New Wine Trends - Cabernet Franc

New Wine Trends - Cabernet Franc

New Wine Trends - Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc

In a world as fickle as the wine world it's good to keep abreast of what's trending and what's not.

One of the wines making it's way on to winelover's radars is Cabernet Franc and I'm happy to see it there. I love it!

Cabernet Franc has been produced for centuries. It originates in the Basque Region of France and has it's home in the Loire Valley where it has, for many years, had a hard time of it.

Climates in the Loire were temperamental and a constant vintage was never really assured, especially for red grapes. Cabernet Franc wines were acidic, vegetal and "thin" with brackish herbal tenancies which were written off by modern wine enthusiasts.

Global warming changes and changes to vineyard practices have led to a different wine and one that is gathering well-deserved steam. Gone are "thin" brackish written off wines, instead the Cabernet Franc of today offers much more than that.


Today's Cabernet Franc grapes are able to ripen to their full potential and showing traits that have only been written about.

What you are getting today is a medium bodied wine with tingly acidity, earthiness, spicy - pepper, herbal - bramble, tobacco, olive, raspberry and strawberry - all wrapped up in a nice little bundle that can be drunk young or aged for years to come.

One quote I have seen to summarize is:

Cabernet Franc is the Chanel #5 perfume of any wine


The result in the changes to this grape variety are such that the wine industry has embraced it as the new darling. Not only is Cabernet Franc being grown successfully worldwide but this once mainly blending grape is being seen more and more in single variety Cabernet Franc wines. 

French wine makers who traditionally use Cabernet Franc in their blends are starting to take advantage of its unique characteristics and are using a greater percentage of it depending on the vintage.

For example the Pomerol-based estate Chateau Lafleur  has made Cabernet Franc-based blends with 50 percent or less of the grape. Lafleur are now putting greater percentages in its most recent vintages. In 2010, the estate’s Pomerol blend used more than 60 percent Cabernet Franc for the first time in its history. This vintage was also made during one of the sunniest seasons in Bordeaux. Tonnes of sunshine in July and August gave the Merlot an intense sweetness, which was cut back by the Cabernet Franc’s spicy acidity.

USA, Canada, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and some others, where cool climate varieties excel, have embraced Cab. Franc and are producing fantastically interesting examples of this easy drinking red. These wines, including Cabernet Franc's from the Loire, are an easy sell to retailers as they are somewhat reminiscent of Pinot Noir with their medium body, medium - high acidity, earthiness and strawberry/raspberry fruits (although Pinot Noir has more Cherry and isn't as herbal). They are also popular with Bio and Natural wine makers as they are hardy, versatile and can withstand most of what bio-soil throws at it.

Today's new red wine darling, Cabernet Franc, is an easy drinking wine and something to put on your "to try" list. Still at affordable prices these wines are the perfect food partner.

Their spiciness endears them to spicy food as does their medium-light body and their earthy, herbal notes make them a good pair with vegetable dishes and meat dishes, especially roasts and grills. OR you can just drink them on their own!

Drink This: 

Try this simple Cabernet Franc for starters!

Cabernet Franc

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