I love Loire Valley Cab Franc. Our wine cellar is full of bottles both young and old and you are likely to enjoy a glass (or three) if you hang out at our house for any amount of time. One of my favorite values from the region is Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil “Trinch!”. Each and every vintage, I feel like I can rely on getting a delicious, pure Cab Franc.
I recently uncorked the 2015 vintage of “Trinch!” for the first time and was once again drawn in by its pureness and honesty. The nose offers up aromas of dark fruit with hints of smoke. The palate is fresh and light showing off bright blueberries & strawberries that mingle with herbal nuances. Vibrant acidity and super easy to drink. Serve with a slight chill and watch it disappear quickly!
It’s been pretty hot throughout California (by hot I mean sweltering), and I keep finding myself reaching for a light-bodied Cabernet Franc. When it comes to finding a great Cab Franc for the price, it’s hard to beat bottles coming from the Loire Valley. The latest bottle to grace my dinner table was Domaine Guion Bourgueil Cuvée Prestige. I fell in love with the wine’s clean, delicate flavors during my first sip. It’s 100% organically farmed Cab Franc made naturally.
“Cuvée Prestige” opens with aromas of black cherries, pepper, herbs, and a bit of earthiness. The palate is incredibly fresh and fruity with fine tannins, healthy acidity, and nuances of minerality. It has an addicting purity, making it super hard for me to put down my glass. Best served slightly chilled and with dishes such as pork chops or rack of lamb! ($16, 12% alcohol)
Cabernet Franc is a wine that, if made properly, is elegant and beautiful. Broc Cellars nailed this style with their 2012 Central Coast Cabernet Franc. This new release is made naturally with Cabernet Franc from the Central Coast of California and is reminiscent of Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley in France. If you are used to sipping big and bold Cabernet Franc, this wine will make you rethink everything you know about the grape.
The wine begins with an enticing perfume of red fruit and herbs. The palate is juicy and delicious. There are fresh tastes of cherry and cranberry mingled with violet and thyme. Not overly complex, but both graceful and gulpable! (12% alcohol, $22)
If you are a fan of Santa Barbara County wines, you should really add Cimarone Wines to your list of wineries to explore. Cimarone’s vineyards are located in the Happy Canyon AVA of Santa Barbara and the winery is run by husband and wife team Roger and Priscilla Higgins. With the help of winemaker Andrew Murray, they produce small lot, crowd-pleasing wines. Over the past week, I sampled the newly released Cimarone 2012 Gran Premio Sangiovese and Cimarone 2012 Cabernet Franc. Each New World style wine is well-made and full of flavor.
Cimarone 2012 Cabernet Franc
Cimarone’s Cabernet Franc is pleasantly aromatic with notes of ripe, red berries, cassis, violets, and hints of oak. The palate is super smooth and features tastes of plums, green bell peppers, red berries, and spice. Balanced and incredibly enjoyable! (13.8% alcohol, $29.99)
Cimarone 2012 Gran Premio Sangiovese
This wine opens with aromas of ripe fruit, earth, and cinnamon. Decadent flavors of plum, red berries, and cinnamon are surrounded by more nuanced notes of earth and vanilla. Hearty enough to pair with roasted meats, this wine will most definitely improve with a little more time in the bottle! (14.5% alcohol, $29.99)
Cabernet Franc…it can be so good or so very bad. Luckily, Broc Cellars did an awesome job producing a beautiful version that I had a chance to sip a couple of weeks ago. It’s pretty hard to find, so, if you can get your hands on a bottle, I would definitely take advantage of the opportunity!
100% Cabernet Franc from Santa Barbara County. Whole cluster pressed and naturally produced. 11.9% alcohol. Retails for around $30.
Beautiful aromatics of red fruit, black pepper, herbs, and earth. The elegant palate offers layers of bright fruit…cranberries, raspberries, and red cherries are abundant. There are also notes of pepper and spice woven throughout. Vibrant, fresh, and pure. Not your typical California Cabernet Franc (thank goodness)!
Cabernet Franc…a beautiful, expressive grape that I love to explore…especially in the summer months. I enjoy grabbing bottles from Loire Valley because they often offer a great QPR. Last week, I picked up a bottle from Domaine Laporte and it definitely did not disappoint!
This Cab Franc opens with aromas of red berries and hints of earth and spice. The palate is light with nice acidity and delicate, red fruit. There are elegant tastes of cherry, cranberry, and strawberry with a bit of black pepper and earthiness. Straightforward and delicious! ($14, 12.5%)
My Wine Rating – B+
Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with lamb, quail, or a burger topped with mushrooms.
I have an affinity towards unfiltered wines so Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Trinch definitely grabbed my attention at the wine store last week. This Loire Valley Cabernet Franc is fermented in stainless steel and the wine makers follow biodynamic viticulture practices. If you happen to stumble upon a bottle, it is definitely worth picking up!
This wine opens up with aromas of cherries, bell peppers, and tobacco. The cherries shine through in the palate with notes of herbs, violets, and minerals. Approachable with soft tannins and crisp acidity, this Cab Franc is definitely ready to sip now! ($22, 12.5% alcohol)
My Wine Rating – B+/A-
Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with rosemary chicken, ostrich, or stuffed bell peppers.
I had a great wine weekend…I drank some wonderful Rosé and Malbec, tried a Sparkling Shiraz for the first time (not my style but unique none the less), and also tried a new Cab Franc at one of my favorite wine bars. Cosentino Winery has been making wine in Napa for over 30 years and I was excited to try their 2007 Cab Franc.
About the Wine- From the Winery
Cosentino 2007 “The Franc” is a blend of 83% Cab Franc and 17% Merlot. The wine is from California and has 15.5% alcohol. It retails for $20 a bottle and you can find more information at www.CosentinoWinery.com
Now For the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine
The Cosentino pours a deep garnet in the glass. It has aromas of dark cherry, plum, and ripe blackberry. The wine has a juicy palate with tastes of ripe cherry, plum, and cranberry followed by round tannins and notes of cedar. The finish is medium and smooth. Definitely a rich and taste bud enticing Cab Franc. A good job by Cosentino!
My Wine Rating- B
*Food Pairing Note- This Cab Franc would go wonderfully with short ribs, a grilled spiced duck breast, or a pizza with green peppers and mushrooms