Francs, Côtes de Bordeaux
The appellation of the Côtes de Francs (since 2008 called Francs, Côtes de Bordeaux) owes its reputation to the Thienpont Family who settled in the region after World War II. They own Château Puygueraud, a medieval castle at one of the highest points. Franc is the smallest of the Bordeaux Côtes appellations including just less than 500 hectares of vines with around 50 different producers. It lies east of St. Emilion between the appellations of the Côtes de Castillon and Puisseguin St. Emilion. The region takes its name after the first King of the Franks victory over the Visigoths.
Mainly made up of clay and limestone soils in rolling hillsides, Francs makes mainly red wines from Merlot grapes with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. One wine, Cuvée George, made by Nicolas Thienpont in homage to his father, is made from 45% Malbec grapes.
A small amount of white wine (sold under the white Bordeaux appellation) is made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle grapes.
The Côtes de Franc makes stylish, rich wines with lots of dense berry fruit and plums, firm structure and good tannic backbone. The quality level is very good across the board and the wines represent very good value for money.