Dec. 4th is #CABFRANC DAY
Cabernet Franc is the head of the world's most important family of grapes. It has mated with other grape varieties to father many famous offspring including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the two most widely planted wine grapes in the world, and Carmenere, now known as the iconic grape of Chile.
Although it was once the dominant red grape in Bordeaux Cabernet Franc is now used in this region to blend into wines dominated by two of it's children, the more powerfully-flavored Cabernet Sauvignon on Bordeaux's "Left Bank", and the fruitier Merlot on the "Right Bank". It is a vital blending grape, adding floral aromatics and rich mouth-feel to all wines it's in and also softening the tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends.
Cardinal Richelieu was a 17th Century French clergyman, nobleman and winegrower. Originally holding his family's title of the Duke of Fronsac (village on Bordeaux's Right Bank), he later established a residence in the wine growing city of Chinon in the Loire Valley. He is credited with transplanting Cabernet Franc vines from Bordeaux to the Loire Valley, thus the first to spread the fame of this grape variety. December 4th, the anniversary of his death is now celebrated as #CABFRANC Day so we've chosen to make this the official release date of our new vintage.
If you want to taste French wines made from 100% Cabernet Franc, try one from Chinon or from the neighboring village of Bourguiel. There are also many dry Rose and pink sparkling wines made from Cabernet Franc in the Loire.
We use Cabernet Franc to soften the tannins in our blends for our Cabernet Sauvignon Mayacamas Range and The Classic Four. We normally bottle about 150 cases of 100% pure Cabernet Franc each year, which quickly sells out. In 2016 the wine was a little lighter than usual so we blended in 9% Petit Verdot, the darkest of the Bordeaux grapes, to beef it up.