Cabernet Franc grape variety Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Cabernet Franc grape variety
Wine glossary

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Country: France

Cabernet Franc is an important red grape in some areas of France. It is also a very influential grape, being one of the parents of the famous Cabernet Sauvignon grape that has become an iconic grape for red wine production in most wine producing countries including France, Italy, Australia and the United States.
DNA testing of Cabernet Franc was conducted in 1997 and this proved that Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc were the genetic parents of Cabernet Sauvignon.
The two main areas where Cabernet Franc flourishes is the Bordeaux area in south west France and along the Loire Valley from around the city of Tours through to the Atlantic Coast where it is found in the Fiefs Vendéens appellation that hugs the ocean below the city of Nantes.
Cabernet Franc is regarded in Bordeaux as a minor adjunct to the more tannic and aggressive Cabernet Sauvignon. However some domains give it more prominence and up to 60% of the iconic reds from Domaine Cheval Blanc can be Cabernet Franc.
In the Loire region, however, it tends to be preferred over Cabernet Sauvignon especially in appellations such as St Nicolas de Bourgueil (where it was introduced by Cardinal Richelieu in the 17th century), Bourgueil and Touraine.
Here they are passionate about the alluring perfumes that waft up from wines made from this grape. They also love the softness of the tannins that are a relief from the tight aggressiveness of those from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The wines provide an initial hint of ripe raspberries crossed with the taste of a sucking on a river pebble plucked fresh from a mountain stream.
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