Wine Spotlight: All About Cabernet Francs

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Once in a while we go on a varietal kick. All Albariño, all Pinot Noir, or, right now for us, it’s all about Cabernet Francs. A lesser-known varietal on its own, it’s typically used as a blending grape in many French regions. In Chinon, France (part of the Loire Valley) Cabernet Franc stands by itself and we’re so glad it does. A bit lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc is an aromatic full-bodied red wine with notes of raspberry fruit, pepper and tobacco. What makes this wine so unique is that it often has herbaceous and mineral notes as well. This can display with flavors of green bell pepper, violets and wet earth, along with floral or wet slate scents. Ok, now that we’ve written that down, it is a bit of a quirky grape, but we love it nonetheless.

Now that you’ve gotten to know Cab Franc a little better, let’s meet our newest bottle: Domaine de l’Enchantoir Saumur Puy Notre Dame ‘Le Pied a l’Etrier’ ($17).

This wine originates from Saumur Puy-Notre-Dame a tiny appellation in the Loire Valley. It was only established and certified in 2009, making it the newest kid on the block. This region is noted for its dense limestone soils, and boy can you taste the resulting minerality! It’s good to sip on its own, or better yet, paired with a juicy steak. This particular bottle smells of wet stone followed by a delicate palate nuanced with a lot of green herbaceous notes. It finishes with a hint of ripe red raspberry. Are you starting to see why we like it yet?

Pairings: Soft runny cheeses and charcuterie, red meat or veal, anything involving peppercorns!