October 13, 2011

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the better known red grapes varieties ; it is grown all over the world and is incredibly versatile. Depending on where it is grown (and of course the winemaker’s input) it can make soft and fruity young wines or, because of its high tannin levels, provide the structure for a long-lived wine.

It is reasonably easy to grow in warm climates hence its popularity in most wine-growing regions and produces either single-varietal wines or, as it works incredibly well in a blend, is added to local varieties. For example you’ll find it in Chile blended with Carmenere, in Argentina with Malbec and of course in Australia in the classic Cab-Shiraz blend.

Arguably its most famous blend is the mix with Merlot and Cabernet Franc in the wines of Bordeaux, an area of France that can be considered its home turf or terroir. Not that most French labels will tell you which varieties are included but take it from me this is the classic red “Bordeaux Blend”. This is imitated not only in other areas of France but around the world with great success.

So how does a typical Cab Sauv (not Sav) smell and taste? Well it’s famous for its intense blackcurrant scent (think Ribena with added sophistication) as well as other dark fruits such as black cherry and plum. It ages well in oak which will add cedar and cigar-box notes too. What you don’t want to detect is a jammy flavour. This is never good in a red wine and can indicate overripe fruits. It can have vegetal aromas – mint the most prominent, with green bell pepper in less ripe examples.

Now here is my favourite part; certain examples can have both the taste and texture of dark chocolate. Need I convince you to go and try out a Cab??

Cabernet Sauvignon wines available


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