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Cabernet Franc

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 Sauvignon, Merlot or both. Cabernet Franc's home is the right bank of Bordeaux. It is an integral part in the blends of St-Émilion and Pomerol, 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.

Notable Facts
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

Common descriptors:
bell pepper, violet, raspberry, cherry, cedar

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