Cabernet Sauvignon's Parents: Cabernet Franc and France


While finding affordable Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be a bit of a challenge do not despair! Cabernet Franc from the Loire valley offers unparalleled value. With each passing vintage it seems that the wines from the finest producers move from strength to strength yielding wines with the depth of flavor one expects from the Cabernet family tree yet revealing the nuance of terroir in a way that has been lost in many of the world's most famous regions. Two of my favorites are:

Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges
Bright and crisp with precise red fruits over a gutsy structure make this both easy to enjoy and fun to drink. Fire up the grill for an early Spring lamb and Cabernet Franc!

Charles Joguet Chinon Les Petites Roches
Big and rich and packed with dark currant and wild berry fruit. This has a layered, plush quality with earthy, spicy undertones and brilliant floral and herbaceous aromas.

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  • Red wines from the Loire are underrrated and too often overlooked by the modern wine trade. They are part of the joy of going to France - especially Paris and environs west. Loire itself is great for chateau tours by bike or car
    The surprise is the versatility and variety of the wines. Often strawberryish but sometimes really dark and complex. The younger ones chill well and can be a "luncheon wine" or sunny afternoon wine, but even they can cope with food like a long lost partner. Older wines can get to quite an age and price range.
    Bourgeuil - can age well, great with red meats
    Chinon - Couly Dutheil is a reliable name
    Saumur Champigny - delicious cold
    St Nicolas de Bourgeuil
    Youthful biodynamique Cabernet Franc can be bright purple and almost fizzy with life.
    Always worth a try if you see them in my experience, and quite different to Australian Cabernet Franc.

    Aug 24, 2010 at 8:46 AM

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