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!