Cabernet Franc

/Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc


Grape Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Color: Dark red with blue hints when young.
Aroma: Bramble fruit, cassis. Often mint or even green pepper.
Body: Heavy
Wine Making Flavors: Heavy use of oak, but incorporates well into the wine.
Blended with: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Syrah (Australia).

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Product Description

Cabernet Franc Wine Grapes, Flavor Character History

Cabernet Franc is a black-skinned French wine grape variety grown in most wine producing nations. The variety is most famously known as the third grape of Bordeaux and can be found in many of the world’s top Bordeaux Blend wines. Cabernet Franc most commonly appears in blended red wines, where it adds herbaceous accents of tobacco and dark spice.

As a varietal wine, Cabernet Franc is light to medium bodied and often shows vegetal characteristics, in particular green bell peppers. This has led many wine drinkers to incorrectly identify Cabernet Franc as unripe Cabernet Sauvignon, or even Carmenere. This has been highlighted in Friuli, Italy, where plantings that were thought to be Cabernet Franc were later classified as Carmenere.

Cabernet Franc Grapes
Cabernet Franc is commonly compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, which is not without justification; the Cabernet Sauvignon variety is the result of a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. (Recent DNA profiling has also shown that Cabernet Franc is also one of Merlot’s parents). But in the vineyard, Cabernet Franc ripens at least a week earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon. While it has thinner skin and lower acidity, it is also known for its hardiness and often grown as an “insurance” grape.

Cabernet Franc’s home is widely accepted as Libournais in Bordeaux. Within this sub-region are the prestigious villages of Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, which is where some of the most highly regarded Cabernet Franc wines originate, such as Cheval Blanc (typically around two-thirds Cabernet Franc) and Ausone (which is an even split of Cabernet Franc and Merlot).