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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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  • Mira Winery Cabernet Franc 2013
    Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
    • WE94
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Maxville Cabernet Franc 2014
    Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
    • WW90
    • WE90
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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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  • Tamarack Cellars Cabernet Franc 2014
    Cabernet Franc from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE91
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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  • Lang & Reed Two-Fourteen Cabernet Franc 2013
    Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
    • WE91
    • CG91
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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  • El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2011
    Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
    • RP92
    • WE91
    • WS91
    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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  • Durigutti Cabernet Franc Clasico 2014
    Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
    • WE90
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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  • Domaine Chancelle Saumur-Champigny 2014
    Cabernet Franc from Saumur, Loire, France
    • WE89
    Currently Unavailable $20.99
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  • El Enemigo Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard 2011
    Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
    • RP98
    • V93
    • WE93
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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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  • La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Franc 2009
    Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
    • WE94
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • El Enemigo Gran Enemigo Agrelo Single Vineyard 2010
    Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
    • RP95
    • WE91
    • WS91
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  • Cornerstone Cellars Black Label Cabernet Franc 2012
    Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
    • WE90
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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