Cabernet Franc Wine
Cabernet Franc is a black-skinned French wine grape variety grown in most wine producing nations. The variety is most famously known as the third grape of Bordeaux and can be found in many of the worlds top Bordeaux Blend wines. Cabernet Franc most commonly appears in blended red wines, where it adds herbaceous accents of tobacco and dark spice.
As a varietal wine, Cabernet Franc is light to medium bodied and often shows vegetal characteristics, in particular green bell peppers. This has led many wine drinkers to incorrectly identify Cabernet Franc as unripe Cabernet Sauvignon, or even Carmenere. This has been highlighted in Friuli, Italy, where plantings that were thought to be Cabernet Franc were later classified as Carmenere.
Cabernet Franc is commonly compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, which is not without justification; the Cabernet Sauvignon variety is the result of a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. (Recent DNA profiling has also shown that Cabernet Franc is also one of Merlots parents). But in the vineyard, Cabernet Franc ripens at least a week earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon. While it has thinner skin and lower acidity, it is also known for its hardiness and often grown as an insurance grape.