#newwinethisweek Week 29 – Cabernet Franc, Loire Valley

Mike has kicked us off this week by introducing us to Cabernet Franc… a wonderful red wine selection, especially when the sun shines:




The beautiful town of Chinon

The beautiful town of Chinon

A week in The Loire last summer got me hooked on Cab Franc. I had a few bottles before going out there as part of my strict training schedule and it is now firmly on my list of go-to reds, especially in the summer.

Before visiting the region I basically thought about Cabernet Franc as a blending partner for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in Bordeaux, I now understand how great it can be by itself. In The western and central Loire, Cab Franc is the hero red grape and really comes into its own in Chinon, Saumur-Champigny and Bourgueil.

Cabernet Franc has a delicacy that is Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t possess; it has less body, less tannin, less alcohol and less colour, but has fragrance and elegance in abundance. The other major positive Cab Franc has going for it is its high acidity, which makes the wines drinkable in their youth, although though the finest can last for decades. And best of all you can enjoy this red wine chilled in the summer, of which I have become a huge advocate.

At its best, Cab Franc delivers bright red berry flavour, hints of smoke and leather and a certain hard green herb note, even the flavour of raw green peppers… its nice, honestly!

Chateau du Petit Thouars

Chateau du Petit Thouars

I wish I could get hold of the wines from Chateau du Petit Thouars, where I had the most fantastic experience last summer, but they don’t appear to have a UK importer, so you’ll have to get one of these to join in with #newwinethisweek:


Les Complices de Loire Les Graviers Chinon 2011 (Waitrose £10.99)

Domaine Rosette Chinon 2013 (M&S £9.49)

Domaine Lavigne Saumer-Champigny Vieilles Vignes 2012 (Wine & the Vine £12.25)

Domaine de la Semellerie Chinon 2012 (The Wine Society £8.50)

Domaine Ratron Clos des Cordeliers Saumur-Champigny ‘Cuvée Tradition’ 2012 (The Wine Society £10.50)


Don’t forget head over to Mike’s site to leave this week’s comment and score:







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Posted on July 22, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Just enjoyed a solid Cab France from Chinon region of Loire Valley. Cuvee Signee Chinon, great summer red! Cheers!

  2. I was so pleased to be able to pop open a bottle of Chateau du Petit Thouars Cabernet Franc Reserve this week, it brought back memories of a fantastic week in the Loire Valley last summer.

    I have tried to find a source in the UK without any success so if you know any merchants looking for a new Cab Franc supplier then point them in this direction – it was €8 a bottle and that is basically giving the stuff away. The chateau is just outside of Chinon and will only be allowed to put Chinon on the label from the 2014 vintage as they have re-drawn the region, so it currently sits in the regional Touraine AOC.

    Chateau du Petit Thouars Reserve Rouge 2009, Touraine (€8.00)
    The Reserve is toasty and bursting with crunchy, bright red fruit; the crunch is in the form of raspberry and pomegranate and it has such a burst of refreshing acidity. There is lots of structured tannin but the acidity balances it out wonderfully. I would happily pay £15 for this. 9/10

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