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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

"Let's hear it for Cabernet Franc, a grape that is usually regarded as the least interesting of the three major red Bordeaux varieties," says Tim Atkin MW. Often used in the Gironde to perfume red blends, it is only in the Loire Valley where the grape gets solo billing, he adds. The grape's style "varies from light and fruity to rich and profound" but it is always good value making chilled Cabernet Franc one of Atkin's "favourite summer wine styles". The 2006 Cabernet Franc Raats, Stellenbosch (17.99, Alliance Wines) merits a mention for its "subtle perfume, sleek oak and polished tannins". Atkin also highlights the "complex, silky" 2001 Chinon Les Varennes du Grand Clos, Charles Joguet (13.99, Majestic).