Cabernet Franc is one of the 6 red grape varieties permitted in a Bordeaux Blend. While it is not considered one of the 6 Noble grapes, it gave birth to one. Cab Franc is Cabernet Sauvignon’s Daddy; a combination with Sauvignon Blanc.
We think of it as a Bordeaux grape, but it probably originated in the Loire Valley, where it is known as Chinon, the name the appellation where it is grown and made into a lighter style wine. While often thought of as a blending grape, it is being grown and produced as a single variety wine in California on the Central Coast as well as in New York, parts of Canada and in South America in Argentina and Chile. It can also be found in Italy where they call it Bordo. In Virginia it has found a home where it thrives creating a spicy, peppery wine, with tobacco notes and rich black fruits.
Cabernet Franc is an early ripener, often several weeks ahead of Cabernet Sauvignon.
The wine this grape produces is thought of as medium bodied . The fruit is considered black (it’s a really dark skinned grape), and it holds a nice acidity and lesser tannin’s than Cabernet Sauvignon and that makes it easier to pair food with. You will find versions of this wine that are lighter in style, like Chinon or heavier in style in warmer Mediterranean climates.
The Carhartt Cabernet Franc was a 2013 from Curtis Vineyard. Curtis is out on Foxen Canyon Road and is part of the larger Santa Ynez AVA.
Cab Franc seems to thrive at this vineyard, which has been around for a while and is a warmer site. This wine is dark currants, raspberries and plums with nice spice and a richness that melded beautifully with my medium rare burger.
This Cab Franc was rich and lush without being too heavy. It paired with the umami of the rare grilled meat and was mellow enough that it allowed the other ingredients to shine though. The ketchup with the little bit of Worcestershire had a nice zing that it didn’t cover up and it didn’t fight with Michael’s homemade pickles. All the ingredients danced happily in my mouth.
Blue, Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Fontina, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Port Salut, Swiss
try serving at room temp
try it with roast chicken, pork, roasted or grilled, beef, duck, sausage, lamb, veal, hearty fish dishes