Its been far to long since my last post! Unfortunately studying for my first level with the Court of Master Sommeliers has really taken away from my blogging time. So while I’m busy brushing up on my wine knowledge I thought I’d take the time to post some small little write ups I had lying around on varietals, enjoy and more to come soon I promise!
- The word “sauvignon” is believed to be derived from the French sauvage meaning “wild”
- Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are very small with thick skin, which means that the ratio of seeds and skin versus pulp is quite high, leading to lots of tannins being extracted during the maceration process.
- Cabernet Sauvignon is the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc and was most likely a chance crossing that occurred in the 17th century. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation being that the grapes have thick skins and the vines are hardy and resistant to rot and frost.
- Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to consumers, even when from unfamiliar wine regions. Its widespread popularity has also contributed to criticism of the grape as a “colonizer” that takes over wine regions at the expense of native grape varieties.
- One of the most noted traits of Cabernet Sauvignon is its affinity for oak, either during fermentation or in barrel aging. In addition to having a softening effect on the grape’s naturally high tannins, the unique wood flavors of vanilla and spice complement the grapes natural flavors of black currant and tobacco.
- The 1976 “Judgment of Paris” was a famous blind wine tasting event where esteemed wine experts unknowingly chose a California Cabernet over several French producers, thus catapulting New World Cabs onto the international stage.
Generalized Tasting Profile of Cabernet Sauvignon
Body – Medium/Full
Tannin – Medium/High
Nose/Palate –Jam, Cola, Vanilla, Toasty Oak, Spice, Dark Berries, Pepper, Baking Spices, Green Bell Pepper, Currant, Cinnamon, Cherry, Plum, Leather, Tobacco, Anise, Olive
Aging – 1- 28 + Years Depending on Producer
Oaked – Yes, French and American Oak used
- Bordeaux: The left bank of Bordeaux makes Cabernet-based wines. Powerfully rustic, elegant, earthy wines giving great examples of a “terroir” wine.
- Australia: 2nd most popular wine in Australia after Syrah. Known for its rich full flavor and dark color, American oak and integrated tannins. Primarily fruit-driven wines.
- South Africa: Hardy wines reminiscent of Bordeaux qualities in its taste and blending.
- South American: These Cabs explore the spicier qualities in the grape.
- American:Napa: Home of Cabs in California. Napa Cabs can rival those of Bordeaux. Very well- structured with integrated tannins. The best of these coming from AVA areas (American Viticulture Areas), which are regions defined by the US government.
- Washington: Lending itself to a refreshing blend of a Californian Cab and one from Bordeaux