So, the theme is Cabernet Franc, a grape I only knew as one that played a small part in some Bordeaux blends

I had to read up a little on it first, which I’ll discuss below but first, the bottle

The label reads:

Cabernet Franc
Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France
Patient Cottat
12% abv

  • Looks like: Medium intensity, not a deep colour
  • Smells like: Quite aromatic, all about raspberries
  • Tastes like: Quite dry, fresh and fruity with high acidity, light to medium body, again all about the raspberries with a little bit of cigar dust thrown in
  • Verdict: very, very nice and decent value for €11.95. I reckon I’d find it hard to distinguish this from a light Bourgogne Rouge or a Beaujolais if put to the test.
  • Price: €11.95 from Vaughan Johnson’s, Temple Bar, Dublin

With my Cabernet Franc, rather than being in a specific AOC region, like Chinon or Saumur Champigny, it’s from the greater Loire region, denoted by Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France.

More on Cabernet Franc

All I knew was that Cabernet Franc plays a bit part in some Bordeaux blends. However, down the Loire way, it has its own gig going on with the likes of Chinon and Saumur Champigny and it also goes into the making of some rosé wines.

Genetically, it’s the father of the Cabernet Sauvignon, the mammy grape being Sauvignon Blanc.

It’s a thin skinned grape (which generally means low tannins) which ripens early. I’ve read comparisons with Cabernet Sauvignon, but this one is far lighter and fruiter with much less by way of tannins, though when grown further south in Bordeaux, where it is warmer, it may be more like its genetic offspring.

Links on Cabernet Franc

  • Simon Tyrrell, on Loire Cabernet Francs
  • Wikipedia entry on Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France
  • Mike Steinberger on, “The Sad Plight of Cabernet Franc”
  • The Wine Info Site on Cabernet Franc