Cabernet Franc is a vtis vinifera black grape that is an important part of the blend of Bordeaux wines. It’s also the primary grape of the Loire wines of Chinon and Bourgueil. The grape is the parent grape of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and was brought into France from the Basque region of Spain.
Out at the east end of Long Island wine country because of the growing conditions there, at one time it was touted as the grape that would put the Long Island AVA on the map.
It never dethroned Merlot as the primary red grape of the region but since it was widely planted, most wineries bottle it on its own or uses the grape in whatever Bordeaux Blend red wine they produce.
One Sunday afternoon I took a drive out to the east end wine country for a visit and sampled a few Cabernet Franc.
One Women Winery
5195 Old North Road, Southold
The one woman is Claudia Purita, the owner and wine maker at this certified sustainable winery. All the wines are from estate grown fruit. The tasting “shack” can barely hold a handful of people (a new tasting room is under renovation) but on nice days there is a patio out front to sit at.
2017 Cabernet Franc
Opaque medium brick, white pepper and crushed red fruit on the nose with bright red cherry fruit and black pepper and gun metal notes on the firm finish with silky tannins.
Roanoke Vineyards Tasting Room
165 Love Lane, Mattituck
The tasting room at the vineyard is for members only but the public is welcome to their satellite tasting room in Mattituck. It’s on Love Lane which is the shortest access between the two wine roads. A two block long business district with shops and a train station. There’s a nice deli across the street and next door to a cheese shop that serves fondue.
2020 Cabernet Franc
Clear medium red, sweet candy apple and some damp earth on the nose with silky, red leather fruit on the firm but balanced finish.
Clovis Point Winery
1935 Main Road, Jamesport
Named after the prehistoric projectile points found on the property, they have 10 acers under vine and the wines are estate grown.
2019 Cabernet Franc
Opaque black with a purple rim, big nose of toast and dark chocolate with bright black cherry and tobacco notes on the fruit ending with a good grip.