Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, Most famously in the Loire. Cabernet Franc is the parent grape of both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Complex reds result, with aromas of raspberry, bramble, and bell pepper. At the moment at Madrona Wine we have six examples from the Loire, two from Friuli, and one from Washington state.
2017 Domaine les Pins, Bourgueil $15
Rich ruby red with notes of violets and red berry fruits, this Cabernet Franc is nicely layered on the palate with brightness running throughout and just a touch of smoke mixed in with some purple fruits. Soft waves of mineral with a nice soft tannin make this a true delight to drink. Domaine les Pins has been family run for five generations.
2018 Château Minière, Bourgueil $16
Red wine of young vines, made in stainless steel, the nose is very expressive with aromas of red fruits. On the palate the wine is very soft but well structured. Long and very aromatic finish with hints of red fruits and pepper. Organic
2018 Mélaric, “le Tandem” $19
60% Grolleau, 40% Cabernet Franc
Mélanie and Aymeric Hilaire established their young property in the outer ring of the Saumur, near the new appellation of Saumur Puy-Notre-Dame. This is where the dark volcanic soils of the Loire begin their shift to bright limestone, and the Mélaric wines stylistically sit in Saumur-ness and the Anjou wines to the west. It makes the best of its mix of relaxed Grolleau fruit and tensile, spicy Cabernet Franc. Fresh, vivid and grippy with tight raspberry and cherry, and some pepper notes.
2019 Arnaud Lambert, Saumur Clos Mazurique $19
Rich cab franc showed ripe fruit flavors of berry and cassis with hint of spice. Lovely with wild boar Ragú. Balanced in the mouth, soft tannins and nice finish.
2016 Domaine Nerleux, Saumur Champigny Clos des Chatains $18
Amélie Neau is the 9th generation of Domaine de Nerleux (Black Wolves in Old French) . Her Clos des Chatains shows a beautiful nose of black fruits, blueberry, elderberry, cherry with brandy. In the mouth there are lots of flavors of kirsch, elderberry and a slight bitterness. A traditional style in a generous vintage.
2015 Le Grand Bouqueteau, Chinon Reserve $20
Fuller with a bit more barrique the Reserve has good density of fruit tannins – dried fruit, spice and perfumed Blackberry – soft tannins with a full body and a long finish.
2017 Couluta, Cabernet Franc $20
Don’t let the Cabernet on the label fool you– this is Cabernet Franc from Friuli. The fragrance grassy with a hint of raspberry and blackberry. The flavor is grassy, dry and tangy, vanillaed. Very pleasing.
2009 Sant’ Elana, Cabernet Franc $22
Sant’ Elana has always had Cabernet Franc on the property, but mainly blended it into other wines. Here is a beautiful example of what it can be by itself. The wine is vinified exactly the same as the other reds, in steel and then 24 months in neutral 20hl botte. The wine is a little more rustic or Friulian in style and more feminine and fruit friendly than Cab Sauv.
2016 Tranche, Cabernet Franc $35
Floral and herbaceous on the nose with lifted aromas of rose petal, lilac and sage. The wine plush and dense on the palate, layered with dark, seductive flavors of blueberry, licorice and cassis. Herbaceous notes of fennel, black tea and tobacco combine with soft, fleshy tannins and a graphite-like minerality.