Cabernet Franc

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Cabernet Franc, fine French black grape variety, much blended with and overshadowed by its progeny the more widely planted cabernet sauvignon. Only in Anjou-Saumur and Touraine in the Loire Valley, on the right bank of the Gironde in Bordeaux, and in parts of north east Italy is it quantitatively more important than Cabernet Sauvignon, but Cabernet Franc is sufficiently widely grown to be one of the world’s 20 most planted cultivars for wine.

In the vineyard it can be distinguished from Cabernet Sauvignon by its less dramatically indented leaves but the two share so many characteristics that they had for long been thought to be related. In 1997, thanks to dna profiling, it was established that Cabernet Franc was, with the Bordeaux white vine variety sauvignon blanc, a parent of the noble Cabernet Sauvignon (see cabernet sauvignon for more details).