Cabernet Franc is a very old grape variety. Its natural crossing with Sauvignon Blanc created Cabernet Sauvignon. It creates complex red results, with aromas of raspberry, bramble, and bell pepper.
Leaf: five to seven lobes - deeply lobed
Grape cluster: medium-sized; moderately compact, conical; either small wings or none at all; with round, oval and blueish-black coloured grapes
Higher acidity makes it possible to pair Cabernet Franc with tomato-based dishes, vinegar-based sauces (smoky BBQ anyone?), or rich legumes like black beluga lentils.
Where to find Cabernet Franc
France is the largest producer of Cabernet Franc. It’s hugely important in Bordeaux blends, but you can find single-varietal Cabernet Franc wines from the Loire Valley. The two most famous appellations for Cabernet Franc include Chinon and Bourgueil.
The Loire Valley is the place for French Cabernet Franc. Photo by Jameson Fink
Chinon Taste Profile
A great example of Chinon will smell of roasted red pepper, raspberry sauce, jalapeño, sweet raspberry compote, and wet gravel.
On the palate you’ll taste moderately high acidity and moderately low tannin. Flavors of sour cherry, smoky tomato, dried oregano, and sweet pepper dominate. The taste will burst through your palate and drop out quickly with a subtle tingle from the acidity.