The convoluted truth about Cab Franc…
Our Roots are Showing
If anyone has sat down in front of an extensive and tangled family tree and been drawn to one particular distant relative, seemingly over-involved with the course of family history, then you know Cabernet Franc. To the more contemporaneously informed, Cabernet Franc is the most recent cause celebre of the hipster wine generation. Long thought to be a mere blending component with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in Bordeaux, as well as the author of simple, “drink-me-now” reds in Loire locales such as Chinon and Bourgueil, Franc has recently come to be cherished for its haunting perfume of violets, herbs, and wild black fruits, as well as its potentially great acid/tannin balance. We know this to be true and we love the grape for it.
This narrative completely ignores the vigorous allure of Cabernet Franc in the history of grape parentage, however. Yes, our grandparents were sweet and quaint, but they had sex too. Sometimes a lot of it. Cabernet Franc was born of uncertain origin in Basque Spain. For a while it bred locally, parenting the great Basque Hondarribi Beltza of Txakolina fame. Not content with its role south of the Pyrennees, it gravitated north to Bordeaux where it partnered in the creation of both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In human terms, this would be equivalent to an émigré from Appalachia managing to give rise to both Grace Kelly and Clark Gable. In a further act, immodest by human standards, but common botanically, Cabernet Franc was also crossed with Gros Cabernet, an offspring of Hondarribi Beltza, to produce Carmenere, making Cabernet Franc both the father and grandfather of this current darling of South American viticulture. Perhaps in recognition of its exemplary parenting skills, Cabernet Franc was recognized by none other than the infamous Cardinal Richelieu, himself a great admirer of the horticulturally proficient. His cuttings of Cabernet Franc grapevines are reputed to be the first that were sent north to the Loire Valley where they became the staple of the reds of the Touraine, now the darlings of the hipster wine press. This is a circle of sorts but one that is not free from the potential of future tangents.
Let’s get off this ride for a second and taste why we love Cabernet Franc for itself.
***Upcoming Friday Night Tastings***
Friday, April 17th
Cab Franc! – Round II; 5pm-9pm; $12.
– 2012 Alessio Dorigo Cabernet Franc, Friuli, Italy
– 2012 Domaine Le Paradis Chinon, Loire Valley, France
– 2011 Domaine du Pas St. Martin “Pierres Frites” Saumur, Loire Valley, France
– 2012 Memaloose Cabernet Franc Estate, Columbia Gorge, WA
Friday, April 24th
A look at the Mencia grape from Spain; 5pm-9pm; $12.
Friday, May 1st
French Rose! 5pm-9pm; $15.
The EDW Monthly Wine Club is recruiting. The idea is simple, the logistics are easy, and the wines are affordable and accessible. Two bottles, once a month, with total cost between $25-$35, never to exceed $35. You may specify “Only Reds” if you like; otherwise, there will be occasional bubbles, whites and roses in the mix, especially during summer months and appropriate holidays. One of the two bottles will always be a red.
How it works:
– Reply to this email to join. Credit card information will NOT be collected. We’re using the “promise to pick up” system. Weird, huh?
– Trust your EDW merchant to choose only fun and interesting wines — that are great values — by the 15th of every month.
– I will email the selections to you each month, informing you that the club wines are ready to be picked up.
– Pick up your club wines by the 30th of the month.
I will only select wines for the club that I would be willing to take home myself. I want to keep things affordable, and show you wines that exceed expectation based on the price. Some obscure, some crowd pleasers. Some party wines, some food wines. All reliable. This will be a lot of fun for all of us. Who knows, you may fall in love with a grape or region you’d never considered. All part of the joy of discovering wine… I’m looking forward to introducing you to my real “go to” wines.
As always, I really do appreciate your loyalty and support. I am one lucky local entrepreneur.
Every Day Wine is a BRING YOUR OWN FOOD hang out (pizza, cheese & crackers, fresh baked bread, gourmet olives, chips ‘n salsa, chocolates, desserts, etc)… the bartender does retain the right to sample all the goods.
Remember to host your next birthday party (or book club, or anniversary, or bridal shower, or client appreciation party) at Every Day Wine.
Thanks so much for your support!!! And don’t forget to forward this message to all of your wine-loving friends.
Every Day Wine is located at 1520 NE Alberta St.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 2pm-10pm