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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > NEW WORLD: Cabernet Franc

Winner Details

New World: Cabernet Franc

2018 Gold 1      Silver 5      Bronze 1      Commended 7
2017 Gold 1      Silver 2      Bronze 0      Commended 3

After a storming start in 2016, last year Cab Franc rather disappointed – so it was good to see a rise in the medals this year. The fact that the results were dominated by South Africa and South America is probably an accurate reflection of the places that are most engaged with the grape at the moment.

There was generally positive feedback for the wines sent in, though if you thought this was going to be a good place to come looking for cut-price single varietal Cabernet substitutes, think again.

None of our medals – not even those from Chile – were under £10. Though the bulge of £10-20 Silvers suggests that there’s plenty of good stuff in that mid-price area.

Spend big, and you get wines of elegance and complexity, seems to be the message this year.


‘Desperately food friendly, with nice varietal character. Some were much leaner, more crunchy and leafy, while the warmer climate ones were more richly fruited, with a pure fruit core. The oak worked really well - a nice affinity with the wine.’ Sam Caporn MW, team leader

‘A difficult flight. The cheaper ones weren’t that cheap and in the middle they were very similar. I felt like I was tasting the same wine.’ Michael Fiducia, Coworth Park

‘I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality, even at the lower end. Complexity increased the further you went up in price. Impressive as a flight.’ James Franklin, Fenwick

Award winners

Found 14 wines

New World: Cabernet Franc

Gabriëlskloof, Cabernet Franc 2015, Cape South Coast, South Africa

Gold medal winner

With Fenwick’s James Franklin revelling in its ‘ripe and encompassing nose, pulling you in and wrapping you up’, and Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducial describing ‘lifted eucalyptus and menthol with cooked bramble fruit crumble notes’, this couldn’t have been anything but Gold. The Pig Hotel’s Jacopo Mazzeo added praise for its ‘good varietal character and green pepper, liquorice, coffee and Morello cherries, as well as some firm, ripe tannins’, which added up, he thought, to ‘good ageing potential’.

£21.59 Liberty Wines

Garage Wine Co, Lot #72, Cabernet Franc 2015, Maipo Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Characterised as ‘deep, dark and dangerous’ by Fenwick’s James Franklin, this would benefit from decanting or further ageing, suggested team leader Sam Caporn MW, who found ‘lots of cassis and soft black fruits, very dry but with good purity’.

£17.15 Bibendum

Valdivieso, Single Vineyard, Cabernet Franc 2014, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Impressed with its ‘very pure cassis on the nose, tight black fruit and full flavour’, team leader Sam Caporn MW felt this had a ‘lovely pure fruit profile’, while for Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia it was ‘herbaceous, menthol with classic Cab Franc crunch and grip’.

£12.44 Bibendum

Via Wines, Chilcas, Single Vineyard, Cabernet Franc 2014, Maule Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Fenwick’s James Franklin was a fan of this wine’s ‘wonderfully forward nose of sweet spices, violet and herbal notes’, and Christoph Hons of Park Chinois highlighted ‘good body, smooth tannins and a yeasty touch with vanilla oak’.

£11.20 VIA Wines

Finca Decero, Mini Ediciones, Cabernet Franc 2016, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Showing a classic ‘dark fruits and cigar box, crunchy stewed fruit palate’ profile said Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia, while for team leader Sam Caporn MW this was ‘pretty fragrant, with some spicy oak, mulberry and floral notes, sappy oak, well made and balanced’.

£10.83 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Kaiken, Obertura, Cabernet Franc 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

James Franklin of Fenwick very much enjoyed this wine’s ‘great soft and warm nose, compote richness with a gentle spicy warmth on the palate’, which was ‘jammy, but a top-end jam’, while team leader Sam Caporn MW found it ‘lovely, with lifted red fruits and beautifully balanced, integrated oak, showing huge potential’.

£20.75 Liberty Wines

Andeluna, Pasionado, Cabernet Franc 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia praised this wine for its ‘complexity, concentration and depth’, while team leader Sam Caporn MW picked up ‘notes of aniseed and fennel with slightly stewed fruit character’, and Christoph Hons of Park Chinois found ‘sweet red fruits, good tannin structure with spicy yet fresh notes, too’.

£29.57 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Catena, Appellation, San Carlos, Cabernet Franc 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£12.34 Bibendum

Bressia, Monteagrelo, Cabernet Franc 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£13.26 Boutinot

Humberto Canale, Selección de Familia, Cabernet Franc 2014, Patagonia, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£15.22 Enotria&Coe

Dr Konstantin Frank, Cabernet Franc 2014, Finger Lakes, New York State, USA

Commended medal winner

£19.80 Matthew Clark

Argento, Reserva, Cabernet Franc 2015, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£10.97 Bibendum

Casa Valduga, Raizes, Cabernet Franc 2014, Campanha, Brazil

Commended medal winner

Atamisque, Serbal, Cabernet Franc 2017, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£11.77 Matthew Clark


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