A Cabernet Challenger

For oenophiles in the U.S., ordering a Cab has traditionally meant a Cabernet Sauvignon. But another Cabernet variety is gaining popularity. Originally identified with the Bordeaux and Loire regions of France, Cabernet Franc is now being produced in Washington, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina and is a staple with New York State vintners. It is also making inroads in California: in 1993 there were only 1,500 acres of Cabernet Franc grapes planted statewide, but by 2002 the number had climbed to 3,941. Since the varietal is still relatively unknown, it's a great value, with many vintages costing from $7 to $25...

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