Never Say Never: Cab Franc #WinePW
Wine Pairing Weekend Celebrates Cabernet Franc
Our blogging winemaker buddy, Lori, from Dracaena Wines just finished hosting a worldwide Cabernet Franc Appreciation day (#CabFrancDay on Twitter) and today our Wine Pairing Weekend group is continuing the celebration. There are links to all the posts further down in this post.
Never Cab Franc
Lori’s crusade is to raise the esteem of Cabernet Franc from humble blending grape to a place of honor alongside other major varietal grapes. Sad to say, I’m one of the um-converted. It’s not that I dislike Cab Franc in the star position in a wine, it’s that there are so many that I find disappointing.
Cabernet Franc is one of the two parent grapes crossed to produce Cabernet Sauvignon, so we should be thankful for that. As one of the five main grapes in red Bordeaux wines, it also ripens fully in cooler weather, so any Bordeaux fans in the crowd should be grateful, as it often saves the day there. By the numbers, I should love it. It’s very aromatic, with red fruits and possible herbal aromas of mint, violet or a touch of green pepper. Unfortunately, it’s usually lower in both acidity and tannins. When grown in a warmer climate, my experience has been abundant fruit but little acidity and just a bit flabby (my take, you may love it!).
Never Say Never
Grown in the right place, in the right hands, Cabernet Franc can be a wine of beauty all by itself. For me, that means grapes grown in a cool place, with a winegrower who isn’t afraid of allowing some of that lovely herbal aroma to shine in the finished wine. Along the Loire River in France, in the communities of Bourgeuil and Chinon are my go-to communities for Cabernet Franc. Memaloose Wines makes my favorite American Cab Franc. Memaloose is located in the Columbia Gorge AVA, with vineyards on both the Washington and Oregon sides of the Columbia River. I had the chance to walk the Idiot’s Grace vineyard in the spring a few years ago, what a beautiful place! (click on any photo to start the slideshow, escape to return)
Memaloose Estate Cabernet Franc Idiot’s Grace Vineyard 2013 ($36 at the winery)
Eye: Clear, medium intensity ruby w/ a ruby edge on the cool side.
Nose: clean, medium intensity. red fruit, cranberries & tart cherries. Herby with a touch of green pepper, but just a hint.
Mouth: Medium body, medium+ acidity, low tannins. Cranberries, herbs and touch of pepper linger in a nice medium finish. Nice with flank steak, but especially nice with the roasted root vegetables we had with it.
Vineyard: Idiot’s Grace (estate) Vineyard in Mosier, OR. Certified organic.
Blend: 100% Cabernet franc
Cooperage: Aged 14 months in 2-5 year old French barrels
Food accompaniment: “Hearty Fare”, Beef, Beef Stew, Stuffed Cabbage, Game, Ham, Lamb, Rabbit, Tripe, many Cheeses
Serving Suggestion: Chill slightly before serving
When drinkable: now thru 2015
Roasted Root Vegetables and Steak Paired with Memaloose Cabernet Franc
I knew flank steak would be a good choice with the Memaloose Cab Franc, as flank steak is pretty lean, so a medium body red should balance the richness just fine. I was really aiming the roasted root vegetables as the main element in this pairing. The herbal notes in the wine seemed to add another herb into the flavors present in the veggies, a nice touch!
Wine Pairing Weekend Group Declares Their Cab Franc Love
- Nancy from PullThatCork – An Elegant Cabernet Franc Pairing for #WinePW
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla – Apple-Braised Duck Legs + Dracaena’s Cab Franc
- Michelle of RockinRedBlog – Bountiful of Cabernet Franc
- Lori of Dracaena Wines – Cabernet Franc; the Versatile Cab
- Cindy of Grape Experiences – Wine and Dine: Cabernet Franc and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- Jeff of FoodWineClick – Cab Franc: Never Say Never
- Gwendolyn of ArtPredator – Cabernet Franc Winners With Osso Bucco, Squash Casserole
- Lauren of the SwirlingDervish – Super Fast, Super Good: Sausage and Potato Pan Roast with Dracaena Wines Cabernet Franc
- Jade of TastingPour – Leah Jorgensen Cellars: Faces of Cab Franc
- David of CookingChat – Roasted Sirloin Steak with Avocado Sauce for #CabFrancDay
- Wendy of A Day in the Life of on the Farm – A Celebration with Cab Franc
- Martin of enofylzwineblog – A Captivating Cab Franc Paired with Sushi
This dinner can be prepared either on a grill capable of a split direct / indirect cook, or a grill set for searing a steak and an oven set to 450°F. I use a Primo Ceramic Grill, and I set the temperature just above the grate on the direct side at 450°F. Ingredients Instructions
Flank Steak with Roasted Root Vegetables
This dinner can be prepared either on a grill capable of a split direct / indirect cook, or a grill set for searing a steak and an oven set to 450°F. I use a Primo Ceramic Grill, and I set the temperature just above the grate on the direct side at 450°F.