It's International #CabernetDay 2018! All hail Cabernet Sauvignon, the "King of grapes"! Whether you realise it or not, you've probably drunk Cabernet before, and it's one of the world's most instantly recognisable grape varieties. Naturally blessed with loads of tannins, it is prized for its ability to make wines of structure and age-ability. The saying goes "Cabernet likes to live by the sea", and all the major Cabernet regions of the world have proximity to the sea.
Cabernet is early-budding and late-ripening, preferring moderate to warmer climates. It is the child of a cross: Cabernet Franc X Sauvignon Blanc. It has small dark berries with thick skins which aids in its deep colour and high tannin profile. Due to its parentage, Cabernet is high in Methoxypyrazines, a compound that gives off 'herbaceous', 'green', bell pepper aromas. When fully ripe, this adds a desirable complexity to the aroma profile, but when under-ripe, produces an undesirable 'stalk' characteristic.
The classic profile of Cabernet is blackcurrant, cedar and mint. With its ability to age, it later produces aromas of tobacco, cigar box, leather and earth. Although usually not high in alcohol, its acid and tannin structure are what allow it to age.
Famous regions of Cabernet around the world.
Bordeaux-this is the spiritual home of Cabernet, with the left-bank reigning supreme. The well drained, warm gravel soils of the Médoc are perfect for producing long-lived, structured Cabernet's desired the world over. Most famously produced in the appellations of Saint-Estephe, Pauillac, Saint-Julien and Margaux.
California-most notably in the Napa Valley, also make great Cabernets. Traditionally with very ripe fruit.
Chile-has staked its reputation on Cabernet. It produces fruity Cabernet, often at high altitudes.
Australia-the home of Cabernet is Coonawarra. here the terra rossa soil produces Cabernet with structure and sometimes a hint of eucalyptus. Margaret River is also producing great Cabernet with elegance.
This is a great example of a Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon. It is deep purple in colour with aromas of blackcurrant, vanilla, cedar, eucalyptus, chocolate, violets. In the mouth it is medium-bodied and elegant with flavours of blackcurrant, vanilla, raspberry, cedar, violets and chocolate, with good acidity and smooth tannins. I enjoyed it a lot. 94pts!
What are you going to drink to celebrate?