Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Guide
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most representative wine of Bordeaux, the most cultivated grape on the Gironde river’s left bank, as well as in Graves, which is located in the Mèdoc region (south Bordeaux’s area).
Organoleptic characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is a fine, sumptuous, and sophisticated wine that defies the passage of time and ages magnificently.
Firm tannins give this wine a surprising body structure, and this is why drinking Cab is a unique and gratifying experience for all the senses.
Cabernet Sauvignon has an exuberant bouquet with scents that remind you of the woods: berries mixed with alpine herbs, underbrush, and rocks (graphite). It also includes earthy notes, rhubarb, prunes, eucalyptus, cedar, tobacco, and cherries in brandy.
Typical of Sauvignon blanc, there are hints of herbs like green bell pepper, anise, and olive.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine with licorice tannins that tickle the mouth and a lot of flavor. It has a very interesting structure.
The intense flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon changes over time to become more complex, balsamic, and spicy, but its structure stays the same.
Cabernet Sauvignon history
The Cab origin is unsure, perhaps it comes from Spanish Rioja, but it’s all conjecture.
The only certainty is that Bordeaux is the preferred region for production and has the best terroir for this grape. Bordeaux’s style creates intense, full, and balsamic wines, where long barrel aging has tamed all its muscles, and it focuses more on austerity and depth than brute strength.
The perfect (and most used) blend is made with Cabernet Sauvignon plus Cabernet Franc and Merlot; the last two soften its “taste” to take the edge off and add roundness.
Hot weather conditions (not in France) allow the fruit to mature fully. This is why it is possible to find some bottles of monovarietal Cabernet Sauvignon.
As a fault, Cabernet Sauvignon matures late, which may cause a possible incomplete end to this process.
Merlot, Franc, and Petit Verdot are grown in Bordeaux too because of the blend and as insurance for bad Cabernet vintages.
Cabernet Sauvignon growing zones
The elective homeland in Italy is Tuscany, where during the 1970s the Supertuscan mania exploded, led by Sassicaia.
The cab can be found throughout the Chianti region, but especially near Castagneto Carducci in North Maremma, where the Bolgheri DOC rules.
If you can try to taste some Cab from Colli Euganei, Collio, and Alto Adige, in particular Bolzano, all territories with ideal conditions in terms of temperature and soils.
Cabernet with firm tannins and a refined style is typical of the Alexander Valley.
In Australia, we can find Cabernet Sauvignon in the Barossa Valley and Shiraz, which blend wonderfully, creating peppery and pulpy red wines.
One could say that Cabernet is a global wine, thanks to the fame of the vine, which has spread across the globe, but this comes at a cost, as it is not always easy to make Cab. You may find a super muscular fruity bomb hidden in lots of bottles.
The most important factor is grape skin maceration; if the moisture does not remain in sufficient contact with the skins, the wine will be too light, whereas the opposite occurs with at least three weeks of maceration. The wine will be characterized by a polyphenolic charge with incredible aging potential.
But this substance needs long, gradual aging in wood, in barriques that should not be too toasty; the aim is to preserve the voluptuous charm of this wine, not to cover it.
Cabernet Sauvignon serving temperature
A young Cab should be served at a temperature between 16°C and 18°C in large glasses to draw oxygen into the wine and bring out its unique aromas. For older, 15-20 years old bottle dare with 20° C.
Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairings
Its massive tannins, the super-rich pulp, the good acidity, and the strong fruity flavors invite to pair meat-driven dishes, stew, lamb kebabs, gnocchi with Bolognese, hamburgers, baked lasagna, truffle risotto, pasta Amatriciana.