One of the world's most popular black
grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon's deep color; blackcurrant aroma and flavor
is the backbone of many full-bodied red wines. An international traveller, successful in many parts of the world, Cabernet Sauvignon is
easy to grow and just loves warm, free-draining soils. It reaches great
heights in Bordeaux's Haut-Médoc, as well as in the Napa Valley,
Australia (Western and Coonawarra), Chile, Argentine and South Africa.
In Bordeaux, in particular the areas of
the Médoc and Graves, Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with Merlot,
Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec in varying proportions.
Combined with new oak, for which it has a natural affinity, Cabernet
Sauvignon provides the structure in a blend. In Australia, a Cabernet /
Merlot / Shiraz blend has been very successful.
Cabernet Sauvignon's ability to age allows
the development of cedary flavors in bottle. In young wines and those
from the warmer climates cassis, mint, eucalyptus, green pepper and
tarry characteristics are the norm. Of all wine grapes, Cabernet
Sauvignon has one of the highest ratios between pip and pulp. As the
pips are an important source of tannin, a wine based on this grape
variety tends to be tough and unforgiving in youth. Blending with the
softer Merlot brings accessibility as tannins soften with age and can be
absorbed by particular foods. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes can be found in
just every country where red wine is made.
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