Cabernet Sauvignon - General Background
Cabernet Sauvignon is a globally recognized red grape that thrives in diverse wine regions, from the Okanagan Valley to the Bekaa Valley. The grape gained popularity for its use in Bordeaux wine, where it is often mixed with Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Since then, Cabernet Sauvignon has spread to other parts of Europe and the New World, such as the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, the Australian Margaret River and Coonawarra region, Hawkes Bay in New Zealand, and the Maipo and Colchagua valleys in Chile. It was the top quality red grape most cultivated for most of the 20th century, until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s.
In the 17th century, in southwestern France, the Cabernet Sauvignon grape was created from a blend of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Despite being relatively new to the industry, it has gained popularity because of its ease of cultivation, its resistance to rot and insects, and its consistent flavors that reflect the character of the grape.
Its name is easy to pronounce, which has helped it to gain popularity among consumers of cabernet sauvignon, even in regions where it was not a common wine. However, the grape has also been criticized for being a “colonizer”, since its expansion has come at the expense of local grape varieties.
Cabernet Sauvignon is known for producing full-bodied wines with high tannins and acidity, which contribute to their aging potential. In colder climates, wine may have notes of green pepper, mint and cedar, which are accentuated as it ages.
Moderate climates tend to produce blackcurrant, cherry and black olive flavors, while warmer climates can result in more mature, “candied” flavors, similar to those in moderate climates. All of these characteristics are important when it comes to appreciating the classic profile of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cabernet Sauvignon wines from certain regions of Australia, specifically from the Coonawarra area, have a distinctive flavor profile that includes notes of eucalyptus or mint. It’s important to note that this characteristic flavor is unique to this particular region.