Cabernet Franc is a cousin of Cabernet Sauvignon. It's less intense than it's cousin, softer in tannins, and ripens earlier. It's historic homeland is in the Loire valley and the cooler damper soils of St-Emilion. In St-Emilion it's planted to blend with Merlot, and in the Médoc and Graves it is planted as insurance in case Cabernet Sauvignon fails to ripen. The classic note of Cabernet Franc is a grassy character, which can be quite intense in northern Italy, but is at its best in Chinon, Bourgueil, Saumur-Champigny, and Anjou-Villages.