A flurry of interest in Italian grape varietals in this country produced some interesting wines when I invited wine producers to send samples of “NZ red wine other than Pinot Noir or Syrah”.
In the last decade the vineyard area of Cabernet Franc has slid from a modest 180 hectares to a miserable 118 hectares. The vast majority of the annual production of Cabernet Franc is blended with one or more of the other so called “Bordeaux” varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the past 12 years, my database of 21764 tasting notes includes a mere dozen local wines made of Cabernet Franc. Three of them are from the 2013 vintage, a year when the variety was able to achieve full physiological ripeness with consummate ease.