Cabernet Sauvignon

June 5, 2017

3 minutes read


Cabernet Sauvignon is a black grape with a deep colour. Originally from the Bordeaux in France, it’s a grape that’s now planted worldwide in the moderate-hot climates.

Bordeaux wine regions like Medoc, Haut-Medoc & Graves are the most known (& expensive) regions where top-Bordeaux-blends, wherein Cabernet Sauvignon is leading, are made. Australia, Coonawarra is producing intense full-bodied wines with black fruit, herbaceous flavours like mint & eucalyptus & oak notes. Margaret River often blends it with Merlot. Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand is producing both blends & single-grape varieties.


In USA, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted grape in the region. Producing beautiful soft ripe tannins with deep colour & black fruit with oak aromas. The sun truly does its work here. Also, Sonoma & Washington State needs to be mentioned, producing Bordeaux-style wines.


In South-America, Chile (Maipo Valley, Colchagua & Cachapoal) are regions where Cabernet Sauvignon is often a blend with the local Carmenere. Argentina often blends it with their Malbec.


South-Africa copies the Bordeaux-style of wine making, with the wine region of Stellenbosch leading the way. Back in Europe the Languedoc-Roussillon in France, Spain (Priorat) & Italy (Super Tuscan) are regions where Cabernet Sauvignon can be found too,


The Cabernet Sauvignon grape loves a moderate-hot climate. In a moderate climate, the grapes develop a medium-full body, high acidity & tannins levels with black fruit, herbaceous, savoury & oak aromas. In hot climates, the grape is fuller in body, softer tannins with pronounced black fruit & less herbaceous notes.


With its high acidity & tannins levels, Cabernet Sauvignon benefit from a bit of oak aging. This will smoothen the tannins & gives the wine the vanilla, coffee, Smokey cedar & liquorice notes it deserves. In the same way, Cabernet Sauvignon is great to store away for a couple of years too.

 As Cabernet Sauvignon is quite an austere & bold grape variety, it’s often blended to complement the wine its tannins, black fruit & acidity component. This can be seen in the Bordeaux blend together with Merlot (& 11 other grapes). In Australia its often blended with Shiraz, in Argentina with Malbec & Chile with Carmenere.


With food, Cabernet Sauvignon complements the fatty & umami flavours. Think big & bold. Burgers, red meat & BBQ. With umami flavours like mushrooms, the wine will balance the savoury component, bringing out the fruit. Mushroom Stroganoff perhaps?


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