Cabernet Sauvignon—memorably, one of my earliest wine-related terms. Today, this grape flourishes nearly everywhere. Yet, we must remember to never perceive it in isolation, devoid of the region that nurtured it. In this piece, we've crafted a swift introduction to Cabernet Sauvignon. The goal? Enhancing your future sips by holding these profiles in your mental cellar. This way, you can easily find wines that suit your palate, sidestepping any chance of a disappointing uncorking experience.
The story of Cabernet Sauvignon begins in the 17th century, nestled in the southwestern part of France. It was here that a chance crossing occurred between Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. The result was Cabernet Sauvignon – a grape that inherited the grassy elegance of the former and the distinctive blackcurrant and pencil notes of the latter.
Fast-forwarding through three centuries, in cabernet sauvignon vs merlot competition, the first has risen to prominence as a dominant grape in Bordeaux blends on the left bank due to it’s soils, while merlot is the dominant grape on the right bank. In these blends, Cabernet Sauvignon typically takes the lead, making up around 50-75% of the composition.
While the left bank of Bordeaux boasts renowned wine producers like Château Pétrus, Chateau Margaux, and Château Lafite Rothschild, which can command prices in the tens of thousands of dollars and beyond, there are still accessible options to be found. You can discover wines from the left bank that won't break the bank, in Singapore we would say you should be ready to pay at least S$60 per bottle.
Blackcurrant, blackberry, tobacco, graphite, cedar notes combined with firm tannins and high acidity.
When creating wine in Europe, adherence to numerous regulations can occasionally hinder experimentation. While straying from these rules might lead to wines being categorized under lower classifications. This is precisely the scenario that unfolded among a cohort of wine producers in Tuscany during the latter half of the 20th century. During that time, regulations permitted solely Sangiovese-based wines. To incorporate Cabernet Sauvignon into their creations, these producers would be compelled to relinquish their higher tiers and accept the lowest rank then existing in the Italian wine hierarchy - Vino da Tavola.
However, these rules didn't discourage the producers. They found a way to create top-notch wines that gained recognition on the global stage. This marked the birth of a new category in Italian wines - IGT, also famously known as super Tuscans!
Since the climate is warmer, you can expect the wines that are friendlier and have gentler tannins.
In Tuscany, you'll come across some renowned names crafting super Tuscan wines, such as Sassicaia, Tignanello, and Ornellaia. The exciting part is, there are plenty of fantastic, talented producers that offer quality without draining your wallet! I Singapore you can find a great super tuscan for only S$50.
Ripe black fruits, tobacco, earthy notes combined with supple tannins and moderate acidity.
Napa Valley, USA
In 1976, a panel of judges was challenged to taste wines blind – 10 in total, 6 from Napa Valley and 4 from Bordeaux. To everyone's amazement, the top spot was awarded to an American producer, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. This surprising outcome shook up the wine world, as New World wines weren't widely respected back then. It was at this moment that Napa Valley made a resounding mark on the global stage of esteemed wine producers!
The warm climate of Napa Valley enables the grapes to ripen fully, resulting in a delightful burst of ripe fruit flavors. Producers often embrace new oak, so you'll notice a robust oak presence in the wine, with distinct notes of vanilla, spice, and toasty goodness shining through.
Ripe black fruits, blackcurrant, tobacco, chocolate notes combined with strong tannins and moderate acidity.
Cabernet Sauvignon ranks as the second most beloved red grape variety, just after Syrah. When it comes to this grape, anticipate lavish, full-bodied expressions, particularly from the warmer regions. Australia's varied climate plays a role in shaping each wine's profile, influenced by its specific origin. In cooler zones like Victoria, expect elevated acidity, while South Australia tends to deliver wines with more structured tannins. Given the warmer climate, higher alcohol levels are also par for the course.
You definitely don’t need to break the bank to have Australian Cabernet Sauvignon. If you go to Cold storage you will see 19 crimes cabernet sauvignon or Jacob's creek cabernet sauvignon starting at around S$28. Though in our opinion is better to add a little bit more money and get more interesting wines from less known and marketed producers!
Ripe intense black fruits, blackcurrant, mint, notes combined with smooth tannins and low to moderate acidity.