summit: Cheval Blanc in St. Emilion (2/3 CF, 1/3 M)
  • The Loire: Anjou-Saumur along the Loire and Vienne rivers - AOCs of Chinon, Bourgeuil, and St. Nicolas de Bourgeuil

Also to be found in…

  • S.W. France
  • Odd pockets in California, South Africa, New Zealand - rarely made as 100% varietal

 

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