A relative of cabernet sauvignon with lower acidity and tannin, cabernet franc plays an important part in many Bordeaux blends alongside merlot. It also takes a feature role in the wines of St-Emilion on the right bank and the Loire Valley region of France. Cabernet franc is well established in Italy, Napa and Sonoma in the US. Smaller plantings exist in Mendoza, New Zealand and Australia. As a single varietal, cabernet franc produces vibrant, medium weight wines with floral aromatics, cassis and raspberry characters. It can exhibit attractive varietal leafiness in cooler years.