Saga of grape varieties: Cabernet Franc

Saga des cépages : Cabernet Franc

In France, an anthology of synonyms accompanies Cabernet Franc in its chosen lands: bouchy in Madiran, bouchet in Saint-Émilion and Bergerac, gros cabernet, carmenet, gros vidure in the Médoc, achéria in the Basque Country , etc.

Cabernet Franc is an old Bordeaux grape variety, whose cultivation has spread to the Loire Valley, but whose date of introduction is controversial. The most widespread opinion is due to the Odart account. When the land of Richelieu was erected into a duchy-peerage, in 1631, Cardinal de Richelieu, who was staying in Guyenne, had several thousand plants of the most esteemed vine in Bordeaux sent to his steward, Abbé Breton, who planted them in the region of Chinon and Bourgueil, the cardinal having inherited the property of the Abbey of Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil.

Cabernet Franc is recognizable by its young leaves, which are reddish green in color with bronze areas. The clusters are medium-sized, cylindrical-conical, more or less compact, sometimes winged offering small to medium-sized, spherical berries with fine skin of a beautiful bluish black.

This grape variety gives pleasant wines, whose smoothness is a delight on the palate. Less tannic and astringent than Cabernet Sauvignon, it is also more supple, and gives an impression of fullness when harvested at maturity. Depending on how it is aged, it offers a aging potential of several years. When used as the main grape variety or alone, it gives balanced wines with soft tannins and controlled acidity. From clay-sand soils, Cabernet Franc produces a wine with aromas of tobacco, raspberry, blackcurrant and liquorice violet. On other terroirs, it also develops notes of pepper.

Château la Soujeole in Malepère is the perfect setting for this grape variety which reveals it in a new and unique light for Languedoc in wine Château la Soujeole Grand Vin rouge. This variety is also one of the 7 varieties of Cigalus Rouge.

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