Photo Credit: Rosenzweig
Known as one of the noble grapes of Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc was originally produced to be blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot particularly in the Libournais (right bank of the Dordogne River). It was introduced into the Loire by Cardinal Richelieu where it is used to produce the famous rosés and reds of that region. Known for its ability to tolerate cool weather climates it can be found in traditional wine regions such as France, Italy, Spain, California and Australia but also in Bulgaria, Canada, Hungary, Illinois, Michigan, New York, South Africa and Virginia.
Wines produced by Cabernet Franc run the gamut of flavors and types. From bold reds with flavors of cassis and tobacco, violets and bell peppers in warmer climes to lighter reds and rosés with flavors of strawberries and raspberries in cooler areas. Cab Franc is also used to make sparkling rosés in the Loire.
Because of its versatility, Cabernet Franc can be paired with a host of different foods. The bigger, bolder reds of the warmer climes match well with grilled meats and game, which the lighter reds and rosés are good choices with chicken, seafood and soft cheese.
Oft overlooked, occasionally maligned, but ever adored around here, the Cabernet Franc variety is shown off in its full glory when grown in Willy's Vineyard. There's something seductive about this wine, from its aromas of cinnamon, clove and worn leather to its soft, full mouthfeel and imposing structure. We love the way dusty tannins can melt into tantalizing flavors of cherry cola wiping our sorrows away. Charles Mingus is playing in the background, the aromas of a beautiful meal are wafting in from the kitchen, I'm on my second glass, and I'm pretty sure life doesn't get much better than this.