Cabernet Franc is an ancient grape that can be traced back to the 1100s when the Breton monks planted that grape variety in the Loire Valley of France. As vineyards were planted to the west along the Loire River towards Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc cross-bred with Sauvignon Blanc, another native Loire grape to create Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cabernet Franc has long been the shadow of its more popular and more tannic offspring – often relegated to the status of a ‘blending wine’. Cabernet Franc is a lighter and more fruit-driven varietal, often expressing some ‘green’ elements of olives and green pepper.
Thankfully, the El Dorado grapes that Crystal Basin uses are grown on decomposed granite soil, which drains well to the delight of the vines. The results is a silky fruit-forward expression of a rich wine with black cherry and violet notes.