Cabernet Franc is most widely known as a grape varietal used in the “Bordeaux Blend”. Classic red Bordeaux wine is usually a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Generally speaking, on “the left bank” (the area situated on the left bank of the Garonne River), the blend is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, about 70% of the blend, with 15% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Franc. On “the right bank” (the area situated on the right bank of the Dordogne River), the blend is dominated by Merlot, about 70% of the blend, with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.
However, quality Cabernet Franc is also extremely good on its own. In fact, Cabernet Franc production shines in the Loire Valley of France. In the Loire Valley, Cabernet Franc is widely planted in the Anjou, Bourgueil, Chinon, and Saumur-Champigny regions.
A great example of quality Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, specifically from the Saumur region, is the Domaine du Pas Saint Martin, 2010 La Pierre Frite - red Saumur wine.
Classic Cabernet Franc nose of bell pepper, red fruit and graphite. On the palate, tons of green bell pepper and raspberry fruit flavors, with notes of blueberry and tobacco. Smooth mouth-feel and balanced tannin structure lead to a pleasing finish.