Cabernet Franc reminds me of that unfortunate kid who is always compared to his perfect sibling.
In this case, the favoured sibling is Cabernet Sauvignon. Poor Cabernet Franc. Each statement about Cab Franc compares it to Cabernet Sauvignon. It can’t just have a medium aroma – it’s more aromatic than Cab Sauvignon. Instead of describing the colour as a pale red, it’s described as lighter than Cab Sauvignon. What’s the perfume like? Well it has a more pronounced perfume than Cab Sauvignon.
Cabernet Franc is a major black grape variety. So what gives? Why can’t Cabernet Franc stand on it’s own?
Because it’s rarely vinified alone. Instead it’s used for blending, especially in the Bordeaux style. Bordeaux refers to the Bordeaux Region in France, it is not a grape. Not that I thought it was. Ok I totally thought it was. I find regions and grapes are constantly used interchangeably as a description for a wine – you hear of Merlot (grape), Champagne (region), Malbec (grape), Burgundy (region), etc.
So while it’s one of the 20 most widely planted grape varieties, it is most commonly blended with other wines (usually Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) and is therefore not mainstream enough to warrant it’s own description. But I still feel bad for it.
Cabernet Franc has less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, yet has the same level of richness and intensity. Less tannins results in a smoother mouthfeel (than Cabernet Sauvignon) and less of that dry mouth red wine is famous for.
It’s one of the best grapes produced in colder climates (makes sense as this bottle is from the Niagara Region) and is commonly used in ice wines.
Using a sibling analogy isn’t actually so far fetched, as Cabernet Franc is actually is crossed with Sauvignon Blanc to create Cabernet Sauvignon.
So that’s Cabernet Franc in a nutshell. And after tasting it, I really like it. As much as I like Cabernet Sauvignon.
Jackson-Triggs Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Franc
Another purchase from the Wine Rack. Which means another Ontario wine.
First thing I noticed is a beautiful deep colour – purplish red. There was a film of water gently floating on top so I instantly thought this would be weak. But then I couldn’t help but notice a nice strong aroma. My first sip there was a beautiful bite and an enjoyable burn as I swallowed. But not harsh. First thoughts – I like this and I’m surprised I like this.
My second sip I noticed it doesn’t tingle my tongue, it was very smooth. The taste lingered as it travelled down my throat which I love – I hate an unforgettable wine.
I like! I like!
This Cabernet Franc is not harsh, yet has a nice bite. In terms of flavour, the best I can come up with is it’s not sour. It’s got a great body, a wonderful aftertaste, is interesting, and enjoyable. I’m still surprised I like it this much.
Jackson Triggs Cabernet Franc is definitely a wine I would buy again, even if it is an Ontario wine. The black label makes for an attractive label and once opened it sure delivers.
So if you’re like me, get over your fear of Ontario wines and try Jackson Triggs Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Franc.