Cabernet Franc is a red grape variety used in winemaking. It is particularly popular in France, but it is also found in California (USA), Australia, Italy, South Africa, Chile, New Zealand and Switzerland. The variety is also known by the names Carmenet, Bouchet, Bouchy, etc.
Cabernet Franc leaves are green, medium-sized, three- to five-lobed, relatively rough, covered with moss on the underside. The bunches can be of different sizes. They are cylindrical in shape and not particularly tight. The grains are rather small and rounded. They are colored in dark blue. The fleshy part is juicy, covered with a thick and dense skin, on which there is an abundant wax coating.
Cabernet Franc fruit are used in the production of table, fortified and dessert wines. Juices are also prepared from them. They are also used in making blended grape elixirs. In the Bordeaux area, France is most often combined with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with the amount of Cabernet Franc usually not predominant.
According to the winegrowers, cabernet franc is a variety belonging to the vines that are relatively easy to manage. It ripens about two weeks before Cabernet Sauvignon and is therefore at risk from the cooler temperatures of the spring months. This variety may experience difficulty fertilizing if temperatures are low and humidity is high during blooming. The variety is also threatened by gray rot and blight, to which it is sensitive.
History of Cabernet Franc
The roots of this grape variety are sought in the southwestern regions of France. It is supposed to have appeared there around the seventeenth century. The relationship between cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon has been debated by scientists for a long time. However, after conducting DNA analysis, it is clear that Cabernet Sauvignon originated from the cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. In addition, experts are of the opinion that their crossing took place without the intervention of humans.
To date, the variety is widespread. In its homeland alone, it occupies as many as 37, 500 hectares. In the Bordeaux region, the area of plantations amounts to nearly 14, 000 hectares. In fact, almost as much area is also planted with cabernet sauvignon. The other French region where this grape variety is extremely popular is the middle reaches of the Loire.
Cabernet Franc is a widespread variety in Italy as well. It is interesting that there the variety has recently started to separate from Cabernet Sauvignon. Grown in South Tyrol, Trentino and Venice, etc. Cabernet Franc is also grown in the USA. This activity takes place on the territory of California, where nearly 1000 hectares are present. The same area is planted with this variety in Australia.
Characteristics of Cabernet Franc
It has already become clear that wines made from Cabernet Franc are table, fortified and dessert wines. They have a reddish color. The coloring in this species is weaker than in Cabernet Sauvignon. The first variety also has less tannins. Cabernet Franc wines are soft and ale. Their aroma is simply captivating as well. It contains flavors of small forest fruit, including blackberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, blueberries. Some wines also have an aroma of herbs.
As for the aging of the wines, it has a wonderful effect on their aroma. The grape elixir acquires a certain nuance reminiscent of aromatic spices and musk. Some of the producers produce wines that are distinguished by an unforgettable taste and aroma of strawberry and banana. Somewhere wines are produced that have the aroma of chocolate, green peppers, raw potato, etc. The aroma of green pepper is produced when the fruit have not ripened well.
Serving Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc wine is served slightly chilled. Its temperature should be around 16°C if the wine is heavier. If it is lighter, the temperature should be slightly lower. You can serve the wine in classic red wine glasses. This type of glass does not have as harmonious a structure as others. It is widened in its lower part, but sharply narrows in the area towards the stem. It is also narrowed in its upper part. This structure allows all the impressive qualities of red wines to be sensed.
When combining Cabernet Franc you have a wide choice of dishes. You can choose roasted liver prepared in different ways. You must try:
- Stewed liver with tomatoes;
- Pork liver;
- Village-style pork liver.
If you choose lamb specialties, you will also be pleasantly surprised.
If you prefer to combine the grape elixir with dairy products, then you can choose some type of cheese. It's best to stick to more mature cheeses.