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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- Castillon, Côtes de Bordeaux1.5l RedBio€27.06 €22.36Made from a blend of 95% Merlot grapes and 5% Cabernet Franc grapes, the second wine comes from the vineyard parcels facing south and south-west on the slopes bordering the domain's natural source. The wine is spicy and fresh with aromas of red fruits, plums and spice. On the palate the wine is fruity with delicious balance and well-integrated oak; the finish is lively and appealing.
- Castillon, Côtes de Bordeaux1.5l RedBio€27.06 €22.36The second wine of Chateau Goubau comes from the vineyard parcels facing south and south-west on the slopes bordering the domain's natural source. Made from a blend of 95% Merlot grapes and 5% Cabernet Franc grapes, the wine is spicy and fresh with aromas of red fruits, plums and spice. On the palate the wine is crunchy and fruity with black fruit flavours and a touch of spice; the finish is lively and appealing. Drink now for next three years.
- 2016 Château de CarlesFronsac1.5l Red€28.36 €23.44A 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.
- 2014 Château PuygueraudFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux1.5l Red€28.40 €23.47This 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.
- 2016 Château PuygueraudFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux1.5l Red€29.35 €24.26Purchased 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.
- 2015 Château de CarlesFronsac1.5l Red€29.77 €24.60One 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.
- 2016 Château La PradeFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux1.5l Red€29.87 €24.69Located 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.
- 2013 Château La ChenadeLalande-de-Pomerol1.5l Red€30.70 €25.37Fresh and spicy on the nose with black fruit aromas. The palate is bright, pretty with notes of liquorice, cloves blended with autumn fruits. Well-structured with a smokey and oaked finish.
- 2011 Château La ChenadeLalande-de-Pomerol1.5l Red€30.86 €25.50Produced from a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc - this wine has a lovely depth, bright ruby colour and subtle aromas of black morello cherries on the nose. On the palate is lively and very fresh. Matured in 30% new oak barrels which imparts a fine struture. The finish is vibrant, bright and juicy. In summary, a lovely little wine.