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Cabernet Franc

The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets...

The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets, Cabernet Franc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon and shares many of the structural elements of Bordeaux’s cornerstone variety. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc is often planted as an insurance policy against its later-ripening offspring, as it is more likely to thrive in a difficult harvest. But don’t mistake Cabernet Franc for merely a supporting player—this grape variety produces outstanding wines on its own or as the dominant component of a blend. It produces perhaps its most alluring wines in France’s Loire Valley, in the regions of Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur-Champigny, where brighter, riper wines can be achieved. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc has performed quite well in parts of California, New York, and Virginia.

In the Glass

Paler, lighter, crisper, softer, and much more aromatic than its progeny, Cabernet Franc typically tastes of red raspberries, cherries, and herbs, with a stunning perfume of violets, tobacco, and spice.

Perfect Pairings

Mouthwatering acidity makes Cabernet Franc an incredibly food-friendly wine, helping to cut through the richness of fatty meat dishes. It especially shines in tandem with lamb, and its affinity for the spice cabinet allows it to pair perfectly with Chinese dishes prepared with Szechuan pepper and five-spice.

Sommelier Secrets

Under-ripe Cabernet Franc can be leafy and green with harsh tannins and mouth-searing acidity, so it is best to avoid highly spiced curries and fiery chili dishes.

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  • Le Macchiole Paleo 2013
    Cabernet Franc from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Mira Winery Cabernet Franc 2013
    Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
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  • Chappellet Cabernet Franc 2015
    Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
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    • El Enemigo Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard 2011
      Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
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    • Michael David Winery Inkblot Cabernet Franc 2014
      Cabernet Franc from Lodi, California
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      • Lang & Reed Two-Fourteen Cabernet Franc 2014
        Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
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      • Ironstone Cabernet Franc 2015
        Cabernet Franc from Lodi, California
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        • Trefethen Estate Cabernet Franc 2015
          Cabernet Franc from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
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          • Conn Creek Cabernet Franc 2014
            Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
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            • Domaine de Pallus Chinon Les Pensees de Pallus 2014
              Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
              • WS92
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            • El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2011
              Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
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            • Keenan Cabernet Franc 2014
              Cabernet Franc from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
              • RP91
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            • Maquis Cabernet Franc 2014
              Cabernet Franc from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
              • RP90
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            • Savage Grace Wines Copeland Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2015
              Cabernet Franc from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
              • WE91
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            • Domaine de Pallus Chinon Les Pensees de Pallus 2013
              Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
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            • Cosentino The Franc 2016
              Cabernet Franc from Lodi, California
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              • Maxville Cabernet Franc 2014
                Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
                • WW90
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              • Raats Cabernet Franc 2014
                Cabernet Franc from South Africa
                • RP93
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              • Domaine Chancelle Saumur-Champigny 2015
                Cabernet Franc from Saumur, Loire, France
                • W&S91
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              • Memaloose Wines Idiot's Grace Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2013
                Cabernet Franc from Columbia Gorge, Washington
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                • Tenuta Luisa Cabernet Franc 2015
                  Cabernet Franc from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
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                  • Pulenta Gran Cabernet Franc XI 2013
                    Cabernet Franc from Argentina
                    • JS95
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                  • Durigutti Cabernet Franc Clasico 2014
                    Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
                    • WE90
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                  • Hauts De Sanziers Saumur Red 2015
                    Cabernet Franc from Saumur, Loire, France
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                    • Vinum Cellars The Scrapper Cabernet Franc 2013
                      Cabernet Franc from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
                      • WW90
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