One of the worlds most famous wines Cabernet Sauvignon, is a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. So what is Cab Franc? It is one of the varietals in a Bordeaux blend and is frequently used in blends. It's also a parent of Merlot, tends to ripen early as well, and is softer than Cabernet Sauvignon. However, it is the main red grape in Chinon and Bourguell; wines from Touraine’s in the Loire Valley region of Northern France.
In honor of Cab Franc Day, I chose a 100% Arizona estate wine called Primos de Bordeaux from Rio Claro wines at Clear creek Vineyards. This 2012 wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot and has 13.9% alcohol. It is a medium bodied dry wine and showcases aromas of cherries, berries and brandy notes. The palate also offers flavors of vanilla and earth. The finish comes in at around 37 seconds.
You’ll want to decant the wine for about 45 minutes to bring out the full flavors. It paired beautifully with my grilled steak and garlic green beans. So I'm happy today to honor Cab Franc and its many relatives!
As part of my CSW online webinar, the instructor added a tasting component. Our first wine was a Chinon. I chose the Le Pre’ Vaujour 2016 Chinon, which had 12.5% alcohol and cost around $14. Chinon hails from the central Loire in France.
The wine has a deep, brilliant Ruby-Garnet Color with very subtle legs
The aroma was clean and light with a nose of black fruit and licorice.
The palate was dry with low acidity and medium to high tannins and a light to medium body. Flavors such as black and red fruit and licorice were present.
The finish was short to medium coming in at around 22 seconds.
It would pair well with dark meats and some mild cheeses. I paired it with a creamy, mushroom beef stew and pasta.
This Chinon was exceptionally young and tasted much better the next day displaying earthier more complex notes. It definitely needed some aging.
Sue Schurgin is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. She is studying for her CSW and sommelier certifications.