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Cabernet Franc (cab-uhr-NAY frahnk)
Right Place, Right time
You won't often find this grape bottled as a single variety as it can lean towards
earthy, vegetal tendencies (think green pepper & olives). Its typical place
is in a blend with Cabernet
or both. Cabernet Franc's home is the right bank of
It is an integral part in the blends of
adding structure and backbone to the softer Merlot. Yet some feel its potential
has been overlooked. If Cabernet Franc has the right soils and it's harvested
at the right time- it can produce a delicious wine all by itself.
Luckily, certain areas are creating wines that let this grape shine on it's
own. Cheval Blanc, one of the top Bordeaux wines in St-Émilion, consists
of 60% or more of the Cabernet Franc variety. Loire Valley red wines made with
Cabernet Franc often come from Chinon and Bourguil - they are deliciously balanced
and subtle examples of Cabernet Franc at its best, showing smooth tannins and
good fruit with herbaceous undertones. Long Island and Virginia have also had some success
with this grape.
Summing it up
Successful sites: Bordeaux, California (mostly for blends), Loire Valley,
Long Island, Virginia
bell pepper, violet, raspberry, cherry, cedar