It's funky, fresh, food-friendly, and with all the dark flavors we crave this time of year. Last week we discussed Chenin Blanc, and this week we’ll cover the most important red grape in the Anjou-Saumur and Touraine region of the Loire, Cabernet Franc! We’ll touch these main points: Varietal characteristics, why the Loire is an ideal place for the grape, and some of our favorites in stock right now.
Cabernet Franc (also known as ‘Breton’ in the Loire) is an earlier-ripening, parent grape to Cabernet Sauvignon, with which it shares some characteristics. For instance, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon share similar phenolic and aromatic compounds, such as pyrazines, which can give them vegetal or green bell pepper notes. Cabernet Franc tends to be lighter in body and tannins than its progeny, tends to have more red fruit notes and a hint of graphite or pencil shavings.
The Loire is the benchmark for Cabernet Franc growing regions across the world. The grape does particularly well in cool-climate, inland areas like the Loire because it ripens early and is less susceptible to poor weather during harvest. In the new world, colder climates like Canada and upstate New York have found success with Cabernet Franc. Here in Washington, Cabernet Franc can produce fruity and well-balanced wines, with less of the green notes found in the Loire examples.
Click on the link below to check out some of our favorites!