I can never resist picking up a bottle of Cabernet Franc as it was one of the first red grapes we got to know during our first ever wine holiday to the Loire Valley. But wherever it is grown in the world, Cabernet Franc is still quite characteristic in aromas and flavours whilst taking on the local terroir.
Did you know that Cabernet Sauvignon is actually a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc? So there are similarities between Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, but the latter is softer, more subtle and medium bodied without that overt blackcurrant leaf characteristic. Think red fruit rather than black.
This fresh, easy drinking red wine from Italy’s north eastern corner is fab for a picnic – just don’t forget the cork screw though! On the nose it is floral – geranium and violets – and reminiscent of red boiled sweets. On the palate, there’s a medley of crisp red fruits – tangy redcurrants, juicy raspberries and maybe a hint of plum. Then there’s a delicate leafiness and a touch of green pepper which is typical with Cabernet Franc grown in cooler regions. Food wise, I like pairing Cab Franc with herby tomato based dishes such as Tomato, Red Onion & Basil Tart.
Originally from South West France – and a component of some of the world’s best red wines – Cabernet Franc tends to be planted where the more well-known Cabernet Sauvignon is cultivated in order to replicate Bordeaux blends. However, it is also produced as a single variety such as in mountainous Friuli which is famed for producing pure, fresh-acidity wines like this one.
And very finally, you’ll see I’ve discovered a new independent wine shop – a recommendation from my wine guru, Colin Wills of Uncorked. The Good Wine Shop has three branches in Kew, Chiswick and Esher. I visited the shop in Kew a couple of times last week, and really enjoyed chatting to the friendly, knowledgeable staff about their range of wines which focuses on smaller, high quality producers across the world. Shop profile coming soon!
At a glance
- Style? Medium bodied red wine
- Where is it from? Friuli, Italy
- What’s the grape? Cabernet Franc
- Tastes of? Redcurrants, violets, green pepper
- What food would complement it? Tomatoes work well with the relatively high acidity in Cabernet Franc, or play up to its herby flavours with some roast vegetables and rosemary