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Cabernet Franc is the parent of the Cabernet Sauvignon, a wider known grape variety around the world. A parent, who is more elegant with softer nuances & flavours, not a bold & aggressive version like its son Cabernet Sauvignon.
It’s a black grape variety & originates from Bordeaux, France, where it’s used in the famous Bordeaux blends or a blend with Merlot on the right-bank. Cabernet Franc is also a great grape to make Rosés from.
Nowadays you can find Cabernet Franc around the world. It’s a pretty versatile grape & likes cold-hot climates, expressing different flavours. The Loire in France (Chinon & Bourgueil) is a large single variety Cabernet Franc producing region. A cool climate creating a medium body with low tannins & flavours like sour cherry, spice & herbal notes.
Friuli-Venezia-Giulia (cool climate) & Tuscany in Italy produces Cabernet Franc too. Hot climate in Tuscany gives a Super Tuscan Cabernet Franc black fruit, spice & leather notes. A bolder version, because of the hot climate. Also, USA (Sierra Navada) & Chile (Colchagua) producing Cabernet Franc, making more fruit forward bold versions too. You also can find Cabernet Franc in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
In general, Cabernet Franc has a medium body, tannins & acidity. Flavours of red & black fruit with earthy & herbal notes like mint, roasted pepper & spice can be discovered.
The parent is great with food too. Matched perfectly with herbs used in dishes. Red meats, curry of chicken with fleshy tomatoes, game, goat cheese & earthy veggies like beans & mushrooms do well.