All i wanted was a goddamn glass of cabernet franc

i have drank a lot of wines that weren’t cabernet franc in the past few weeks and just one that was. This report is long and lazy, like the Loire river that makes this grape great. Mostly natural:


i’m drinking this wine right now with a roast:

Pulse Pinot Noir ’07, Oregon USA: Why don’t more American wine makers make wine like this? 12.5% alcohol, real acid, tart fruit, little funky earth, not barriqued into oblivion. This is nice stuff. Judgment: Not cabernet franc, continental composition.

These first three were drank at Mission Street Food, which is a twice weekly charity dinner. Different chefs every time, good food, money to good causes.

Wandering Aengus Cider Semi-Dry, Apples, Salem Oregon: Goddamn refreshing. Judgment: Not cabernet franc, not even wine. Grab a bottle or three for a hot summer day.

Huet Petillant ’01, Chenin Blanc, Loire Valley, France: This just keeps getting more focused and precise each time i taste it. It’s losing some of its fatty/leesy characteristics and getting leaner and more Huet. Not the ’02, but what wines are? Judgment: Not cabernet franc, but well worth it.

Clos Roche Blanche L’Arpent Rouge ’07, Pineau d’Aunis, Touraine France: Light minerally pineau d’aunis. This is a clean, tight wine worth holding onto for a few years. Can Clos Roche Blanche do no wrong? Judgment: Not cabernet franc, but still a killer wine if you can find it.

These were drank at random times:

Renee Collard ‘Cuvee Ultime’, NV (’95, not labeled as such), Champagne France: Joe Manekin bought this wine for some of us to try, so i wish i could like it. i didn’t. It was leesy and unfocused and just overall too rich. Judment: Not cabernet franc

Clos Roche Blanche Sauvignon Blanc #2 ’07: Remember when i asked if Clos Roche Blanche could do no wrong? Well this bottle had something wrong with it. There was an odd rock candy/maple syrup reduced taste to the wine that shut it down hard. i suspect heat damage but maybe a person with more knowledge knows what the flaw is. Judgment: Not cabernet franc, reserving other judment

Domaine Belliviere ‘Hommage a Louis Derré’ ’04, Pineau d’Aunis, Coteaux du Loir France: A bigger more extracted pineau is hard to find. This is serious with ground peppercorns and dirt, and not everyone cared for it. i love this fucking wine, haters be damned i’ll be buying more. Judgment: Not cabernet franc, proceed with caution.

Thierry Puzelat Brin de Chevre ’07, Menu Pineau, Touraine France: If you want a lean, high acid white wine look no further than this gem. This is surgical precision wine from a variety no one has ever heard of. Judgment: Not cabernet franc, drink with food.

Domaine Briseau ‘Kharakter’, Chenin Blanc, Jasnieres France ’06: tightly coiled right off the bat, opened up into something fantastic. Surprisingly clean, waxy and precise. Christain Chaussard is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Judgment: Not cabernet franc, buy a few bottles.

Kiralyudavar Sec ’06, Tokay, Hungary: If i could afford more of this, i would buy it. Judgment: Not cabernet franc, drink as much as you can find.

Monastero Suore Cistercensi S.O. Trappiste ‘Coenobium Rusticum’ ’07, Lazio Italy: i didn’t care for this. Fatty and unfocused without the vivacity that i have come to expect from Coenobium, and more expensive. Judment: Not cabernet franc, drink Notte di Luna instead.

COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria ’06, Sicily Italy: i don’t get this wine at all, but others do so take it as you will. i just can never get anything off of it i care for, just sweet cherries and acid. Judgment: Not Cabernet Franc, if you trust me, pass, if you don’t (i wouldn’t trust me) judge this for your damn self.

Domaine Montbourgeau Cremant du Jura NV, Chardonnay, Savagnin, Jura France: I tasted two bottle of this side by side and the oddest thing happened. It was like i was drinking two different wines, one clean and focused, nice oxidative notes some fruit, good minerality. the other was creamy and all over the place, rich, terrible and collapsed like the fall of Rome. These bottles had been opened at the same time, from the same crate, and they were wildly different with no evidence of any any taint. Judgment: Not cabernet franc, caveat emptor.

Chateau Valcombe Cotes du Ventoux ’04, Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, Loire Valley, France: This is the wine that inspired this post. I thought for some damn reason that Cotes du Ventoux was a cab franc region. Boy was i ever wrong. This was so chubby and hot that i realized my mistake after the first sip. Mouth filling and overly rich with overripe tarry plums. Judgment: Definitely not cabernet franc, would not drink again.

I drank this next wine with steak made from a recipe i found on Brooklynguy’s blog. It works despite what you may think:


Meerlust Rubicon ’00, 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, Stellenbosch, S. Africa: Initially i dug this wine. It had some bright fruit balanced with nice smokey leathery tones. It seems that the wood that was on the wine when i bought it was integrating nicely. And then it collapsed in on itself. The longer it was open the more it tasted like sawdust and vanilla, which took over the fruit. Judgment: some cabernet franc, drink quickly.


I finally drank some cab franc last night at Cafe Torre, a San Jo neighborhood spot with an honest wine list.

Domaine de la Chanteleuserie Bourgeuil ’07, Loire Valley France: This is what i’m talking about. Some nervosity, nice tannins, green finish. I wish i had some to sit on for a while. Just what i wanted when i couldn’t get cab franc out of my head. Judgment: Cabernet franc.

i can’t get this Glass Candy song out of my head. like cabernet franc:

Note: i apologize for overusing the name “cabernet franc”

Also 31 Days of Natural Wine starts soon: Get in on it if you haven’t yet.


~ by Cory Cartwright on June 1, 2009.

9 Responses to “All i wanted was a goddamn glass of cabernet franc”

  1. You should try spending more time with Amy ( (It’s a Cab Franc joke if you don’t want to click).

    Was this the regular or the Amphorae (pthos)? COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria ‘06. Just curious.

  2. So, it sounds like you had one nice bottle of Cabernet Franc and lots of other interesting things. I’m on a Pineau d’Aunis kick. Could you tell me where you picked up the bottles you mentioned?


  3. Good to see some love for the Brin de Chevre. The ’07 is really a nice summer white.

    I’ve also experienced the head-scratching variation in Montbourgeau’s Cremant. I’ve had powerful bottles with a great interplay between nutty, savagnin elements, racy acids, and lees-derived flavors. And also flabby, disjointed bottles. Frustrating.

    The regular COS Cerasuolo has also been a bit too variable for my taste. I’ve had very nice examples (the ’02 was lovely) and also some bad ones. The amphora-raised Pithos cuvee is an interesting and unique wine, but my experiences with it have been more along the lines of tasty and pleasant, than wow. I think it’s pretty expensive for what you get, but the disorderly set tends to like it more than I.

    Very glad to hear the 01 Huet petillant is becoming more 02-like. It will greatly aid my attempts to keep my hands off of my dwindling stock of 02s.

    Nice ‘Institutionalized’ reference, even if it was unintentional. (around 2:00)

  4. David: It was the regular bottling if i’m not mistaken. i’ve had both and haven’t gotten anything from either.

    Rachel: Terroir in SF, but i think Chambers Street ships both bottlings. I also had another pineau d’aunis fom Emile Heredia that was good enough for its own post.

    Slaton: The brin de chevre is really nice clean stuff. Guilhaume, Dagan and i coudn’t figure out the Montborgeau at all. Buy more ’01 Huet and to enjoy.

  5. I am nuts about Cab Franc too! The world would be a damn better place if more folks drank Cab Franc. I have got 3,000 plants of Cab Franc!

  6. had i known that you would sacrifice your great looking steak to such a wine, i would never have posted the recipe. why didn’t you try it with a good Loire cab franc?

    thanks for the shout out.

    i brought the brin de chevre to a big wino BBQ last summer and 2 people loed it (me being one of them) and about 46 people thought it weird and bad. people are odd, aren’t they?

  7. The wine was one of those bottles that had been in my cellar for years, since before i knew any better. It certainly wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but i can done better just grabbing a bottle blindly and now i have never have to be tempted again.

    People are odd, and their isn’t any account for taste i suppose, though there certainly should be.
    Thanks for reading everyone.

  8. I have no idea what you’re talking about most of the time–though I do enjoy your writing, which is why I bother–but I’m really digging the Glass Candy song. Thanks for the heads up on that. I shall spin it into repulsive redundancy.

  9. Glass Candy has the tendency to get overspun, that’s for sure.

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