Big Daddy Cabernet Franc

cabernet franc

December 4 is Cabernet Franc day.  And In honor of that day, I thought we should talk about the grape that fathered the infamous Cabernet Sauvignon.  (Yep hanky panky with Sauvignon Blanc and out came Cabernet Sauvignon).   So I reached out to my girl Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, my @jediwinemaster encyclopedia.  

Here are a few things to know about Cabernet Franc:

  • It’s one of the 5 grape varieties that makes up Traditional Bordeaux wines
  • It’s not just for blending.  It’s popping up as a single varietal in California, South Africa and other New World Regions.
  • It’s known for it’s aromatics of cranberries and currants with a hint of herbal character, says Simonetti-Bryan.  I really get the herbal stuff…green olives even.
  • But that means it goes great with food — anything with herbs basically — and it can really handle your zesty foods.

My only suggestion would be to decant it or let it sit on the counter for a bit.  It’s a little tight at first…it needs to relax. (Don’t we all.)

Granted, it  can be expensive.  As Simonetti-Bryan points out, 2010 bottle of Cheval Blanc — which is 55% Cab Franc and 44% Merlot — is going for about $1,200.  And make sure you listen to the podcast because there is some cool trivia associated with that bottle!

But there are many more reasonable bottles out there. Some of my favorites are Le Macchiole Paleo, InSpire ROMAnce and the St Supery Rutherford Estate.

But go try one and let me know what you think! Cent’Anni.

Related: My Conversation with Ovid Winemaker Austin Peterson

Tracy Byrnes has what many might call a dream gig, matching a career as an experienced and well-respected business... More about Tracy Byrnes

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