Wine region / Country
El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2015 (2 bottles)
Augustus Cabernet Franc 2015 (2 bottles)
Domaine des Roches Neuves Cuvée Domaine 2017 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £86.48
Club Discount Price: £73.89
You save: £12.60 (14.56%)
Although both varieties originally come from France, while Sauvignon has travelled the world and become virtually a synonym for quality red wine worldwide, Cabernet Franc has remained in its shadow. It is less tannic than Sauvignon and produces wines which are often more delicate, aromatic and elegant. They don't have the same strength or body as Sauvignon wines, but they delight wine-lovers with their smooth texture and seductive aromas of wild fruits and violets.
The qualities of the Cabernet Franc are perfectly well-known and appreciated in Bordeaux (especially on the Right Bank), Italy, or California, but as it is commonly blended with other varieties such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, it is not always easy to enjoy a wine with the true essence of this variety. This month we propose three wines which will allow you to do just this, as well as surprising you with three very different styles. A Loire wine, a Penedes wine, and an Argentinian wine, all three made with Cabernet Franc but each one expressing its own terroir, transmitting their particular conditions of soil, climate, and winemaking culture in each sip.
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Red Crianza. Bodega Aleanna Mendoza, Argentina Cabernet Franc, Malbec
Bottle: £15.83 club members / £18.52 non-members
Vineyards at 1,400 metres of altitude, with fine stone-covered limestone soils give El Enemigo an unusual freshness. It ages for a long time in wood – mainly in previously used barrels to ensure the ripe fruit remains to the front. Eucalyptus and pepper refresh a mature centre making El Enemigo Cabernet Franc an almost perfect wine aromatically, bringing to mind the old Bordeaux wines that Adrianna Catena would drink with her father during her youth or the Angélica Zapata Cabernet Franc that Adrianna’s partner in this project, Alejandro Vigil, served at his own wedding. The excellent El Enemigo, with the spice, grainy tannins, and freshness typical of the best Cabernet Franc wines is surely the wine that these two top winemakers were destined to create together.
Oxtail / game dishes / cured cheeses
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Red Crianza. Celler Avgvstvs Forvm Penedès, Spain Cabernet Franc
Bottle: £8.94 club members / £10.46 non-members
At Augustus Forum, the Roca family, with brothers Albert and Oriol clearly heading up the project, appreciate as few do the merits and requirements of the Cabernet "younger sibling"; this can only explain why the wine is so recognisable each year but without failing to express the character of the vintage. It's always an elegant wine, robust, pleasant, and complex too. It has all the character of a good French Cabernet cloaked in Mediterranean warmth and a clever usage of oak. Menthol, spicy, brimming with ripe fruit and substantial toasty notes, generous, full and long. Matorral shrubs, cherries in liqueur, liquorice, pepper, graphite, blue flowers... it doesn't stop growing. Without a doubt, a magnificent example of this varietal's capabilities.
A reference and pioneer among Spanish Cabernet Francs, the Augustus Cabernet Franc is undoubtedly a wine delivering the style of its winery and the character of this variety. While many other Penedes wineries bet on the Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot grapes for their single-variety wines, the Augustus winery chose to go with the so-called little brother, the extremely elegant Cabernet Franc, using it to create a wine which is easy to drink but whose noble character comes through with every sip.
Beef sirloin steak / roasted peppers / parmesan or grana padano type cheese
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Young red Crianza. Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny, France Cabernet Franc
Bottle: £12.18 club members / £14.26 non-members
Biodynamic agriculture and an utmost respect for the rhythms of nature are key factors behind the purity found in every bottle of Domaine des Roches Neuves. An easy-flowing wine, seducing the palate and cheeks, thrilling the tongue with a fine acidity and stimulating the nose with a wide palette of aromas — violets, black fruits, floral touches, and fine smoke. It is an unusual wine which showcases the style of the winery and is more than enough reason to explain just why Thierry Germain is widely considered to be one of the great winemakers in the Loire region. An open wine, with no tricks, and ready to be enjoyed immediately. It offers a wonderful combination of fruitiness, wild freshness, and perfectly mature vines.
Organic agricultural methods in the vineyards, a careful selection of the grapes, rigorous control of the fermentation process, and painstaking work with the wine’s fine lees all combine to explain the wine's wonderful clarity and delicacy. Germain is currently one of the best biodynamic wine producers in Europe and his wines, especially the single-vineyard ones, are among the most thrilling wines from France.
Tofu and seaweed salads / asparagus / rabbit with mushrooms
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