Aug 04 2009

Cabernet Francophile – 2006 Walla Walla Cabernet Franc Review

by Maggie Smith

It’s great to introduce people to adventurous and exciting grape types like Cabernet Franc. If you’re not familiar with this varietal, it is one of the common blending grapes in Bordeaux, mostly used on the right banks of Pomerol and Saint Emilion. The Loire Valley also grows this grape (most commonly seen as “Chinon” on the label.)

Wherever it’s grown, Cab Franc will take on a different form, which is why it’s a fun journey trying Cab Francs from different parts of the world. Cab Franc is known to be a very aromatic grape type that exudes floral and herbaceous characteristics, which make it a very inviting wine when it’s done right. I really don’t want to talk about what happens when it’s done wrong (think green peppers plus harsh tannin).

The Walla Walla Cab Franc, from Columbia Valley, makes for a wonderful introduction to this varietal.  It has a mix of black cherry, black currant, hints of blue fruits, violets, dried herbs and cigar smoke that this grape type is known for. It has a very lush texture, with silky tannins and is the perfect “gateway wine” into this grape type, which can take on many different forms once explored.  It’s lighter then Cabernet Sauvignon… and, in fact, is one of Cabernet Sauvignon’s genetic parents! This wine would be awesome with braised short ribs or grilled pork tenderloin.

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