Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide, used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. DNA analysis indicates that Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carménère.
Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine that contributes finesse and lends a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis, and violets.
In Bordeaux, It is widely planted and used to blend with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to add bouquet and complexity to the “Bordeaux style” wines. In Loire where Cabernet Franc thrives in the cooler growing conditions to accentuate the grape's herbaceous, grassy, lead pencil aromas, Cabernet Franc is on its own. The best wines there have intense well-structured and excellent cellaring potential. Cabernet Franc is also used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada and the United States.