Cabernet Franc a gentler version of Cabernet Sauvignon

By on October 16, 2016
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Malbec grapes ripen on Washington's Red Mountain

Cabernet Franc grapes are grown throughout Washington’s Columbia Valley, where Bordeaux varieties thrive. (Photo by Niranjana Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Cabernet Franc often is viewed as a kinder, gentler version of Cabernet Sauvignon, kind of like its little brother.

More correctly, it’s more of a father figure. DNA testing in 1997 showed that Cabernet Sauvignon is a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Cabernet Franc is most famous in France’s Bordeaux region, where it is one of six grapes used in blends. Cabernet Franc often is blended with Merlot to create “Right Bank” style Bordeaux blends.

In Washington, Cabernet Franc is coming into its own as a stand-alone grape variety. Here are a dozen delicious examples we’ve tasted recently. Ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.