Oh Cabernet Franc, that other Cabernet. Everything we love about the wild and beastly Cabernet Sauvignon but in a more sleek elegant package. Y'all remember the lovable high school jock, whose father was a college professor? Yeah, that's Cabernet Franc. It's a fairly vigorous little plant, but on acocunt of its thin skins, it is early to bud ripen and harvest. Risk averse winemakers will pick early, which often results in a lean "green" flavor in the wine.
It loves, cool continental climates with a maritime influence, and is in heaven in sandy, chalk based, gravel or tuffeau.
Cabernet Franc is often fermented using Carbonic Maceration, which although sounds nasty produces some delightful little wines.Instead pressing the grapes, they are placed in a vat, covered with a layer of good old CO2, Grape skins break under their own weight, jumpstarting the fermentation process. Malolactic fermentation is also employed to tame the high acidity of this grape, and we finish up our wine in either stainless steel or oak pbarrels dependinging upon the winemakers whim or the regional growing laws
USA: As in the Bordeaux Cabernet Franc often plays second fiddle to the Bordeaux rock stars Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. On occasion certain producers have seen what this grape can do on its own and have acted accordingly. Some places where it rocks:
Color: Translucent ruby
Aroma: Raspberry, lead pencil, currants, green pepper
Body: Light to medium
Acidity: Medium to high
Flavors: Wild strawberry, mulberry, cranberry, moss, potting soil, tobacco, wet tree bark, cocoa, violet, fresh mushrooms, sweet herbs.