Cabernet Franc, Padre Nuestro

Just as there are great supporting actors –Harvey Keitel comes to mind at this moment- in viticulture, there is also one without which the film could not be complete: Cabernet Franc, a Bordeaux classic and a common presence in the blends of great wines that come from the banks of the Garonne. Cabernet Franc is also an actor with diverse faces because its pyrazines allow him to give life to wines of very different profiles, such as those produced in northern Loire Valley. From his native France, it leaped over the “greater pond” and showed its credentials around the world. Especially in the South Cone of America, in Chile as well as in Argentina.

After its natural crossing with Sauvignon Blanc, it became the father of Cabernet Sauvignon, a variety considered by many to outshine its ancestor in elegance and complexity. But that’s not all: its crossbreeding with Madeleines Noir de Charentes gave birth to Merlot, and to our Carmenère when it paired with Gros Cabernet.

Generally speaking, Cabernet Franc is more productive than Cabernet Sauvignon and has a little more spicy or herbaceous character. It has a powerful tannic structure, and its fruity range is somewhat one-dimensional compared to that of some of its daughters. But these are generalities since much depends on the terroir where it is produced. In some, he can be responsible for great wines, like Château Cheval Blanc, for example.

His second home, on the banks of the Loire, is completely different, as it presents a climatic limit for its ripening. In the villages of Chinon, Bourgueil or Saumur-Champigny, it shows a more delicate face. There, the herbaceous character (pyrazines) has to be masterfully handled to produce elegant wines with great aging potential.

At Viña Morandé we have appreciated Cabernet Franc since our inception. First, as the main actor in our Edicion Limitada and then as El Padre, its more relaxed version, crafted by our winemaker Cristián Carrasco and part of the Aventuras (Adventure) range. However, on Maipo’s alluvial gravels, it cedes prominence to Cabernet Sauvignon, its most outstanding son. But the character and strength of our House of Morandé arise from its decisive company, making it a wine of powerful structure, austere in aromas, and of great longevity. All characteristics conferred in part by this generous and silent Father.


Ricardo Baettig

Winemaker at Viña Morandé


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