There have been quite a few articles recently covering the resurgence of the Cabernet Franc around the world. We like to refer to CabFranc as the princess of red grape varieties because of its softness, beautiful nose and extraordinary length of taste. It is certainly a wine that many vignerons have chosen to forget and even in it’s home in Bordeaux, owners are still choosing to replace it with other varieties.
Our mission was (and still is) to look after that beautiful piece of French terroir in Cardan and safeguard the local rural heritage – no matter what. Our motto is “Failure is not an option”! I remember very clearly the moment when I found out that the grape variety planted on the Hourcat Sud block was Cabernet Franc, not Merlot as we had been advised. There was naturally a moment of hesitation but with the strength of our Mission already laid out, we went to work and pursued our organic hands on conversion process as if we were on the slopes of St. Emilion! Our first amazing 100% varietal Cloud9 Cabernet Franc was created in 2010.
As time has allowed the facts emerged, there are only a couple of pure “undiluted” varietal Cabernet Franc wines produced in Bordeaux – even the most famous Cabernet Franc of Ch. Cheval Blanc is only 50% CabFranc! And the love and care in our vineyard has created what we believe – and our customers agree – a very good and almost unique wine. A block of gold has emerged, an absolute gem of an asset has been created from what seemed like just another block of Bordeaux vineyard.
It would have been easy to assume that this tiny 0.45 hectare block would not amount to much because of its location and grape variety. Everybody pleaded with us to dig it up or try elsewhere! We will look back at that decision as one of the best… We will be the first among just a few that can see and will develop the potential of warm climate Cabernet Franc – a simply wonderful fine food and aperitif red wine. Cabernet Franc is on the up from here. Maybe the potential has not yet been fully seen nor realised across the rest of Bordeaux but Argentina, Hungary, California and Paradise Rescued will be there! Better still, the heritage of our community will also be there. Our potential problem has become our biggest asset.
Look carefully at your assets, you might just be hiding real gold too!!