Of course Monday is Cabernet Franc Night. Didn't you know?
I've sung the praises of Petit Verdot in previous posts, so it's about time I stopped neglecting the other blending grape of Bordeaux. Outside of trendy New World efforts, the grape's home is undoubtedly the Loire. Chinon is the big name, but I picked up something slightly different.
Pierre-Jacques Druet, Loire, France
At just over £11 from Majestic Wine, it's a steal for a mature red. Bourgueil is a lesser-known appellation, so it's one of those names to remember when you're hunting for a bargain*.
Cabernet Franc is used to give perfume, aroma, and elegance to Bordeaux blends, so as you'd expect this is a fragrant glass. Pot pourri and bay-leaf sit on top of juicy cranberries, tasting slightly dried with age. There's still a fresh acidity, but enough tannin to stand up to a hefty food pairing.
A great example of this style of wine, and a fantastic introduction to the grape if you haven't explored it before.
*France is full of these. I love Rueilly (Sancerre-alike), Lirac/Gigondas/Vacqueyras (Chateauneuf's neighbours) and Bergerac (great Bordeaux Superieur alternative).