Although Cabernet Franc is one of the finest varieties planted across the world, its wines gained special relevance in Argentina only in the last 5 years, when it began to be vinified as a varietal too.
Native to the Loire region, located in central France, this grape variety produces very attractive wines both terms of aroma and flavour, with notes of pepper and red and black fruit, spicy touches, and even floral hints, in some cases. Full-bodied and well-structured wines of firm tannins, known for their great versatility to pair meals.
Even though French wines continue to enjoy the highest prestige worldwide, the cultivation and vinification of this variety has expanded throughout the Old and New World, where it has been incipiently planted in Australia, South Africa, Chile, New Zealand and Argentina.
As Cabernet Franc Day approaches, below are 9 facts to understand the success of this grape variety around the world:
1- It gave rise to Cabernet Sauvignon: The world’s most planted and consumed grape variety, Cabernet Sauvignon, was born in the 17th century from the natural crossing between Cabernet Franc and the white variety Sauvignon Blanc, from which its name derives.
2- It’s one of the varieties that make up the “Bordeaux blend”: Cabernet Franc also stars the great wines from Bordeaux, France, the main origin of its international acclaim. This celebrated “Bordeaux blend” is complete with the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varieties.
3- It is a great accompaniment to casual meals: Its agile body, balanced acidity and firm tannins make Cabernet Franc the perfect choice to pair with simple, everyday dishes, such as pasta al filetto, Napolitan pizzas and milanesas, but it can also enhance the complex flavour of game meat.
Its agile body, balanced acidity and firm tannins make Cabernet Franc the perfect choice to pair with simple, everyday dishes, such as pasta al filetto, Napolitan pizzas and milanesas.
4- Pyrazine is part of its identity: This aromatic organic compound reminiscent of bell pepper is part of the characteristic typicity of Cabernet Franc. Pyrazine is responsible for the spicy, herbaceous and peppery note that distinguishes the wines made from this variety.
5- It smells like eucalyptus or menthol: Cabernet Franc wines tend to be fresh, austere and delicate, with a vegetal note that characterises them with their herbaceous and wild aromas, such as eucalyptus and menthol.
6- It’s a versatile wine: It features the structure and tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon and the delicacy and smoothness typical of Merlot. Its excellent vinification turns Cabernet Franc into a subtle but well-bodied wine, thus making it highly versatile for different drinking situations.
7- In Argentina, its cultivation increased 150% since 2010: According to the latest report on this variety, published by the National Wine Institute (INV, for its Spanish acronym), in Argentina, 1569 hectares are planted with Cabernet Franc, an increase of 150% since 2010 (943 more hectares). Besides, 80.6% of the land planted with this variety is in Mendoza.
8- From blend to varietal: Although Cabernet Franc was only used to add freshness and a new layer of aromas and flavours to a blend in the past, in the last few years, it resulted in great varietals that captivated local consumers and are now exported to foreign markets. A varietal that faithfully expresses the character of this variety is De Sangre Cabernet Franc, made from grapes harvested from a 25-year-old vineyard planted in our Finca El Paraíso.
9- It was previously known as Bouchet: First cultivated in our Finca Los Nobles in 1868, Bouchet was the name given to the oldest Cabernet Franc clone in the world. The Luigi Bosca Finca Los Nobles Cabernet Bouchet field blend is made from this variety, born from the natural crossing with Cabernet Sauvignon in the Las Compuertas Valley vineyard.