Thursday, September 1, 2011

Today is #Cabernetday (part 2 - Cabernet Franc) - Learn a thing or two before you start talking about it.

Cabernet Franc
  • "French variety much blended with and overshadowed by the more widely planted Cabernet Sauvignon. Only in Anjou-Touraine in the Loire Valley and on the right bank of the Gironde in Bordeaux it is more important than Cabernet Sauvignon. It will ripen in much cooler environment than Cabernet Sauvignon and its characteristic scent akin to pencil shavings." -  Jancis Robinson MW in her book "Guide to Wine Grapes"
  • "The red wines of France's Loire Valley are quintessential spicy reds. These wines are made from Cabernet Franc grapes and carry district names such as Chinon, Bourgueil, St. Nicolas de Bourgueil, and Saumur-Champigny. They tend to be very dry-textured, with vegetal and red-fruit aromatics and sometimes a provocative coffee-grounds character. They are very versatile with food." - Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW and Ed McCarthy in their book "Wine Style"
  • It is lighter in color and has less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale and elegant red wine. It is commonly used in blends to give additional finesse and perfume to more stout grapes.
    Cabernet Franc is very similar to Cabernet Sauvignon in several aspects, but it ripens at least a week earlier. This characteristic allows it to do better in cooler climates than Cabernet Sauvignon. This is one of the reasons why it's very well adapted to areas like the the Loire Valley (where it is also known as Breton).
    High yields can be a problem. Over-cropped vineyards most likely will produce wines with "green" aromas and flavors (since over-cropped vines cannot ripe the grapes to full maturity).
  • The wines generally have a light body, crisp and elegant texture, medium tannins, and medium-high acidity. If from a cool area they have a tendency to display a vegetal character. On the opposite spectrum of the climate, they can be jammy. 
  • When aged, Cabernet franc wines have very complex flavors: leather, tea, and cedar are common descriptors.
Go ahead and celebrate #Cabernetday!
Cheers,
LA

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