Cabernet Franc, along with the white Sauvignon Blanc is a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. It has great fragrance and structure and shines both in the Loire Valley and in Bordeaux blends. The grape is believed to have originated in the Loire but today the Cabernet Franc grown in the Loire is not believed to be the same variety as that found in Bordeaux.
Cabernet Franc has smaller berries, is less densely packed, ripens earlier and requires less heat than Cabernet Sauvignon, although it is very similar in shape. It is fresher and more fragrant with aromas of redcurrant, menthol and blackcurrant with intense vegetal hints and an herbal finish. Cabernet Franc thrives especially on Bordeaux’s Right Bank, in the cooler clay soils of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. Throughout the world, winemakers emulating the Bordeaux blend of grapes, will always plant Cabernet Franc alongside Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The red wines of the Loire, made from 100% Cabernet Franc throughout Touraine, have achieved high praise of late. Climate change and improved viticultural methods have given quality a real boost here. Particularly wines from Saumur-Champigny, Bourgueil and Chinon are of smooth density and have enticingly fresh red fruit and herbal notes, carried by juicy redcurrant and cherry fruit. In maturity these wines develop aromas of cigar box, truffle and tobacco.
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- 2014 Chateau le BostBergerac0.75l Red€6.96 €5.75Quite a traditional wine with lots of character and aromas of red fruits, tobacco and cedar. Produced in the charming region of Bergerac, just south-east of Bordeaux, the wines from here are just a little more rich and rustic.
- 2016 Château de CarlesFronsac0.375l Red€7.19 €5.94A lovely wine from Fronsac with good ambitions: Medium red colour; pleasant, fresh red fruit on the nose; attractive taste of spice, sweet, vanilla, liquorice, and ripe, plummy fruit. An attractive, round and generous wine with a good sweet long finish.
- 2017 Marigny-Neuf (BIO)Val de Loire0.75l RoséBio€7.34 €6.07A rosé made from 60% Gamay, 20% Cabernet and 20% Pinot Noir grapes, grown in Vienne between the Loire Valley and Poitiers. This is an organic wine, produced with great care including two days cold maceration followed by five months ageing on the fermentation lees to add roundness and complexity to the wine. A fun loving wine with notes of guava, red currant and cherry with a creamy texture, this rosé loves being paired with salads, pizza and sunny aperitifs accompanied by big smiles and giggles. Serve chilled and enjoy now or for the next two years.
- 2016 Château PuygueraudFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.43 €6.14Purchased by Georges Thienpont in 1946 and home to his family of 13 children, Puygueraud is a testament to the Thienpont family who put the Côtes de Francs on the Bordeaux wine map. This is a really charming vintage with a dark crimson colour, fresh and spicy nose with wild herb aromas, blueberries and blackcurrants; lovely spice and freshness, on the palate with great persistence. Delicious with lots of life and verve. Super.
- 2011 Château La PradeFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.45 €6.16An appealling deep violet colour,very fragrant and spicy on the nose, opulent and round with sumptuous autumn fruit flavours on the palate-a mix of blackberries and boysenberries with a touch of wild herbs; nice spicy finish.
- 2012 Château PuygueraudFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.45 €6.16Very pretty vivid purple colour; appealling nose with crunchy red fruits; smooth on the palate showing good intensity of fruit, acidity and a touch of wild herbs, spicy and nicely oaked on the finish. Very pleasing. A great achievement.
- 2015 Château de CarlesFronsac0.375l Red€7.54 €6.23One of the best values of the vintage, we prefer the de Carles 2015 to the richer, more extracted Haut-Carles. This is a lovely wine with rather wild, autumn fruit flavours, lovely purity and freshness typical of an organic wine, good spiciness and lots of life. Delicious already, this should keep well for a decade.
- 2015 Château La PradeFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.54 €6.23One of our favourite wines made by cousin Nicolas Thienpont in the Côtes de Francs; A blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc grapes grown on limestone soils. The limestone character comes out clearly in the wine. Dark colour with a bright garnet rim; lovely open nose full of wild berry and bramble scents; smooth, fresh and pretty on the palate, this is a lovely wine, well-balanced and pure.
- 2014 Château PuygueraudFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.71 €6.37This Thienpont family wine, made by Nicolas Thienpont is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. It is intense and structured in the nose with spicy aromas of nutmeg and cloves. There are lovely black fruit flavours on the palate with good intensity and a good tannic structure leading to a rich finish.