Varietal Spotlight: Cabernet Franc

Although our winery specializes in Spanish wines, other varietals can also thrive in Sonoita’s complex terroir. These include French wines such as Cabernet Franc, which is sometimes simply called Cab Franc. This is one of the most popular red wines in the world and its herbaceous notes create an intriguing and enticing flavor. Wilhelm Family Vineyards offers a delightfully complex 2012 Cabernet Franc.

More information about this varietal:

The History of Cabernet Franc

It is difficult to trace the origin of Cabernet Franc’s name because the grape has been around for so long, but one theory is that it comes from the Latin phrase for “black vine of France.” Experts believe that the varietal was brought to the Loire Valley region of France by Cardinal Richelieu in the 17th century. An abbot called Breton planted cuttings of these vines at the Abbey of Borgueil. In the Loire Valley, this type of wine is still sometimes referred to as Breton. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the varietal spread to various regions of Bordeaux including Saint-Émillion, Fronsac, and Pomerol.

Cabernet Franc has similar characteristics to Cabernet Sauvignon and in 1997, DNA evidence proved theories that the two varietals are related. Cabernet Sauvignon was created as a cross between Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc at some point during the 1700s. Cabernet Franc is one of the parents of the Merlot and Carménère varietals as well.

The Cabernet Franc Grape

Cabernet Franc grapes are relatively small and have dark, blue-black skin which is thinner than the skin of many other wine grapes. It ripens earlier than its relative Cabernet Sauvignon and this allows it to thrive even in cooler climates. The Cabernet Franc vine is upright and vigorous and its leaves are dark green with five lobes.

Characteristics of Cabernet Franc

This red wine is medium-bodied with medium-high levels of acidity and tannins. It has fruity notes including blackberries and raspberries, as well as violets and a hint of gravelly minerality. The tannins give this varietal a velvety smooth mouthfeel. Decanting this wine prior to serving can help soften its spicy notes and bring out its delightful richness. Cabernet Franc is subtler than its relative Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is a favorite among many wine lovers for its complex and intriguing flavors.

Cabernet Franc is an excellent wine for pairing and can be served with a wide variety of dishes. Fresh herbs and spices can highlight the light spice finish of this wine and its acidity makes it a great companion for tomato-based dishes as well. Goat cheese is a favorite pairing in the region of France where Cabernet Franc originated.

Our Cabernet Franc Wines

Our 2012 Cabernet Franc Private Reserve has aged beautiful and developed complex and enticing flavors. This is a great selection for red wine lovers and you can enjoy it with a variety of different food pairings.

You can purchase our Cabernet Franc at either of our wine tasting rooms or online.