by Fred McMillin
for April 29, 1998
All the better red wines of the Loire are made from Cabernet Franc, where it is the most planted variety (around 25,000 acres).
...Andre Simon; Jancis Robinson
In Bordeaux's St. Emilion some of the greatest growths, such as Chateau Ausone, are made from 50% or more Cabernet Franc.
...Larousse Encyclopedia of Wine
Some New World regions have shown a particular aptitude for producing well-balanced, fruity wines based predominantly on Cabernet Franc.
...Oxford Companion to Wine
If wine laboratory owner/chemist Edgar Coulson has his way, California's Sierra Foothills will become one of those Franc-friendly New World regions. An Oregon State University chemical engineer, Edgar was a serious home winemaker for 14 years, winning non-commercial awards in the most difficult California competitions, including the California State Fair.
Having added U.C.-Davis wine science courses to his background, Edgar went commercial in 1995. He's now the CEO and winemaker of the Coulson Winery, having taken over a small, 25-year-old El Dorado winery. His current wines include what else but 124 cases of Cabernet Franc... Pasteur Red yeast...French oak...appropriately made in a Bordeaux style. Many of my students seek hand-tooled, boutique wines. Here's exactly what they're after.
1996 Cabernet Franc (100%), Sierra Foothills
There may be a good reason that Cabernet Franc makes the best red on the Loire. It's been there a long time. Over 350 years ago, France's great statesman, Cardinal Richelieu, selected the Franc for planting at a Loire abbey by one Abbot Breton, which is still the name of the Franc in that area today.
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