Bell pepper... aye or nay?

I have just recently had a few glasses from this bottle I ordered from the recent Chilean offer:

I was anticipating something else having “grown up” on and adored fully ripe Hungarian Cabernet Francs. What struck me was that it tasted quite vegetal… then I did a little research (that is a nicer way of saying I googled “cabernet frank flavour profile”) and was quite shocked that bell pepper is to be looked forward in single varietals from this grape. Also what I thought was vegetal was strikingly bell pepper in hindsight (always twenty twenty). The moral of the story?

  1. I need to be more careful with cool climate cabernet franc.

  2. If you ever wondered what bell pepper tastes like in wine, go for this bottle.

Apologies for this ramble… here is a poll - Do you enjoy the taste of bell pepper in your wine?

  • Aye
  • Nay

0 voters

I agonised over my response because there are occasions when it is acceptable. Loire CF can have that character in perfectly lovely wines, but it needs to be balanced with ripe plummy fruit underneath, that “pencil shavings & black pepper” dry tang, and ideally some bright acidity.

If you get the bell pepper (capsicum) note on its own, or from unripe grapes, then it is a fault

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I quite often get this in All Cabernet wines. Even claret . It isn’t always something I enjoy.
However Chilean Wine can suffer more than most. It’s almost a gout a Chile.

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That is very interesting, will keep that in mind. I did enjoy Chinon in the past as that was more balanced for me… luckily our tastes are quite diverse and there will surely be aficionados of well made Cabernet Franc from Loire, Chile, Hungary, Bordeaux etc. You mentioned Bordeaux… trying Cheval Blanc was always on my bucket list.

Interesting thread. Does it evolve / subside over time, I wonder? It may be because my day to day drinking cabernets aren’t particularly distinguished, but it doesn’t surprise me when I encounter it.