Sunday, October 26, 2014

Strangebird on the loose - Cabernet franc

Cabernet Franc is a  thin-skinned red grape originally from the Bordeaux and Loire Valley regions of France.  Cabernet Franc has fine tannins, spicy aromas and peppery accents, and is an ideal candidate for blending with other varietals such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, although, more producers are starting to sell Cabernet Franc as a single varietal.

Lucas Estate and Kominos Wines both make Cabernet franc. Louise from Lucas Estate :

I don't grow Cab Franc, I now buy it from Zambelli Vineyard in Ballandean and the first time we made it as a red varietal we bought grapes from Golden Grove. I always enjoyed drinking the variety and my husband wanted us to make a Bordeaux Blend. We already were making a dry Rose from Cab Franc so knew it was available in the Granite Belt.The Cab Franc is only 20% of our Blend so I was able to make a straight varietal as well. The variety is very popular, we are currently sold out but I have wine maturing on oak so there will be another release.

Professional Friends of Wine (online @ have an interest in the family tree (or vine) of wine, and taught me a new word today: 'ampelography' . Recent studies in ampelography have determined that cabernet franc is one of the genetic parents of cabernet sauvignon (the other is sauvignon blanc). Cabernet franc was also found to be the common ancestor among other grapes of Bordeaux, including carmenère, malbec, and merlot.