The Cabernet franc grape is mostly used as a blending variety. It is an essential component of top-class Bordeaux wines in particular. When vinified as a single varietal, however, it can be rather difficult to identify the grape, depending on region.
Cabernet franc grape variety: perfect for well-balanced aromas
Although it is cousin to the noble Cabernet Sauvignon.with fewer tannins and lower extract concentration, the Cabernet franc grape produces light to medium-bodied wines for drinking young.
The bestCabernet franc wines are blended withMerlotand come from the eastern part of Bordeaux.In Saint-Émilion and Pomerol you are more likely to find Cabernet franc than Cabernet Sauvignon as Bordeaux wineries use it to produce top-quality wines in blends with Merlot. In addition to the traditional Bordeaux-style blend with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, blending with Malbec, Carménère and Petit Verdot also produces excellent wines.
Cultivation of Cabernet franc grapes
Cabernet franc vines have loose bunches of grapes. This not only helps them ripen, it also makes them more resistant to typical vine diseases. Firm skins and stalks provide good protection from botrytis (grey mould) and mildew. Compared with Cabernet Sauvignon, it ripens more quickly and is less fussy as regards soil type, though plantings on calcareous and sandy soils yield especially good results.
Growers should choose asite carefully. If the grapes do not ripen fully, they will lose the soft character of the otherwise unobtrusive tannins. Grassy and paprika aromas then appear which can leave an unpleasant aftertaste.