Like many of you, I have been enjoying some of the Cabernet Francs that are available, particularly the ones from Michael David Winery in Lodi. We discovered their Inkblot Cab Franc quite by accident a few years ago.
We were on a cycling trip through the Lodi wine region and stopped at Michael David Winery for a late lunch. While waiting for a table, I asked one of the tasting room salesclerks about the wines. She said, unequivocally, that the Cab franc is a “must” drink with our lunch.
Of course, I ordered the tri-tip wrapped asparagus for my lunch, and a glass of the Cab franc. Not only was it a perfect pairing, the Cab franc was outstanding.
But how would I carry several bottles on my bicycle, back to where we parked at the Lodi Wine Center? Easily solved, we drove back to the winery after completing our ride, bought several bottles, and headed home!
The question then becomes, what is the difference between Cab franc and Cab sauvignon? First, Cab franc, along with Sauvignon Blanc are the parents of Cab sauvignon. And both are key elements in France’s Bordeaux blends.
Betty’s Wine Musings has an excellent summary:
Cab franc Cab sauvignon
Color Lighter red Darker red
Tannin Lower tannin Higher tannin
Acidity Lower acidity Higher acidity
Age worthiness Best enjoyed young (under 3 years) Can be very age worthy
Skin thickness Thinner skin, which contributes to lighter Thicker skin, which contributes to darker color, color, lower tannin, and heavier tannin, and higher age worthiness lower age worthiness
Aromas and taste More perfumy and herbaceous, with notes Less perfumy and herbaceous, with notes of of raspberry, cherry, plum, cassis, violet, blackberry, black cherry, cassis, oak, vanilla, tobacco, and bell pepper smoke, tar, leather, earth, bell pepper, asparagus and green olive Geography Grown in France, Romania, Hungary, Grown throughout the world the Balkans, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and the United States
How it is used More frequently blended with other wines Consumed most often on its own, many of the than consumed on its own. Alone, can great wines of the world are made from this grape. lack structure and complexity to produce a great wine. But when you find a good one, it is a real treat!
I (along with Betty) suggest that you buy several Can francs to try, determine a good price point, and drink it within three years. You will not regret it. I have enjoyed mine with Italian food, prime rib, lamb, and some charcuterie.
The Inkblot Cab franc is available from Michael David for $35, a little pricey, but worth it.
Let me know what you think.