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Cabernet Franc

The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets

The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets...

The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets, Cabernet Franc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon and shares many of the structural elements of Bordeaux’s cornerstone variety. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc is often planted as an insurance policy against its later-ripening offspring, as it is more likely to thrive in a difficult harvest. But don’t mistake Cabernet Franc for merely a supporting player—this grape variety produces outstanding wines on its own or as the dominant component of a blend. It produces perhaps its most alluring wines in France’s Loire Valley, in the regions of Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur-Champigny, where brighter, riper wines can be achieved. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc has performed quite well in parts of California, New York, and Virginia.

In the Glass

Paler, lighter, crisper, softer, and much more aromatic than its progeny, Cabernet Franc typically tastes of red raspberries, cherries, and herbs, with a stunning perfume of violets, tobacco, and spice.

Perfect Pairings

Mouthwatering acidity makes Cabernet Franc an incredibly food-friendly wine, helping to cut through the richness of fatty meat dishes. It especially shines in tandem with lamb, and its affinity for the spice cabinet allows it to pair perfectly with Chinese dishes prepared with Szechuan pepper and five-spice.

Sommelier Secrets

Under-ripe Cabernet Franc can be leafy and green with harsh tannins and mouth-searing acidity, so it is best to avoid highly spiced curries and fiery chili dishes.

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  • Keenan Cabernet Franc 2013
    Cabernet Franc from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • V93
    • WW92
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  • Lang & Reed Cabernet Franc 2013
    Cabernet Franc from North Coast, California
    • WW93
    • WS91
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  • William Harrison Estate Cabernet Franc 2012
    Cabernet Franc from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
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  • Jean-Maurice Raffault Les Galuches Chinon 2015
    Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
    • WS92
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  • Bodega Aleanna Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard 2011
    Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
    • RP98
    • V93
    • WE93
    Currently Unavailable $109.99
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  • Bodega Aleanna El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2011
    Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
    • RP92
    • WE91
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  • Savage Grace Wines Copeland Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2015
    Cabernet Franc from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE91
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  • Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain Cabernet Franc 2014
    Cabernet Franc from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP93
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Le Macchiole Paleo 2012
    Cabernet Franc from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS97
    • RP94
    • V94
    • W&S93
    • WS93
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  • Conn Creek Cabernet Franc 2014
    Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
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    • Bernard Baudry Chinon Le Clos Guillot 2012
      Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
      • V90
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    • Raats Cabernet Franc 2013
      Cabernet Franc from South Africa
      • RP93
      • WS90
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    • Domaine Grosbois Chinon La Cuisine de ma mere 2015
      Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
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      • Trefethen Estate Cabernet Franc 2014
        Cabernet Franc from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
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        • Cosentino The Franc Cabernet Franc 2015
          Cabernet Franc from Lodi, California
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          • Bernard Baudry Chinon La Croix Boissee 2012
            Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
            • V92
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          • Calcu Cabernet Franc 2014
            Cabernet Franc from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
            • RP89
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          • Chateau du Coudray-Montpensier Le Grand Bouqueteau Chinon 2014
            Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
            • WE92
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          • Lieu Dit Cabernet Franc 2015
            Cabernet Franc from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
            • V93
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          • Maquis Cabernet Franc 2014
            Cabernet Franc from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
            • RP90
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          • Vinum Cellars The Scrapper Cabernet Franc 2011
            Cabernet Franc from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
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            • Marc Bredif Chinon 2015
              Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
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              • Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain Cabernet Franc 2013
                Cabernet Franc from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
                • RP91
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              • Larkin Wines Cabernet Franc 2003
                Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
                • RP90
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              • Bernard Baudry Chinon 2014
                Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Touraine, Loire, France
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