Cabernet Franc tends to be softer and has less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, although the two can be difficult to distinguish. Sometimes the French refer to Cabernets, which could mean either of the two grapes. Its typical aromas include some herbaceousness, even in ripe fruit, and something eerily like tobacco. Bad-quality Cabernet Franc wines can have a slightly soapy taste.
Cabernet Franc forms part of the Bordeaux blend, usually taking a minor role to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. However, one of the most famous Bordeaux, Ch teau Cheval Blanc is primarily Cabernet Franc. Many of the red wines of the Loire are primarily Cabernet Franc, although it is not mentioned on the label. In California and other U.S. states, it is part of the Meritage blend.
It seems particularly suited to Ontario's Niagara region where it makes an excellent varietal wine. In the Hungarian wine region of Vill ny the grape is used in Bordeaux-style blends and is also bottled as a varietal wine.
CabernetFranc is often used in blends with Cabernet Sauvignon to add aromatics.
Cabernet Sauvignon, like all noble winegrape varieties, is of the species Vitis vinifera, and genetic studies in the 1990s indicated it is the result of a cross between CabernetFranc and Sauvignon Blanc.
Elsewhere in France it is used in varying quantities in several Roussillon wines, though generally in an attempt to imitate the wines of its Bordeaux neighbour.
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