More vigorous and more precocious than its cousin Cabernet Sauvignon, with which it does not really have very much in common, the Cabernet Franc is the king of red wines from the Loire. However in the Bordeaux region and in the South-West in general, it plays a supporting role, although highly-valued. It totals 45,000 hectares all over the world, with France accounting for the lion’s share – 36,650 hectares in production. It is also to be found in northern Italy and in Australia. Although this grape produces wines that can be kept, its tannins are more amiable than those of the Cabernet Sauvignon, making it more velvety and delicate when very young. Most typically it is at home on the banks of the Loire, notably in Saumur and Chinon. Its aroma of raspberry, cherry and liquorice over balanced tannins, all delicate and supple, have been loved here since the days of that epicurean Rabelais.
Where does this grape grow?
Bordeaux, Charente, Languedoc-Roussillon, South-West, Loire Valley