Cabernet Franc is often overshadowed by the more popular Cabernet Sauvignon. But Cabernet Franc is not without its own positive attributes, and many wine lovers have begun to search out this varietal for its unique flavor characteristics. Cabernet Franc tends to be rather lighter in both color and tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon. It is typically light to medium-bodied with ripe fruit on the palate and a marked fragrance that includes some herbaceous notes.
Worldwide Cabernet Franc is annually one of the 20 most widely planted grape varieties. While France is the grapes winemaking home, plantings of Cabernet Franc are found throughout Europe, in the New World and in places as far off as China and Kazakhstan. In many regions, the grape is usually planted by growers wanting to emulate the Bordeaux blend, known elsewhere as the Meritage blend, and plays a secondary role to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In parts of northeast Italy, Anjou-Saumur, Touraine and right bank region of Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc plays a more prominent role in blends and as a varietal wine.