Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major grape varieties worldwide and a lot are planted in France in the Bordeaux region as a blending partner for Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, but most are planted in the Loire region for some lovely fresh wines like Bourgueil or Saumur Champigny. Cabernet Franc wine has a bright pale red colour and contributes to the finesse in the wine and gives the wine a peppery perfume, other often mentioned aromas are cassis, violets, tobacco or bell pepper. The grape can thrive in slightly cooler climates because of its ripeness being a bit earlier than other grape varieties, this probably explains its popularity in the Loire Valley. Some exceptions in the Bordeaux region are from the famous Chateau Cheval Blanc that uses Cabernet Franc as their main grape variety. The Cabernet Franc grape is very yield sensitive, and over cropping will produce very green wines with an unpleasant acidity. But low yield vineyards can make some truly amazingly beautiful wines that can age for a long time.

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History tells us that plantings of Cabernet Franc were found in the 17th century in either the Bordeaux region or in Bourgueil at the abbey under the name of an abbot called Breton. The Breton family is still implemented in Bourgueil and makes amazing wines from Cabernet Franc under that appellation. The tannins of Cabernet Franc are lower than Cabernet Sauvignon allowing us to drink these wines earlier and give a smoother mouthfeel. Despite the lower tannins they still have a good aging potential and will develop nice aromas of Tabaco and leather with age. The wines are best served not too warm and are a perfect companion for charcuterie boards.