What: A blend of 82% Cabernet Franc and 18% Merlot
Description: A well-balanced, medium bodied Bordeux style red
Flavor Profile: Complex aromas of plum and spice, with soft tannins
How: Fermented in oak barrels
Cabernet Franc grows well for us here at Greenvale. It’s naturally suited to our climate since it’s especially cold-hardy. It also ripens earlier than many other reds which is valuable to us since we have a relatively short growing season here in New England. This grape, which we call “Cab Franc” around here, is one of the twenty most widely planted grape varieties across the world.
Cab Franc is considered by many to be a blending grape, although it can be bottled on its own. Our winemaker, Richard Carmichael, says: “We blend our Cab Franc with a small amount of Merlot to add more color, depth, and flavor complexity. In general, the percentage of Merlot varies from vintage to vintage, but is never more than 25% (if it was more, we couldn’t label it as Cab Franc).”
Cab Franc is generally appreciated for its fruity aromas and its balance of delicate tannins. (Tannins are the element in wine that cause the dry and puckery feeling in your mouth.) It’s often compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, (a relatively new variety created 300 years ago through a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in southwestern France). But Cab Franc is a much lighter wine than your typical Cabernet Sauvignon, both in flavor and in body.
We find that our Cab Fran pairs well with many meals, especially grilled or roasted meats. It will be a nice wine to enjoy this summer at cookouts.
Any questions about Can Franc? Post it below in the comments section or on our Facebook page.