Tag Archives: el corazon

Know Your Grapes: Cab Franc

Cab Franc is coming into style BIG TIME in Walla Walla right now. While not considered one of the quintessential Walla Walla varietals (like Syrah, Cab, and Merlot), Cab Franc is becoming ever more present in tasting rooms- and tasters are starting to ask for it.

What is Cab Franc?  Cab Franc is a grape variety that is mostly used as a blending grape to beef up the aromatics in Bordeaux-style blends, and can be green or vegetal and thin when it’s not fully ripe. The Loire specializes in Cab Francs and produces some really nice 100% Cab Francs wines.

Why is it delicious?  When it ripens well, it can be very aromatic and delicious and seems to lend itself well to barrel flavors. I’ve had some really deliciously fruity and floral Cab Francs, earthy and soft Cab Francs and more chocolate-vanilla (typical barrel flavors) Cab Francs. The barrel notes can beef up a Cab Franc if it’s tasting a little thin. Cab Francs also tend to be less tannic than, say, Cab Sauvs, which means they’re a little more versatile in terms of food pairings, and they’re more approachable right away.

What would you pair with Cab Franc?  I’d pair Cab Franc with a dish that had some heartiness to it, but nothing that would overpower a slightly lighter wine: mushroom and spinach risotto, roasted root vegetables (beets, potatoes, carrots), or a Greek quinoa salad with feta.

Who does Cab Franc in Walla Walla? More and more wineries! I’ve tasted and enjoyed Cab Francs from Trust, Watermill, Saviah, Northstar, Tertulia, El Corazon, Balboa, and Canoe Ridge. I’m sure there are others that I haven’t yet discovered!

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True Story: Sending Notes Like it’s 4th Grade

photo by c.mcbrien via flikr
photo by c.mcbrien via flikr

True Story: I am a 4th grader at heart. I wasn’t sure I wanted to admit this publicly, but I have been sending notes to Spencer at El Corazon Winery, scribbled on business cards and scratch paper via tasting room customers that I’ve sent their way, pleading for them to set aside two bottles of the El Corazon rosé for me. I wasn’t sure any of the notes actually made it to them, so I finally just gave them a call to ask them to hold some for me, but I still find the idea of sending notes between wineries way fun.

Also, I am really excited about this rosé (I know, I know…I will move on to other types of wine soon, I promise!); I got a chance to taste it the other day when one of my friends/coworkers opened a bottle, and it was (as he put it) the BOMB. Apparently there were only 2 more cases of it left when I called, so I’m glad I didn’t just rely on my notes. I’m hoping they remember to save those two bottles for me!