Celebrating 4 Cabernet Franc From South Africa, South America, North America: Napa, North Carolina

Cele­bra­ting Caber­net Franc with 4 From Around the World

In the Loi­re Valley, Caber­net Franc stands alo­ne, usually as a red wine, but some­ti­mes spar­kling, or a rose. Just south, in Bor­deaux, Caber­net Franc blends in with a team usually led by Mer­lot or Caber­net Sau­vig­non. The rest of the world gene­rally follo­wed Bordeaux’s path by gro­wing Caber­net Franc to crea­te a blend with Caber­net Sau­vig­non, Mer­lot, Mal­bec, and Petit Ver­dot. Whi­le the­se Bor­deaux sty­le blends are cer­tainly deli­cious, it’s a worthwhi­le endea­vor to enjoy ele­gant, her­bal Caber­net Franc on its own merits. And no bet­ter time than Caber­net Franc Day cele­bra­ted each year on Dec. 4. As we wro­te in “Seven Reasons to Cele­bra­te Cab Franc”-

  1. Caber­net Franc came to the Loi­re Valley, Fran­ce in the 17th Cen­tury thanks to Car­di­nal Riche­lieu who died on Decem­ber 4 which is why Lori Budd cho­se to cele­bra­te this gra­pe on this day.
  2. Caber­net Franc is a parent of Caber­net Sau­vig­non (with Sau­vig­non Blanc no less as deter­mi­ned by DNA evi­den­ce in 1997; it’s also a parent of  Car­me­ne­re (which we cele­bra­te Nov. 24) and Mer­lot (which we cele­bra­ted Nov. 8). PS For Cab Sauv fan, we’re com­pa­ring Chi­lean with Cali­for­nian this week!
  3. Caber­net Franc grounds clas­sic Bor­deaux blends (along with Caber­net Sau­vig­non, Mer­lot, Petit Ver­dot, and Mal­bec) adding pep­pery earth, fines­se, and depth.
  4. Caber­net Franc brings vege­tal cha­rac­te­ris­tics (from grass to lea­ves to bell pep­per to green beans) to the palate.
  5. Caber­net Franc pairs excep­tio­nally well with beef and cuts through rich heavy foods without being a rich heavy wine.
  6. Caber­net Franc offers a heady com­bi­na­tion of aro­ma, spi­ce, and fruit in a vibrantly colo­red container.
  7. Caber­net Franc’s popu­la­rity makes it one of the 20 most plan­ted varie­tals in the world.

This year we deci­ded to com­pa­re four Caber­net Franc from four regions and at a ran­ge of pri­ce points: South Ame­ri­ca from Domai­ne Bous­quet, South Afri­ca from Mul­der­bosch (SRP $40), East Coast US from Jones von Dreh­le Vine­yards and Winery (SRP $28) and West Coast US from Char­les Krug (SRP $80).

Caber­net Franc From Around The World

Cabernet Franc From Around The World

  • South Ame­ri­ca: 2018 Domai­ne Bousquet’s Orga­nic Gaia Caber­net Franc SRP $25
  • East Coast US: 2017 Jones von Dreh­le Vine­yards and Winery Caber­net Franc SRP $28
  • South Afri­ca: 2017 Mul­der­bosch Sin­gle Vine­yard Caber­net Franc  SRP $40
  • West Coast US: Char­les Krug Caber­net Franc SRP $80


  • Chee­se­board
  • Capre­se Salad
  • Risot­to
  • Sweet Pota­toes
  • Bro­co­li
  • Smo­ked New York Steak

2018 Domai­ne Bousquet’s Orga­nic Gaia Caber­net Franc

South America, Argentina, Mendoza:
2018 Domaine Bousquet’s Organic Gaia Cabernet Franc

ABV:  15%
SRP: $25
Gra­pes:  Caber­net Franc, made with orga­nic gra­pes from the Gual­ta­llary Vineyards
Impor­ter: WISD LLC

Narra­ti­ve: 4000 ft alti­tu­de. Will add more ASAP.

Appea­ran­ce: Dark and den­se maroon, deep ruby, gar­net rim

Aro­ma: Earthy, duff, mush­rooms, woody, green bean, jas­mi­ne green tea, jala­peno pep­per, musky, nicely balan­ced for 15% alcohol

Pala­te: The forest comes across the pala­te, a bit of bell pep­per, very smooth, good struc­tu­re, balan­ced tan­nins, actually qui­te an ele­gant wine. great value, nice fresh cherry finish, nice depth of flavor.

Pai­ring: The steak is very nice with the wine. The sea­so­ning and the grill marry nicely. It likes the spicy aru­gu­la in the salad and the crea­mi­ness of the burra­ta is so nice. The spicy aru­gu­la chan­ges the finish of the wine­We loved how the wine dan­ced with the rose­mary in the risot­to. This wine loves rose­mary as a spi­ce. If we had put rose­mary on the sweet pota­to it would have been a per­fect match.

2017 Jones von Dreh­le Vine­yards and Winery Caber­net Franc

East Coast US, North Carolina, Yadkin Valley
2017 Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery Cabernet Franc

ABV:  13.3%
SRP: $28
Gra­pes:  Caber­net Franc

Narra­ti­ve: Not fla­wed, but a little odd. Bad label. But often good wines have bad labels. A few days later the wine was qui­te ele­gant, nothing odd about it at all. Will add more ASAP.

Appea­ran­ce: Very pale almost looks like a Pinot, not a lot of skin con­tact??? very light, pale gar­net, water­me­lon rim

Aro­ma:  Cherry, menthol, cherry cough syrupV8, toma­to leaf rather than toma­to, a bit of green bean, celery, as it opens up, more of the fruit comes through, black pepper,

Pala­te: Light, clean, bright fruit, rasp­berry, balan­ced  not round like a Cab Franc from Fran­ce it is lac­king something. It is quaf­fa­ble, plea­sant, and inter­es­ting that we were tas­ting a wine from North Caro­li­na. I was really bothe­red by this wine at first after it ope­ned up and the wine chan­ged in the glass I war­med up to this wine. After it opens up the­re is nice cherry on the palate

Pai­ring: The smoky rich­ness of the meat is nice with the wine. It also likes the rich­ness of the sweet pota­to to enhan­ce its rich­ness. It goes well with the broc­co­li, we thought roas­ted Brus­sel sprouts would be per­fect with the wine loving the char and the green rich­ness of the Brus­sel sprouts.

I felt that at first this wine was weird and I didn’t want to tas­te or wri­te about this wine, howe­ver Sue tal­ked me into going through the motions and doing our thing with the wine. It came through The wine whi­le it did not shi­ne like raw North Star, but it did per­form plea­su­rea­blely in a uni­que way.

2017 Mul­der­bosch Sin­gle Vine­yard Caber­net Franc

South Africa:
2017 Mulderbosch Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc

ABV:  13%
SRP: $40
Gra­pes:  Caber­net Franc
Impor­ter: Third Leaf Wines

Narra­ti­ve: Beau­ti­ful aro­ma, disap­poin­ting pala­te. Will add more ASAP.

Appea­ran­ce:  Den­se, plum, ruby, ruby rim, a bit cloudy, you can­not see it,

Aro­ma: Green beans, green bell pep­pers, jala­peno pep­pers, She­lia “It smells like stuf­fed bell pep­pers with Ita­lian sau­sa­ge” Fen­nel, cara­way, Unu­sual and so appea­ling, Sue wan­ted to dive right into the class,

Pala­te: The pala­te is not as plea­sing as the nose, the­re is a lot at the front of the pala­te and then it disap­pears. For $40 you should expect more. It is not bad or fla­wed, but the pala­te is a bit disap­poin­ting, cherry up front and a quickly disap­pea­ring sali­ne finish.

 Pai­ring: The wine loves the herbs in the risot­to. the smo­ked part of the steak was nice with the wine. It likes the broc­co­li. This would be a great vege­ta­rian or vegan meal wine. It does not fight with broc­co­li at all which is a very dif­fi­cult food to pair with wine. The steak is also great with the wine. Earthy strong chee­ses also work well with the wine.

Char­les Krug Caber­net Franc

West Coast US: California, Napa Valley
Charles Krug Cabernet Franc

SRP $80

ABV:  14.7%
SRP: $80
Gra­pes:  Caber­net Franc

They say: Pic­ked at night to retain the brigh­test fla­vors, our Limi­ted Relea­se Caber­net Franc, is craf­ted from pris­ti­ne fruit sour­ced from the family’s esta­te vine­yards in Yountville.
Aged 100% French oak, our Caber­net Franc show­ca­ses notes of can­died cherry, dried blue­berry, and nutmeg.
Only 488 cases produced.

Appea­ran­ce: Plum with a ruby rim, a bit cloudy

Aro­ma: Oak enhan­ces the wine, vani­lla, spicy, plum pie with all of the baking spi­ces, pastry fresh out of the oven, boy­sen­berry, blue­berry, pretty, like a lovely woman per­fu­me, her­bal notes on the nose are a bit more her­bal than pyro­xe­ne, yet the­re are some green elements.

Pala­te: Very smooth and ele­gant, soft tan­nins, sue­de, cherry pipe tobac­co, ripe fruit finish, the plea­sing ripe fruit on the finish invi­tes you to go back for a second Sio. The­re is a dry­ness that makes you want to go back for more.

Pai­ring: Absou­tely frig­gin fan­tas­tic with the steak. you don’t need anything else on your pla­te to enjoy this wine. The steak is a good qua­lity steak and it was sea­so­ned per­fectly, and it was smo­ked. Sue wan­ted this wine with blue chee­se. This wine can hand­le strong chee­ses. blue chee­se mel­ted on to the steak would  be won­der­ful. Sue did try it and steak and blue chee­se was a hit. It also went per­fectly with our mush­room risot­to. It loves the rich earthy qua­li­ties in the dish. It also went well with the sweet pota­to. The salad went well with the salad as side on your pla­te it went well, but if it was a cour­sed meal with the salad, it would not work so well. This wine really wants the char that the grill can bring. Think gri­lled steak, baked pota­toes on the grill.

This is very much a new world wine, It is rich and spicy, big and bold, one would never con­fu­se this with an old world wine.

Happy Caber­net Franc Day!  Once again, thanks to foun­der Lori Hoyt-Budd of Dra­cae­na Wines in Paso Robles, the yearly event on Dec. 4th sha­res love for the gra­pe and the wines made with it.

Sour­ce: https://winepredator.com/2022/12/04/celebrating-cabernet-franc-with-4-from-around-the-world/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

15 − ten =