image from post wine and spirits

Cabernet Franc is believed to be the parent of Cabernet Sauvignon but is in fact, rather like a watered down version of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a thinner skinned and earlier ripening grape with less acidity but more cold weather resistance than Cabernet Sauvignon.  It is one of the most planted vines in France, especially in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. 

It's main role is that of a blending grape, lending it's fruitiness and softness to the  many austere wines of Bordeaux, for example. The flavour profile of this 'second fiddle' grape tends toward fruity (berries and dark stone fruit), herbal or floral (capsicums and violets) and less desirably, vegetal, in the hands of less skilled winemakers. Compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, it is lighter in both tannins and body and consequently, it does not have the aging potential of Cabernet Sauvignon. It generally produces light, fruit driven wines with a short to medium finish.

In the Loire Valley, it is also known as Breton and in parts of Bordeaux, it is called Bouchet.

Varietal Cabernet Franc are few and far between but the best examples are probably the red wines of Chinon and Saumur in France, which are Cabernet Franc dominant. The U.S. is also producing interesting specimens of varietal Cabernet Franc.