Updated: Aug 23, 2021
People often ask me, “What is your favorite wine?” The question strikes me like “what is your favorite bodily organ?” I like each of them for the functions that they serve. I do have several that consistently rank near the top, one is Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc is a grape from the Loire Valley in France. The wines produced from Cabernet Franc are lovely, lighter bodied, and fruity, in comparison to Cabernet Sauvignon. I first fell in love with Cabernet Franc produced in Bourgeuil and Chinon, in the Loire Valley of France, and if you have not tried Cabernet Franc, I urge you to begin with these. I believe that these wines show all the finesse that the grape has to offer without hiding any of the subtle characteristics under heavy manipulation. They showcase the lighter style, strawberry fruit, good acidity, and moderate tannin that allows these soft spoken wines to shine. I have domestic favorites as well.
The fact is, you likely have had Cabernet Franc before, but it may have been a small component in the ratio of a blend. It is one of the grapes used in Bordeaux blends, it is used in domestic Meritage, and proprietary blends, it is freckled throughout California and Washington for single varietal wines, blends, and really pretty rosé wines. Cabernet Franc is half of the genetic cross, with Sauvignon Blanc, that created Cabernet Sauvignon, it historically has showcased well in moderate, cooler climates where it retains crisp acidity, and even a not unpleasant underripe characteristic. In the last couple of decades, I have seen the grape produced in warmer climates with great success. In warmer climates it shows more fruit, more body, and can sustain more manipulation.
I generally seek out ways to insert a Cabernet Franc into our events, because it is a grape varietal that does not get the exposure of many of its more market saturated grape buddies. I often show rosé versions. I find that when I suggest a wine for a friend to bring to an event, Cabernet Franc opens the door for them to expose their friends to a wine that is unique, and usually makes an impact on a group of wine lovers. I would be happy to create a custom event around Cabernet Franc if you would like to try some.