Cabernet Franc – Not Just Our Obsession?

It looks as if the grape I’m currently most obsessed with – Cabernet Franc – is on the minds of more than a few consumers and winemakers.

Winewriter, Elin McCoy, in an article on, writes about the things that will be changing the wine world in 2016. Among a growing appreciation for English sparkling wine (very cool), more celebrity wine projects (very un-cool), and the wider-spread use of the Coravin (we are big enthusiasts!), McCoy believes that 2016 will reveal Cab Franc to be the next hot variety. If she ain’t right, she ought to be!

There is no red grape with the possible exception of Pinot Noir that offers such a wide variety of textures, flavors, and overall excitement. Cabernet Franc, in the Bordeaux model, is a wine of suppleness, red fruit, tension and length. From the Loire Valley perspective, the wines are lean, filled with tremendous acid, rose petals, and earth. The (generally low-alcohocabfrancl) wines have such tremendous pace through the mouth, they seem to make the clock run backward.

I’m partial to this CF style. In my mind, they are the sexiest wines on the planet. We have about 3 acres planted on our Ghielmetti Estate Vineyard, and endeavor to produce a style of Cabernet Franc that is beautiful in its exuberant fruit; low in new-oak, and high in swagger. Our CF is part of our BDX Collection wine club.

The best Cabernet Francs, unlike Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, owe some of their greatness to their subtle polarizing nature. If it is true that American wine drinkers talk dry but drink sweet, CF is not the wine for them. And that’s ok. Merlot quality suffered in part from its ubiquity; I’d rather drink every bottle I make (I’m a sharer, by nature, so you’ll understand the psychic pain this would cause me) if it meant we had Cabernet Franc unencumbered by bad planting and winemaking decisions…pure, beguiling, and beautiful.


It’s About How Wine Makes You Feel

There can never be too much deliciousness in the world. And in the world of wine, making a wine that smells and tastes delicious would seemingly be the most obvious goal of any winemaker.

I’d contend, though, that for fine wines, those that are meant to make you think as well as smack your lips, the way those wines FEEL is of paramount concern for the winemaker.

At The Steven Kent Winery we believe in making wines that are beautiful. These wines have a wholeness to them and a balance of fruit, wood, tannin, and acid that are perceived most wholly in a tactile sense. If flavor and aroma is the greatest rock band of all time, structure is the stage, the microphone, the lights, and the sound system. Structure is what allows that band (or that great wine) to be experienced in as full a measure as possible.

The winemaker has many tools at his or her disposal to make a fine feel right. Some are more intrusive and industrial, less intuitive than others. Click on the video to learn more about one technique we’re using.