Italian Cab Franc - Any recommendations?

Any suggestions for pure or cab franc heavy blends from Italy?

I drink a lot of Loire cab franc but find that most domestic cf is too ripe for what I like (herbaceous, light and peppery). I just had a nice cheap Friulian CF (Villa Locatelli) that makes me want to search out more.

Any suggestions sub $100 much appreciated!

Dan, the one that pops into mind, and is an annual buy for me, is Le Macchiole ‘Paleo’ Rosso. Ages well (in fact, a necessity) without losing freshness, and can be found selectively for under your budget, if only just…


Not a big fan of CF. But Friuili should give you some nice options. Also some from Tuscany. I have to run but here is one. Reasonable priced.

Another one not quite as heavy on the CF.

And another one with even less.

Thanks all, I’ll look into acquired some of these recommendations!

The 2010 and the 2011 Paleo is rock`n roll.
If you want to know how that tastes in ten years, try the 2001.
That was the first vintage with solely Cab Frank.
The 2001 in fruit was with Lafleur 2000 the best CF I drank in 2003 or 2004.
And when you talk to the cognoscenti down there, Sassecaia is now planting CF, Ornellaia also because it seems to grow rather well there (some think better than CS).
There is another winemaker named Chiappini, who makes a 1500 thousand bottles of a CF called Liena. This also worth trying.
These wines have Bolgheri charakter.
Maculan and San Leonardo are quite a bit north and have a rather cooler climate charakter.

Have fun.

I’d second (or third?) San Leonardo.

C’mon, spend for Alzero. You’ll be happy you did.

+1 for Le Macchiole Paleo – had a bottle of the 09 just last week that was absolutely brilliant.

One other wine I’ve recently tasted that has me intrigued is Duemani’s namesake Duemani bottling that’s 100% Cab Franc. Duemani is the personal wine project from Luca D’Attoma, arguably Italy’s top winemaking consultant. Powerful stuff!

Another wine that comes to mind is Ludovico Antinori’s Tenuta di Biserno, which is a Cab Franc heavy Bordeaux blend that’s pretty awesome…

I’ll be following this topic, great thread!

Kevin, I’ve been wanting to try a Duemani but never see them in stores.

I drank a bottle of 01 paleo about 3 weeks ago. From memory, a wine with an incredible wild berry nose that leaps out of the glass. On the palate, elegant texture, mostly resolved tannins, and a good balance of fruit and acidity. The downside though is that 13 years out, the oak remains, in my opinion, very distracting.

Impressive wine in a lot of ways, but definitely a different idiom than Loire cf.


Sorry that I am struggling to come up with a comprehensive list quickly. But I will keep thinking about it. I have stopped doing business on these wines, a shame as the whites are pretty amazing, so I am not sure how much dist they have on this red in the US.

Starting to come together piece by piece. I haven’t tasted this wine in 5-6 years, but it is one to look for as I was impressed. Not an easy task for Cab Franc.

Never seen this one in the US. So not sure how much help it is, but if you make it to Friuli.

This one is easy to find and cheap. But I am not sure it has the profile you are searching for.


the Paleo 01 was the first solo CF.
I think the wine gets better every year, because they learn.
So that really a bit wild wine is the least what to expect.

They are pretty small production, and IIRC they work with a small NY-based importer AI Selections. Not sure where you live, but that might explain why their wines have been hard for you to find locally…

I would recommend Orma. It’s 40% Cab Franc, 40% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Most of the “Cabernet” from Friuli is Cabernet Franc. Many wonderful examples. Not real blockbusters but riper than typical Loire Cabernet Franc.