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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 2012
    Cabernet Franc from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS97
    • RP94
    • V94
    • W&S93
    • WS93
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  • Keenan Cabernet Franc 2013
    Cabernet Franc from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • V93
    • WW92
    Currently Unavailable $67.99
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  • Trefethen Estate Cabernet Franc 2014
    Cabernet Franc from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
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    • Jeff Runquist R Cabernet Franc 2015
      Cabernet Franc from Clarksburg, Yolo County, California
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      • Lang & Reed Cabernet Franc 2013
        Cabernet Franc from North Coast, California
        • WW93
        • WS91
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      • Chateau du Coudray-Montpensier Le Grand Bouqueteau Chinon 2014
        Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
        • WE92
        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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      • Cosentino The Franc Cabernet Franc 2015
        Cabernet Franc from Lodi, California
        • WW89
        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      • Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain Cabernet Franc 2013
        Cabernet Franc from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
        • RP91
        Currently Unavailable $69.99
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      • Lieu Dit Cabernet Franc 2015
        Cabernet Franc from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
        • V93
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      • Domaine Grosbois Chinon Clos du Noyer 2012
        Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
        • W&S94
        Currently Unavailable $51.99
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      • Jean-Maurice Raffault Les Galuches Chinon 2015
        Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
        • WS92
        Currently Unavailable $16.99
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        18
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      • Catena Appellation San Carlos Cabernet Franc 2014
        Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
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        • Pulenta Gran Cabernet Franc XI 2013
          Cabernet Franc from Argentina
          • JS95
          • V91
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        • El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2011
          Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
          • RP92
          • WE91
          • WS91
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        • Domaine de Pallus Messanges Rouge Chinon 2015
          Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
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          • Argento Cabernet Franc Reserva 2014
            Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
            • JS91
            • WW90
            Currently Unavailable $16.99
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          • Raats Cabernet Franc 2013
            Cabernet Franc from South Africa
            • RP93
            • JS93
            • WS90
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          • Barboursville Cabernet Franc Reserve 2014
            Cabernet Franc from Virginia
            • WS90
            • JS90
            Currently Unavailable $25.99
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          • Domaine Laroque Cite de Carcassonne Cabernet Franc 2015
            Cabernet Franc from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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            • Savage Grace Wines Copeland Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2015
              Cabernet Franc from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
              • WE91
              Currently Unavailable $26.99
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            • Michael David Winery Inkblot Cabernet Franc 2014
              Cabernet Franc from Lodi, California
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              • Marc Bredif Chinon 2015
                Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
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                • Domaine de Pallus Chinon Les Pensees de Pallus 2013
                  Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
                  • RP91
                  Currently Unavailable $21.99
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                • Catherine & Pierre Breton Trinch! 2015
                  Cabernet Franc from Bourgueil, Touraine, Loire, France
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                  • Ransom Rogue Valley Cabernet Franc 2013
                    Cabernet Franc from Rogue Valley, Oregon
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