We could call Cabernet Franc, the “father” of Cabernet Sauvignon. The “Cab Sauv” is indeed the result of a crossing between Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Let’s sample some interesting examples of this Daddy “Cab Franc” through different terroirs.
This grape variety has earthy, strawberry and violet aromas and a fresh (sometimes vegetal) mouthfeel. Planted on more than 45,000 hectares worldwide, it produces excellent results in the Loire with the Saumur, Chinon and Saumur-Champigny appellations. It is the essential companion to Merlot in the making of the finest St-Émilions, including the famous Cheval Blanc.
Domaine Fabrice Gasnier, Les Graves, Chinon, France 2020
The 20 to 40 years old vines have been cultivated in a stony but also granite terroir, between the river and the hillsides of the Loire appellation called Chinon. There is no barrel ageing for a wine that expresses the fruity qualities of Cabernet Franc. Notes of graphite for the minerality, wild strawberry, cherry, raspberry and blackcurrant with a hint of leather. Quaffable wine full of delicacies on the palate. (21,99$)
Saget La Perrière, Marie de Beauregard, Chinon, 2019, France
This Loire Valley wine is the result of the best parcels of Cabernet Franc from several winemakers long associated with the estate. This Chinon, which honours its favourite grape variety with fruity accents enhanced by vegetal and mineral notes wil makle you think that you should have bought a couple of more bottles. High level of pleasure and drinkability. (22,99$)
Sur de los Andes, Cabernet Franc, Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
On a more ripe version of Cabernet Franc this Reserva packs jammy black plum and blackberry aromas with some spicy of oak, and a lightly herbacious notes. Aged in French oak it is a rather richer red that defnitely need food. Excellent value. (13,99$)
Steele, Cabernet Franc, Lake COunty, California, USA, 2018
Grown in gravelly bench, this Cab Franc offers aromas of ripe raspberry, cassis, and white pepper. The texture is quite dense and smooth on the palate with black cherry and cranberry notes. Tannins are chewy giving this wine a nice medium plus body structure. How about a nice piece of roasted meat ? You bet ! (19,99$) Cheers !
Journalist and wine writer, Frederic Arnould is a WSET Diploma graduate. Since then he travelled extensively throughout the planet to better know wine. He is also a wine judge at the prestifious Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.