Wednesday, April 2, 2008

WBW #44: French Cabernet Franc-Ugh?

Today is Wine Blogging Wednesday #44 and the theme was chosen by Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV. The theme is French Cabernet Franc to be the theme.

As I have mentioned before, Cabernet Franc is probably my least favorite grape, primarily when it stands alone or is the dominant grape in a blend. It often has a vegetal/green pepper flavor which immediately turns me off. I have heard that there are some Cabernet Francs without that flavor, but I have not tasted any yet. So, would I find one for WBW #44?

I did not have many choices at several local wine stores, especially if I wanted to pay less than $40. I settled on the 2005 Domaine Filliatreau La Grande Vignolle Red Loire Wine ($12.99) from the Saumur-Champigny appellation. Domaine Filliatreau is the largest single estate in this appellation and is located near the city of Saumur in the western Loire. Paul and Fredrik Filliatreau, father and son, produce a number of Cabernet Franc wines. They are trying to become all organic.

La Grande Vignolle is fermented in stainless steel and sees no oak at all. It has an alcohol content of 13.5%. The Cabernet Franc vines are of considerable age and yields are kept low. It is a dark red in color and has a mild nose of a touch of dusty spice. I sipped some of the wine with a bit of trepidation, fearing the green pepper taste. But lo and behold, I did not taste that! Instead, I got more blackberry and mineral notes. A definite Old World style wine with a moderately long finish. It actually is a decent wine. What a surprise. I was starting to give up hope of ever finding a Cab Franc that I might like.

So WBW #44 was a significant turning point, finally finding a Cab Franc that I could enjoy. So, if there are grapes you generally do not like, don't stop trying different brands. You just might need the right wine to convince you.

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