If you’re a cabernet sauvignon fan, consider trying wines made from one of its parents, cabernet franc. Cabernet sauvignon is the progeny of cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc. While cabernet franc is similar to its offspring in structure and taste, it produces wines that are often less tannic but more aromatic and herbaceous. Although cabernet franc is best known for its important role in red blends from France’s Bordeaux region, it is also bottled as a single varietal wine. The following are two examples.
Domaine Aimé 2016 Cabernet Franc, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France
Bought • Wine and Cheese Place, 7435 Forsyth Boulevard, in September for $12.99
Description • This versatile red comes from Domaine Aimé, located in Minervois, a large wine-producing area in France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region. The extreme darkness of this wine might make you think that it’s going to be quite powerful, but instead, it’s medium-bodied with soft, silky tannins. This is an easy-to-drink, unoaked wine that tastes of dark fruit with some earthiness and black pepper. It can be enjoyed with a variety of foods including burgers, pizza and roast turkey.
Steele Wines 2015 Cabernet Franc, Lake County, California
Bought • Wine and Cheese Place, 7435 Forsyth Boulevard, in September for $15.99
Description • Although this red is lighter in color than the Domaine Aimé, it’s a much bigger wine. In fact, this is an impressive, full-bodied wine with firm tannins. Aged in oak for 14 months, it’s peppery and earthy with bold fruit flavors. It has inviting herbaceous notes and a black currant tang that’s characteristic of its offspring cabernet sauvignon. A well-balanced wine, it has some aging potential. This is a flavorful red that would go well with steak au poivre, lamb and grilled portobello mushrooms.