Cabernet Franc is one of the varietals used in the classic Bordeaux blend and of Chinon in the Loire Valley. It’s a thinner skinned and earlier ripening relative of Cabernet Sauvignon. At one time on Long Island there was talk around that Cabernet Franc was going to be the varietal that was going to put the region on the map. It was said that the cooler, maritime conditions of the North Fork were perfect for the grape. Alas, it was not to be, Cabernet Franc was never able to dethrone Merlot as the primary grape in the region and wine makers have begun experimenting with other red varietals such as Syrah and Malbec. Cabernet Franc is still used in the Bordeaux blends that the North Fork wineries bottle and is still bottled on its own though some wineries aren’t growing it anymore or bottling it as a single varietal.
2013 Roanoke Vineyards Cabernet Franc (North Fork LI). Had this at their Love Lane tasting room since the winery tasting room is for members only. Dark red in color, opaque, slate, and black cherry on the nose with stewed prune notes as the wine opened up in the glass, dense and chunky with black cherry fruit, nice balance.
2013 Clovis Point Vineyards Cabernet Franc (North Fork LI). Relatively new winery, began with land purchased in 2001. Dark red to black in color with a purple robe, crushed rocks and dried herbs on the nose with crushed black fruit, chewy with firm tannin on the juicy, dark chocolate finish.
2012 Palmer Vineyards Cabernet Franc “Proprietor’s Reserve” (North Fork LI). One of North Fork’s original wineries. Dark amber with a brick robe and cloudy, red licorice on the nose, juicy, red fruit with notes of sour cherry, tart with some green notes on the finish.