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Snooth User: vinorojo

What's your favorite Cabernet Franc?

Posted by vinorojo, Feb 24, 2009.

Recently I have been getting more and more into straight Cab Franc. I think it's quite possibly my favorite Bordeaux varietal. Many of the people I have spoken with about it criticize it for it's one-dimensional quality, which is perhaps why it blends so well with other bordeaux grapes (it offers what the others lack). For me what I love is the earthy, dusty tannin with low fruit in the background quality of cab franc, and maybe it is one dimensional but damn it that's what I like about it!!! One of my favorites is the Sunce Mazzera Ranch Cab Franc. I recently had the '05 vintage and it was stellar. I also really enjoy Scott's take on the grape over at Thumbprint Cellars. I'm interested to hear some other opinions about straight cab franc or cab franc dominated blends and perhaps get some recommendations as well

Cheers from wine country!


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 24, 2009.

Clos Rougeard is tops on my list. Fairly amazing wines from the Saumur Champigny region of France's Loire valley. There are many producers toiling away in relative obscurity, which keeps prices down and Loire drinkers happy. Jouget, Olga Raffault, and Baudry all make compelling wines in Chinon and are worth tracking down. The Touraine from Clos Roche Blanche is another winner as are quite a few producer in bourgueil.

Moving on to the states, on the east coast Schneider's Breton bottling is consistently the best among what I have tasted though Paumanok's is as good in a different style. Standing Stone makes a fine, pure wine in New York's finger Lakes region.

In California Viader has long been a leader among Cabernet Franc producers but I can't claim to be familiar with any.

This might just turn into quite an interesting thread!

Reply by Adam Levin, Feb 24, 2009.

I've never been disappointed by the Jouget wines.

Reply by John Andrews, Feb 24, 2009.

I tried a nice cab franc from Chateau Montelena ... it was one of their library wines but it was pretty good.

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Feb 24, 2009.

Ahem, Cheval Blanc anyone?
Ok, maybe it's out all of our league, but this is many people's top Franc (admittedly, it's a Franc-based blend with ~40% Merlot, CS & Malbec).

Vinorojo, it sounds like you've been trying a lot of Cali Francs. Have you tried the Loire's great triumvirate of Saumur-Champigny, Bourgeuil & Chinon (in increasing amount of oomph). They are radically different.

Also - check out the Cab Franc coming out of Chile. I've had some really great wines in the $12 to $15 range from Casa Donoso. See if you can find any South American Franc in your local wine shops.

Reply by John Andrews, Feb 24, 2009.

@Greg ... I tried the Viader Cab Franc this past weekend. Liked it but felt like it needed more time to open up.

Reply by fibo86, Feb 24, 2009.

I haven't tried a straight one yet but my favorites atm are Picardy o4 merlot,cab sauv,cab franc of Pemberton WA and Penley Estate Chertsey although I haven't put in a review yet.

Reply by vinorojo, Feb 24, 2009.


Yes, Cheval Blanc is out of my league (at least out of my wallet's league) and I must say I have never tasted one (much like most of the top chateaux in France). thanks for the recommendation on the Chilean wines, I've been meaning to try more wine from the southern hemisphere. It's kinda hard because I can get local wines at 30% off so it's hard to justify spending top dollar on wine from elsewhere but I do really need to diversify, I will investigate.

Does anyone have thoughts on the varietal in general as opposed to recommendations?

Reply by Uwe Kristen, Feb 27, 2009.

I like this thread. It made me open a Schneider Cabernet Franc from 2000 (I posted tasting notes). Cabernet Franc is one of the most undervalued grape varieties. I appreciate its earthy character and very direct fruit freshness. Personally, I like the more acidic versions with a good dash of farmyard aromas coming from the Loire Valley: Olga Raffault, Clos du Tu-Boeuf, Thierry Puzelat. But New York also makes very good Cabernet Franc varietal wines, both Long Island and the Finger Lakes.

Reply by meganmarco, Feb 28, 2009.

On the subject of Cab Franc I've gotta give some love to Virginia wineries. Many produce a tasty Cab Franc that's spicy, berry-filled and flavorful without being to heavy. One of my favorite Va Cabs is Barboursville Vineyards' Cab Franc Reserve. It's a nice berry-filled wine with a smooth finish.

Reply by jani banani, Mar 27, 2009.

Of course I'm partial to our own DARE Cab Franc because it's an incredible value, but I had two other excellent Cabernet Francs recently. The first might come as a surprise -- 2002 Angelica Zapata (available in Argentina only, from Catena Zapata winery). Seamless, integrated tannins, beautiful cherry aromas, bright acidity. The perfect food wine and perfect for an Argentine asado BBQ! Most recently I enjoyed the famous 1982 Ch. Cheval Blanc which was extremely tasty, complex, with smooth velvety tannins. I posted my review on this site.

Reply by GTSOPRANO, Jun 9, 2010.

I love a straight Cabernet Franc as well.  Cabernet Franc is proving to be a banner varietal in The North Fork of Long Island.  


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