For many, Cabernet Franc is only the grape that blends well with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to create a Meritage and other Bordeaux style wines. It often is described as inferior to a robust, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. It was long believed that Cabernet Franc was a distant, less regal cousin of Cabernet Sauvignon. Recent research, however, has asserted that Cabernet Sauvignon is the progeny of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.
Today some wineries are recognizing the subtle tannins, the spicy aromas, and berry flavors and are offering the grape as a varietal on its own. Cabernet Franc is a thin-skinned red grape that grows well in cooler climates. Most Virginia wineries are offering Cabernet Franc selections. It was in Virginia, that I first tasted and grew to love Cabernet Franc.
Many Kentucky wineries offer a Cabernet Franc wine, such as Prodigy Vineyards and Winery, Purple Toad Winery, StoneBrook Winery, and Elk Creek Vineyards. The flavors of luscious berries blend with the flavors of fruits such as cherries or plums. The wine is a clear deep garnet with a fragrant aroma of spices. Not only is the wine to be recommended, the grapes themselves are some of the most beautiful. While visiting Purple Toad Winery in Paducah, and Barboursville Vineyards in Virginia, I couldn’t resist the lure of the beauty of the Cabernet Franc grapes vineyard.
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