I'm not a huge enthusiast for the sexual stereotyping of wines but even I can see that Cabernet Franc might be described as the feminine side of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is subtly fragrant and gently flirtatious rather than massively muscular and tough in youth. Because Cabernet Sauvignon has so much more of everything - body, tannin, alcohol, colour - it is often supposed to be necessarily superior, but I have a very soft spot indeed for its more charming and more aromatic relative, Cabernet Franc. No-one was very sure of the exact relationship between Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc until 1997 when some of the...
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