Cabernet Franc is used for Blended or Varietal Wines

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Cabernet franc is largely overshadowed by its more well known cousin Cabernet sauvignon. However Cab Franc is widespread in France, the cooler regions of Europe and in most wine producing countries.

Some synonyms for this variety are Bouchet, Breton bordo.

The most common use for Cabernet franc is as a blending partner, often minor, in so called Bordeaux blends. These wines are made from blends of Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet franc varieties, often with one or more of the less common Bordeaux varieties Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere.

The second use for the variety is as a varietal wine. In most countries this means that wine has to be made from at least 85% Cabernet franc.

The Difference between Franc and Sauvignon

As their names suggest these two wine grape varieties are related. Franc is the older variety, sauvignon seems to be its offspring. Cabernet franc ripens a little earlier and hence can be successful in slightly cooler areas than Cabernet Sauvignon. The Loire Valley and North Eastern Italy, both strongholds of the variety are cooler than Bordeaux.

Compare Prices of Cabernet Franc Wines

Use this link to find online and physical stores near you who stock Cabernet Franc wine. You can read reviews and compare prices.
Cabernet franc wines tend to be softer than sauvignon. They have more fruit flavours, especially raspberries and thus are more likely to be given less oak treatment.

Two lesser known Cabernet varieties are Cabernet Severney and Ruby Cabernet. The former is a hybrid developed for cold climates in Russia by a crossing with a Mongolian species. Ruby Cabernet was bred in California in an attempt to develop a variety useful in hot climates.

Cabernet Franc in France

The variety is best known for its use in Bordeaux as a blending partner.

Less well known is Cabernet franc's role in varietal wines in France, particularly in the Loire Valley appellations of Bourgueil, Chinon and Saumur. It is also a component of the rose Appellation Cabernet d'Anjou in this region.

Cabernet Franc in Australia

The variety is used in a similar way to its use in France, mainly as a blending variety, but by quite a significant number as a straight varietal.

Is it an alternative variety? This is controversial. It's use as a blending partner is certainly not, but there is an argument that the use of the variety to make varietals is alternative.

Some Australian wineries using Cabernet franc to make varietal wines in Australia

  • Adina Vineyard Hunter Valley
  • All Saints Estate Rutherglen
  • Bests Grampians
  • Black Swan Winery Swan Valley
  • Bloodwood Orange
  • Brairose Estate Margaret River
  • Briarose Estate Margaret River
  • Bulong Estate Yarra Valley
  • Byrne and Smith McLaren Vale
  • Chalk Hill Winery McLaren Vale
  • Chatsfield Mount Barker
  • Cofield Wines Rutherglen
  • Cruickshank Callatoota Wines Hunter Valley
  • Drakesbrook Wines Peel
  • Gapsted Alpine Valleys
  • Goona Warra Vineyard Sunbury
  • Grassy Point Coatsworth Wines Geelong
  • Happs Margaret River
  • Harcourt Valley Bendigo
  • Hastwell and Lightfoot McLaren Vale
  • Hay Shed Hill Wines Margaret River
  • Hemera Estate Barossa Valley
  • Heritage Estate Granite Belt
  • Howard Vineyard Adelaide Hills
  • Idlewild Hunter Valley
  • Jamsheed Yarra Valley
  • Jarvis Estate Margaret River
  • Jenke Vineyards Barossa Valley
  • Kotai Estate Geographe
  • Lane's End Vineyard Macedon Ranges
  • Leabrook Estate Adelaide Hills
  • Longview Creek Sunbury
  • Louee Wines Mudgee
  • Mardia Wines Barossa Valley
  • Montefalco Vineyard Porongurup
  • Mount Avoca Pyrenees
  • Mount Eyre Vineyards Hunter Valley
  • Old Loddon Wines Bendigo
  • Paracombe Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Passing Clouds Bendigo
  • Pepper Tree Wines Orange
  • Peter Lehmann Barossa Valley
  • Plantagenet Mount Barker
  • Polleters Vineyard Pyrenees
  • Portree Vineyard Macedon Ranges
  • Redgate Margaret River
  • Rimfire Vineyards Darling Downs
  • Rose Creek Estate Sunbury
  • Ross Hill Wines Orange
  • Sally's Paddock Pyrenees
  • Settlement Wines McLaren Vale
  • Sharpe Wines of Orange Orange
  • Silverstream Wines Denmark
  • St Leonards Rutherglen
  • Steels Creek Estate Yarra Valley
  • Swooping Magpie Margaret River
  • Tahbilk Nagambie Lakes
  • Tallagandra Hill Canberra
  • Tamborine Estate Wines Queensland Coastal
  • Tamburlaine Hunter Valley
  • The Islander Estate Vineyards Kangaroo Island
  • Tomfoolery Barossa Valley
  • Truffle Hill Wines Pemberton
  • Twelve Acres Nagambie Lakes
  • Vasarelli Currency Creek
  • Watershed Wines Margaret River
  • Way Wood Wines McLaren Vale
  • Wild Dog Winery Gippsland
  • Woodlands Margaret River
  • Wynwood Estate Hunter Valley

Wine variety table

Cabernet Franc is one of 184 wine grape varieties described on

De Long's Wine Grape Varietal Table

Does this wine Have a Personality?

My friend the Winebird certainly thinks so!

Watch the video below to see an interesting take on the Cabernet Franc wine variety.

You can find more about the personalities of wine varieites by visiting the Winebird Website

Food pairing with Cabernet Franc

Varietal Cabernet Franc wines are often unoaked and so they go with foods with herbal flavours rather than rich meats, veal rather than Beef or wild boar for example. In springtime you might serve a Cabernet franc with an asparagus quiche as an entree.

In Daring Pairings Evan Goldstein suggests that this variety goes well with goats cheese.

Maybe you could add a food suggestion via the comments box below...

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