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Our New Year’s welcome photo – good news for Bordeaux CabFranc fans!

I can see it now! But then I can’t? I can clearly understand why Cabernet Franc is and always should be part of a great Bordeaux wine. But then, why do so few others not see it?

I continue to listen to a huge number of my Bordeaux colleagues discount and discredit their number 3 varietal grape. Many continue to pull it up and at the 2013 En Primeurs tasting last April, many producers were embarrassed to even declare that it was even a small percentage of the final wine assemblage! I am baffled!

OK, so Paradise Rescued is new to the game! We don’t understand the business, our tasting palates need adjustment, etc. Maybe? Our history spans 5 years not 5 decades nor centuries. I just wonder whether maybe sometimes it pays not to be too close to the vines or the history? A new look from a different angle can really change a paradigm?

Tasting glasses at the ready around the table

The tasting glasses at the ready around the table – Photo Zoe Wyatt

I only write this because I have just completed an across the board varietal vintage tasting of our wines with two of our customers who travelled half way round the world to take a look at Paradise Rescued in Bordeaux. Pascale, our vigneronne, and I decided to let the wines do the talking. Freezing Bordeaux winter conditions are good for holding back the vines from restarting the season early but not so good for tasting cold wines from a winery. But anyway… And indeed, the wines talked – much more than I could ever have imagined.

We have written previously, as have a few of our discerning Bordeaux colleagues, about the success of Cabernet Franc in the very demanding 2013 vintage. Our customer tasting confirmed what we have just bottled. Cabernet Franc was magnificent. But more surprisingly, was the taste in the organically produced 2014 Cabernet Franc glass – before going into barrel. Richer, a touch sweeter and more full. The beautiful princess showed her beauty once more.

As I sat and talked with our team and another long established Bordeaux winemaker / owner over a wonderful New Year’s Eve meal, we all agreed: 2014 was another success for Cabernet Franc.

Maybe it’s time to put it out there? Warm Bordeaux climate and terroir is a perfect location for making some of the world’s best Cabernet Franc. In 2014 the winner, yet again, seems to have been Cabernet Franc.