Cabernet Franc

Originally from the south of France, Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire's Chinon and Saumur-Champigny. Some of the most famous Saint Emilion wines use a high proportion of Cabernet Franc in their makeup. Aromas of red berry fruits, pencil lead, herbaceous and vegetal notes. A floral, violet character is more likely in cool climate wines with warmer regions having more dried fruits and a peppery, spiciness. The flavour profile consists of plum and strawberry fruit, with peppers and a stony minerality. As a blending component in Bordeaux wines, Cabernet Franc is used to give freshness and structure due to its high acidity levels. Lighter examples of the grape produce wines suitable to drink with tomato/herb based dishes and the fuller bodied wines work well with vegetarian lentil dishes, roasted meats and game with older wines having a noticeable savoury trait. Grown mainly in France, Cabernet Franc has also found its second home in Italy ("Super Tuscan") where it has aromas leaning more towards black fruits (black cherry & blackberry), cocoa, leather and spicy, cinnamon & pepper. In Chile and  Argentina, where it's becoming more readily available, good examples offer a juicy style with black cherry, milk chocolate, and green peppercorns. In Canada, it's even used to make a concentrated icewine, dessert style in Ontario.

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