Cabernet Sauvignon is the most ubiquitous red variety in the world.
The patriarch of
Bordeaux, even though it is outplanted by Merlot
there, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the blended reds of the Left Bank, or the
Medoc area, as well as the Graves south of the city of Bordeaux. In Pauillac, the wines have a
characteristic pencil-shaving/graphite note and very fine tannins. In Graves, the wines tend to have a dusty, tarry quality. This
varietal produces some of the longest-lived reds in the world. It is planted
everywhere, and sits next to its counterpart, chardonnay, at the throne of the
modern wine grape world.
Through Cabernet Sauvignon we can clearly see a reflection of origin, vintage, and especially, wine making techniques, most notably those that increase concentration, alcohol, and oak influence. To please the international market, this varietal is blended with traditional, old world grapes such as Sangiovese in Chianti to the point of obliterating personalities.
In general Cabernet Sauvignon is medium to full in body, blackcurrant fruit, and sometimes green bell pepper character plus leather and earth in
and riper, sweeter fruit and heavy oak in the New World
are its general character.
Cabernet Sauvignon has been cultivated in Northern Italy for centuries, especially in the
Veneto, predating the first plantings in .
Bordeaux, France Napa Valley, California
and South Australia
are other important areas of production. Premium South Australian cabernet sauvignons
are the deepest, blackest, chewiest, ripest, and most powerful in the world.
While impressive, this kind of power only goes so far at the dinner table. Their
counterparts in California
tend to follow suit, turning out wines that score high points and are easy to
A new style of fruit-forward but unoaked Cabernet Sauvignon is cropping up in
California and Australia in the under $10 range. Many
of them are candied like a Zinfandel and haven’t much varietal character or
Château Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux (France)
Chateau Latour Pauillac, Bordeaux (France)
Chateau Lynch-Bages, Pauillac, Bordeaux (France)
Chateau Haut-Brion, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux (France)
Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet
Sauvignon, South Australia
Beaulieu Vineyards Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California (USA)
Chanticleer Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California (USA)
Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California (USA)
Lail Vineyards J. Daniel Cuvee, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California (USA)
Crios de Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon,
Mendoza ( Argentina)