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Summer Reds You Need to Know: Cabernet Franc

The next series of blog posts will focus on light reds suitable to take the distinguished position as your summer 'house red'.

I honestly feel that Cabernet Franc is one of the most underrated yet wildly important grapes there is. As one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon and a mainstay in Bordeaux blends, it deserves its due. Umm... fun fact that should be included here, it is also the parent of Merlot, and Carmenere. It's a busy grape! However, the style of Cabernet Franc I want to talk about today is not the blended kind. I want to talk about wines made from 100% Cabernet Franc; these beauties!

Cabernet Franc is a red grape and, as a single variety expression in the glass, is most famed from the Loire Valley, specifically Anjou-Saumur and Touraine. It is an aromatic, red berry, tomato, and herb kind of wine. One of its tell-tale signs is notes of bell pepper or jalapeno, depending on where the grapes are grown. You will also find lively acidity and moderate tannins in this wine giving it the style profile fit for any meal on a patio.

An area that cannot be overlooked when we talk about single variety Cabernet Franc is Tuscany, Italy. Though the climate is warmer than that of the Loire, low intervention expressions of this grape in Tuscany are undeniably winners. I recently had the 2019 Ampeleia Cabernet Franc, served chilled on a patio with grilled meat, and it was a match made in heaven!

Like with Pinot Noir and Gamay, I serve these wines at either 12°C to 13°C, and just like that, Cabernet Franc has made it to my list of staple summer red wines, fit for any patio.

It's high time you add Cabernet Franc to your list of summer reds!


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