Ruby red colour. Intense bouquet of strawberries and blackberries, with notes of spices. Soft on the palate, velvety with a good backbone. Long spicy finish.
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Originally a native to the southwest of France, this is both parent to, and overshadowed by, the illustrious Cabernet Sauvignon. Although more prevalent on the right bank of the Gironde, Cabernet Franc has become viewed as the ‘insurance‘ grape of Bordeaux; it ripens earlier and is less susceptible to poor weather than the major Bordeaux varieties. This makes it suitable for cooler climes like the Loire Valley, where it has thought to have been grown since the sixteenth century. The Bordeaux connection has led it to be planted in most well-established world wine regions – albeit usually in the shadow of Cabernet Sauvignon – and used as a blending partner, although it is gathering credence for single varietal wines in Northern and Central Italy and Eastern Europe. The gentle growing season in cooler regions gives wines with lightish body, distinctive freshness and a mix of floral, red fruit and capsicum flavours; on the warmer Tuscan Maremma, the most southerly of these regions, it gains body and darker fruit character.