Cabernet Franc is usually used as the higher acid, lower tannin blending grape in Bordeaux-style blends. However, Americans do produce lovely, varietally labeled Cabernet Francs from Sonoma, Long Island and the Napa Valley that are stylistically reminiscent of the wines of Chinon (a red wine appellation in the Loire Valley) and St. Emilion. Cabernet Franc is purple in color, with violets and raspberries in the nose, bright berry fruit, green pepper and a leafy, tobacco-like wood shavings undertone.
When it comes to New World wines, and especially wines from the United States of America, Napa Valley is something of a standard bearer. Over its relatively short history, it has managed to transform itself from being a fairly insignificant region, to becoming one of the most important and highly regarding wine locations on earth. With an ideal climate for viticulture, blazing sunshine and a low level of rainfall, this valley is shielded on many sides by mountain ranges which help it maintain a consistent level of heat, light and moisture throughout the year. Today, Napa Valley is a home of innovation and quality, with dozens of grape varietals thriving in the fertile soils. However, the main varietals grown there have always been Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Zinfandel, and the wines they produce are constantly lauded by critics and competitions across the globe.