Oeno Wine Education Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc (“Cab-err-nay fronk”) is medium-bodied red wine whose origins likely lie in the Basque country of Spain before moving north to France
The wine is loved for its savory, bell pepper-like flavors, medium-high acidity and mouthwatering taste. It is anideal food pairing wine.Cabernet Franc has proven to be very robust and produce good quality wines in a variety ofclimates. This is a clue to its diversity of tastes. Wines reveal more tart fruit flavors and heightened acidity from coolerclimates such as in the Loire Valley of France and Ontario, Canada, however in warmer areas such as the Bolgheri region in Tuscany and the Sierra Foothills of California, you’ll find Cabernet Franc delivers more sweet strawberryand dried fruit flavors.
Still, if you’re looking for a place that’s well known for the “best” Cab Franc, you should look at the Right Bank of Bordeaux. It’s here that Cabernet Franc is blended with Merlot to produce some of the most well-known (and highly collectible) wines in the world. The most famous (and highly valued) wines include producers from Pomerol and Saint-Émilion including Château Pétrus, Château Ausone, and Château Angélus.
France is the largest producer of Cabernet Franc. The famous “Right Bank” Bordeaux blend features CabernetFranc and Merlot. There is also a French wine region that specializes in Cabernet Franc as a single-varietal wine: TheLoire Valley. The most well known appellations for Cabernet Franc in the Loire Valley are Chinon and Bourgueil. A great example of Chinon will smell of roasted red pepper, raspberry sauce, jalapeño, sweet raspberry compote and wetgravel. On the palate you’ll taste moderately high acidity and moderately low tannin with flavors of sour cherry,smoky tomato, dried oregano and sweet pepper. The taste will burst through your palate and drop out quickly with asubtle tingle from the acidity.
Italy is the second largest producer of Cabernet Franc. Much of it is made in Friuli-Venezia Giulia but perhaps the mostwell-known Italian Cabernet Franc wines come from Tuscany. Since Cabernet Franc is not indigenous to Italy and declassified out of the Italian DOCG system these wines are lovingly referred to as “Super Tuscans.”
Cabernet Franc and Food
Medium-bodied wines like Cabernet Franc can pair with a wide variety of foods due to their natural high acidityand slightly reduced tannin (the astringent quality in red wine). Higher acidity makes it possible to pair with tomato-based dishes, vinegar-based sauces (smoky BBQ anyone?) or rich veggies like black beluga lentils. If you learn onlyone tip about pairing Cabernet Franc, it is to match it with real herbs in your dish.