Cabernet Sauvignon is the world’s most famous red wine grape. It produces red wine with a depth of flavour, aroma and ability to age. The flavours are easy to recognise typically full bodied with cherry, currant, blackcurrant, plummy, cigar box and cedar wood characteristics. Sometimes herbal flavours. Cabernet Sauvignon can have noticeable tannins often softened by blending with other grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon is the classic wine to serve with red meats.
Alone or in a blend it’s in a broad range of wines from the cheapest to the most exclusive. Cabernet Sauvignon underpins the finest wines of Bordeaux where it can contribute up to 85% of the blend. It is the primary grape in such famous premier cru wines as; Grand Van de Chateaux Latour, Chateaux Lafite Rothschild and Chateaux Mouton Rothschild. At the other end of the French wine spectrum, producers of Vin de Pays wines widely use it.
It grows widely across Europe. Including, Spain, Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria where its’ relentless spread displacing local varieties is criticised.
Cabernet Sauvignon in the New World
Most New World wine districts are growing it. Australia has had great success with it with the wines produced along the Margaret river and Coonawarra areas. It is grows in many of the USAs’ wine growing districts with California’s Napa valley excelling. Chile’s leading producer status is largely due to this grape. In South Africa is planting it on a wide scale as the nation reinvigorates its wine industry following the end of apartheid. Despite the cooler climate it succeeds in New Zealand often blended with Merlot.
It also grows in lesser known wine producing countries such as Canada, Israel and Lebanon.
Cabernet Sauvignon Characteristics
The classic Bordeaux wines need considerable time to mature to soften the tannins. Most modern wines are ready to drink within a few years. As growing conditions influence the taste, wines from different areas can be markedly varied. It is an easy grape to grow thriving in various soil types and ripening late also being resistant to frost and disease.