Cabernet Franc is a grape varietal that is growing in popularity across the state of Virginia; and here at Mount Ida, we especially love this approachable grape- check out our 2017 vintage! It happens to be one of my favorites both in the vineyard and the winery.
I first found my appreciation for Cabernet Franc in a bottle of 1996 Château Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru from Bordeaux. Comprised primarily of Cab Franc, the wine was shared by a family member for Christmas Eve dinner. I remember how soft and complex it was compared to the rest of the wines I had tasted up to that point. Historically, Cabernet Franc comes from the Bordeaux region, but until recently, took a back seat to Merlot. Known for its peppery and earthy tones, the varietal adds a little “umph” to red blends.
While Cab Franc is primarily grown in Bordeaux, you can find it now all over the world (such as Italy, Hungary, Chile, and even China). I may not be impartial, but I tend to favor Cab Franc from the US. The 2017 vintage we have in the tasting room came from a great year in Virginia! Showing off a bouquet of freshly cracked black pepper and tobacco leaves, it’s a very bold and spicy wine. We always taste the wine right before bottling, and I picked up notes of stewed blackberries, dark plumbs, and whole cloves on the palate. This is a wine I am excited to age and drink alongside roasted lamb or even a heavy bodied cigar by a firepit. Make sure to pick up a bottle this fall during Virginia Wine month, and enjoy it in our outdoor space at the tasting room to observe the fall foliage!
Cheers! – Stephanie Vogtman