Cabernet franc (pronounced “cab-er-NAY frahnk”) is one of the parents of Cabernet sauvignon (the other being Sauvignon blanc) and is another varietal not as commonly found in wide distribution. And let me say that this varietal is prolific! DNA testing has revealed it to be the parent of Merlot and Carménère as well. Eclipsed by two of its much better-known children, Cabernet franc is a kinder, gentler red wine with earthy aromas that tend toward tobacco and green peppers. Since it ripens a touch earlier than its children, it is a good grape to grow in several Oregon wine regions.