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Cabernet Franc

The Cabernet Franc grape variety is one of the foundations on which various wines are produced in many parts of the world. It is certainly well known as one of the famous varieties of Bordeaux, where it is used in addition to Merlot and the Sauvignon variant. It is considered the most important variety in the Loire Valley area, where it reaches its productive peak in the Saumur-Champigny and Bourgueil denominations, producing juicy expressions rich in fruity components. In Italy, it is also widely used: it is often the main ingredient in the great Supertuscan reds, in the Bolgheri area and in the rest of Tuscany. There are also versions from the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, where it is historically rooted and offers more balsamic and herbaceous scents.

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The Cabernet Franc grape variety is one of the foundations on which various wines are produced in many parts of the world. It is certainly well known as one of the famous varieties of Bordeaux, where it is used in addition to Merlot and the Sauvignon variant. It is considered the most important variety in the Loire Valley area, where it reaches its productive peak in the Saumur-Champigny and Bourgueil denominations, producing juicy expressions rich in fruity components. In Italy, it is also widely used: it is often the main ingredient in the great Supertuscan reds, in the Bolgheri area and in the rest of Tuscany. There are also versions from the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, where it is historically rooted and offers more balsamic and herbaceous scents.

Origins and Historical Mapping

The historical classification of Cabernet Franc is almost certain and identifies it as an native French grape, in the Gironde and Bordeaux areas, deriving from the Vitis Biturica variety. The name also indicates its origin, literally translated as "Black of France", however, careful analysis of its DNA reveals that its real origin is actually the result of crossing two vine varieties from the Basque Country. This confirms an already validated historical hypothesis: its cultivation was the pride of the priests of Roncesvalles, a town on the border with France and a very important stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Here, the monks cultivated several vineyards in an area stretching from the French village of Irouleguy to the Basque village of Hondarribia, raising a local variety called Achèria (literally translated as Fox). This name is still used today as a synonym for Franc in Basque, and can now be considered its original clone. From the Basque Country, it is said to have spread widely in the neighbouring region of Bordeaux, where it finds its most suitable areas in the communes of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. Here, the loose soil makes it possible for its roots to sink to depths of up to 6 metres in order to draw in nutrients, thanks to their great strength.


International Geography

Unlike the Sauvignon variety, which is officially classified as a cross-breed with Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc does not boast an enormous worldwide diffusion, despite its gradual rediscovery in California, New Zealand and Argentina. Its geographical characteristics do not make it suitable for hot climates: it prefers cold and humid environments and easily suffers from scorching climates although it can easily resist diseases, given its excellent leaf and root strength. The highest quality expressions, however, are found in wine-growing areas that have been cultivating it for decades, if not centuries: an important factor is the elegance that it gives to the versions from the Loire Valley, a region known as the "Garden of France'', especially in the denominations situated in its centre. Here, they manage to produce a red wine of splendid softness and fruity juiciness, perfect for ageing. It is also historically rooted in north-eastern Italy, but is often referred to as Bordo in Friuli Venezia Giulia and neighbouring areas. It is also important to highlight the characteristics that have allowed this variety of wine to establish itself radically in Tuscany, where, especially on the coast and in the Bolgheri area, it succeeds in creating territorial expressions of great intensity and structure: among them, the Duemani Cabernet Franc stands out for its exclusivity and finesse, as well as the range of Tenuta di Trinoro, and Paleo delle Macchiole. These are full-bodied reds, inspired by Bordeaux style wines that have found their ideal territory in Tuscany.


Aromatic Profile, Characteristics and Suggested Pairings 

Each geographical interpretation gives rise to various aromatic and sensory profiles that characterise the different terroirs of origin. In the Saumur-Champigny and Bourgueil areas, the wines are fresh, fruity and medium-bodied, and tirelessly easy to drink. The Tuscan and Cabernet Franc Friuli versions, on the other hand, focus on structure and body, drawing heavily from the Bordeaux varieties. These varieties have established the foundations for the development of this grape from simple and youthful to rich and versatile, both in purity and in blends. The fresh, jovial and juicy wine from the Loire is perfect with medium-aged cheeses and fatty cold meats, while the intense Tuscan interpretations are perfect with stews, salmì and truffles.

On Callmewine's online store you can find a wide selection of Cabernet Franc wines for sale online and on special offer at competitive prices. Discover the sommelier's selection, along with pairing suggestions and the characteristics of each wine.