Just Mad for La Folie

BY: Margot Mazur  @solomargot

BY: Margot Mazur


About ‘La Folie’:

  • Varietal: 100% Cabernet Franc

  • Vintage: 2017

  • Region: Saumur-Champigny, Loire Valley, FR

  • Alcohol: 12.5%

  • Farming practice: Biodynamic

Some grapes get all the attention. Big time celebrities like Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot are always in the spotlight. Sure, we have the newest starlings like Picpoul and Sumoll who are coming in for their share, but I’d like to make a case for a certain dewy-eyed grape that’s been there all along—Cabernet Franc.

Cabernet Franc is a grape often overlooked. For the most part, it came to favor being blended into Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot-dominant wines. Cabernet Franc on its own, though, makes a delightful wine, and Chateau Yvonne’s ‘La Folie’ proves it. Chateau Yvonne dates back to the 16th century, and is located in the heart of Cabernet Franc country of the Loire Valley. Specifically, Saumur-Champigny, just a 40 minute car ride away from Chinon, an area where two grapes shine—Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc.

Cabernet Franc is not the big bold attention-grabbing Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon. It doesn’t have the acidity of Syrah or the tough tannins of Nebbiolo. Instead, Chateau Yvonne’s Cabernet Franc is an elegant wine. It’s a wine that teaches us about balance. There’s raspberry and blueberry, green pepper, black pepper, and spice. The texture is smooth but present, and the acidity is just enough to bring it all together.

Cabernet Franc might not be the Ferrari of grapes, but it’s the grape I feel we’ll hear a lot more about in the natural wine world’s upcoming trends. It’s the grape I reach for time and time again. It’s the grape that makes me feel comfortable, relaxed, loved, even. ‘La Folie’ is a wine that hugs you tight and doesn’t let go. It’s with you on a night when it’s just you and your dinner. No date, no big night ahead of you. Just you, your baked ziti, and a wine that won’t let you down.