Fabre Montmayou Reserva Cabernet Franc 2016
Hervé Joyaux Fabre, owner and director of Fabre Montmayou, was born in Bordeaux, France to a family of wine negociants. When he arrived in Argentina in the early 90’s looking for opportunities to invest in vineyards and start a winery, he was impressed by the potential for Malbec in Mendoza, and shocked by the number of neglected top notch old vine vineyards available for purchase. At this time pulling out old vines and replanting with new higher yielding more predictable clones was all the rage. Hervé Fabre knew he needed to act immediately. Within months he purchased the first of what would be many old vine, high elevation vineyard sites under his control - An impeccable 37 acre spread in Vistalba planted with original rootstock Malbec vines in 1908. Shortly after, Herve built a Chateau style winery on the property and continued purchasing old vine parcels throughout the country. A Patagonian winery was constructed in the Rio Negro region ten years later. At present the family owns 217 acres of vineyard land in Mendoza (Vistalba, Compuertas, Tupungato) and 122 acres in Patagonia (Allen, General Roca). All wines are estate grown, farmed using traditional methods without the use of herbicides, and fermented with native yeasts.
By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.
For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets, Cabernet Franc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. While both are important grapes in modern day, high quality Bordeaux, interestingly, Cabernet Franc most likely originated from the Basque region of France sometime during the middle 1600’s. Today Cabernet Franc produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine producing world, with some of its most classic examples from France’s Loire Valley, in the regions of Chinon, Bourgueil and Saumur-Champigny. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc performs quite well in parts of California, New York and Virginia. It is also a great blending grape.
In the Glass
Cabernet Franc typically tastes of red raspberries, cherries and herbs, with a stunning perfume of violets, tobacco and spice.
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.
One of California's best-kept secrets is the Happy Canyon appellation of Santa Barbara. Here Cabernet Franc shines as a single varietal wine or in blends, expressing sumptuous fruit, savory aromas and polished tannins.