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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- 2011 Château PuygueraudFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€6.90 €5.70Very deeply coloured, with sweet notes of chocolate, prunes and caramel on the nose. A touch of vanilla and violet on the start which gently gives way to more rich and sweet flavours on the palate-cassis, cacao and truffles. Rounded, generous and velvety-smooth and full-bodied on the finish.
- 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.
- 2016 Château La PradeFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.26 €6.00Located in Saint Cibard, near the Thienpont family home, Nicolas bought this estate in 2000 on the limestone plateau and this wine always has a note of freshness from this soil. The 2016 is very attractive and perfumed, rich in the nose with a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. There is lots of dense Merlot fruit here, great freshness and personality. A lovely wine with good fruit and spicy intensity.
- 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 €6.23Een wijn met een uitstekende verhouding prijs/kwaliteit in deze jaargang. Wij verkiezen deze de Carles 2015 boven de Haut-Carles, die rijker is en meer extractie heeft. Het is een fraaie wijn met aroma's van wild, herfstfruit, een mooie zuiverheid en fraîcheur - typisch voor organische wijnen - veel kruidigheid en levendigheid. De wijn is reeds heerlijk om nu te drinken en zal zeker nog 10 jaar kunnen bewaard worden.
- 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.