Cabernet Franc Day was started by Dracaena Wines to celebrate this great varietal without it being overshadowed by its offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon! Yeah, one of your favorite red varietals is the offspring of a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc and while Cabernet gets the Thursday before Labor Day, the owners of Dracaena thought that Cab Franc should have it’s own day! So, they choose December 4th, the anniversary of Cardinal Richelieu’s death, who introduced the variety into the Loire Valley in the 17th Century. Cab Franc’s origins are likely Basque but it made it’s name in the Loire Valley and in Bordeaux, as a blending grape. Today, there is great Cab Franc coming from around the world! Here are a few that we have in stock for #CabFrancDay:

  • Gray Ghost Cabernet Franc 2016: A great example of Virginia’s expression of Cab Franc made by a family-owned winery that has roots in the Virginia wine trade for decades. Fermented in small lots and aged for ten months in French oak barrels, it has notes of raspberry, black cherry, and spice. This is a great wine for lamb, heavy pasta dishes, pork, or roasted turkey.
  • El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2011: Adrianna Catena grew up drinking Old-World Bordeaux with her father. She will never forget the first time dad received a shipment of wine from France and opened a bottle of Cheval Blanc for her. Alejandro Vigil, the winemaker, served Angelica Zapata Cabernet Franc at their wedding. It’s as if both Alejandro and Adrianna were born with a taste for the peppery aromas, grainy tannins, and the freshness of this variety. This wine is 92% Cabernet Franc and 8% Malbec from the Valle de Uco in Mendoza, Argentina. Grown at over 4600 feet and spending 16 months in 20% new French oak, this is an intense wine that has concentrated notes of cassis, ripe currants, and sweet spices. It is a very balanced and elegant wine that is perfect with steaks, grilled games, or charcuterie. If you enjoy it, try their Bonarda (which is 15% Cab Franc) and their Gran Enemigo (73% Cabernet Franc, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, & 5% Malbec), both of which are also in stock now!
  • Domaine des Roches Neuves “La Marginale” 2011: This is a great bottle of Cab Franc from Saumur Champigny in the Loire Valley, the heart of Cab Franc territory, produced by one of the greatest examples of biodynamic winemaking currently around! Thierry Germain produces some of the most exciting wines in the Loire Vallery right now and, arguably, in the world and is a world-renowned expert on biodynamic winemaking. This wine is only made in great vintages and comes from two communes (Chacé and Varrains) from vines that are at least 45-years old. This, like all of his wines, possesses purity, finesse, and drinkability that many Cab Francs from the Loire lack. Not the cheapest bottle of Cab Franc, but well worth it!

Come out, grab a bottle, and join in the celebration of one of the most widely planted grapes in the world*!

* It ranks 17th, which is ahead of Malbec at 21st, Zinfandel at 29th, and Petit Syrah at 133rd!

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Author Thad

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