Cabernet Franc

  • Color: Red (Black/Blue-Skinned)
  • Grape Parentage: unconfirmed (Cabernet Franc has been genetically linked to both Hondarribi Beltza and Morenoa, but parentage is not yet certain)
  • Place of Origin: Western Pyrenées in Southwest France/Northern Spain
  • Origin of Grape Name: Some suggest that “Cabernet” may be derived from either the Latin caput (“head”) or carbone (“coal”)
  • Major Countries of Production:
    • France: 35,673 hectares total (2011, FranceAgrimer)
      • Gironde département: 11,503 ha
      • Maine et Loire département: 8,830 ha
      • Indre et Loire département: 5,338 ha
      • Aude département: 2,208 ha
      • Dordogne département: 1,310 ha
    • Italy: 7,085 ha (2000, Wine Grapes)
    • USA (California): 3,538 acres total (2009, USDA/CA Dept. of Agriculture)
  • Synonyms: 
    • France: Bouchet, Gros Bouchet, and Grosse-Vidure (St. Émilion and Pomerol); Carmenet (Médoc), Breton (Loire Valley), Véron, Bouchy, Noir-Dur, Méssange Rouge, Trouchet Noir
    • Italy: Bordo (Veneto), Cabernet Frank
    • Spain: Archéria (Basque Country)
  • Viticultural Characteristics: Cabernet Franc is thinner-Skinned than Cabernet Sauvignon, and buds and ripens at least a week earlier.  Susceptible to Downy and Powdery Mildew, Resistance to Cold
  • Preferred Soil Type: Limestone, Sand
  • Common Blending Partners: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

Typical Descriptors and Structure for Chinon

  • Visual: Dark Ruby Color, Moderate to Moderate Plus Concentration, Pink/Purple Rim Variation (in youth)
  • Aromas/Flavors: Moderate Plus Intensity
    • Fruit: Bright Red Fruit (Raspberry, Cranberry, Red Cherry, Cherry Pit), Tart Black Fruit (Black Cherry, Blackcurrant, Blackberry), Under-ripe Fruit Flavors
    • Possible Carbonic Maceration and/or Stem Inclusion
    • Floral: Violets, Lilacs, White and Red Flowers
    • Herbal/Green/Pyrazine: Blackcurrant Bud/Leaf, Green Bell/Serrano Pepper, Celery Seed, Grass, Sage, Tobacco
    • Other: Leather, Cedar, Cigar Box
    • Earth: High Minerality, Graphite/Pencil Lead, Gravel Dust
    • Oak: Neutral French Oak Barrels (some top cuvées will include new oak)

Structure: Bone Dry to Dry, Moderate Plus Body, Elevated Tannin, Elevated Acidity, Moderate Alcohol

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