This weekend, Vine Spot will host its first tasting get-together with a small group of friends and wine enthusiast alike. We hope to have a nice experience as we learn about and taste an ancient Bordeaux grape variety. You can find a description of the grape variety we will taste below; do stay tuned this weekend for the results.
Cabernet Franc is a red wine grape of the vitis vinifera family that is primarily used for blending in the Bordeaux region of France. The Loire Valley and Bordeaux region of France is home to the Cabernet Franc grape variety. Cabernet Franc thrives in cooler climates and ripens fairly early which explains why this grape is a popular selection for Virginia and other east coast growers.
When done correctly you can count on Cabernet Franc to display a violet and raspberry bouquet with pleasant red fruit flavors, hints of pepper and spice with mild nuances of fresh herbs on the palate. Compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc lacks the fullness, body, acidity and tannins, and is usually approachable young, but can also age well pending style. Where Cabernet Sauvignon can be described as King of the European Reds, Cabernet Franc is the tasteful Prince who has won many a palate over.
Virginia and the Finger Lakes region of Upstate NY are popular havens for Cabernet Franc production. Fine examples can also be found in the Loire Valley and Saint-Emillion regions of France. In contrast to climate, California does not widely plant Cabernet Franc since their growing season is longer and soil primed for the growth of high quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. France holds claim to having the most Cabernet Franc plantings of any other wine producing nation in the world.
Pending style, Cabernet Franc can be served slightly chilled (fruit forward styles) or at room temperature. Cabernet Franc is food friendly and can be paired with foods such as poultry, turkey, pizza, lasagna and roasted lamb dishes amongst others. One can usually find Cabernet Franc priced quite reasonably, but in Saint-Émilion the Prince holds noble court. Cabernet Franc is the primary grape used in Cheval Blanc, and these sought after elegantly structured wines of Château Cheval Blanc can fetch a pretty penny. Cabernet Franc was recently linked as one of Cabernet Sauvignon's parent grapes (crossed with Sauvignon Blanc). Although not as big or bold as child, the Prince overwhelms in expression and attracts the palates of many.
** A new column will be placed to the right documenting 'grape varieties' and will be populated accordingly as we learn and try new things in the near future.