Cabernet sauvignon – Winemaking

Cabernet sauvignon - Winemaking

Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that can showcase the personality and preferences of the producer while still retaining recognizable flavors typical of the grape variety. The use of oak barrels during the winemaking process can have a significant impact on the final product.
Typically, a producer’s initial choice is to determine whether to create a blend. An example of a blended wine that includes Cabernet Sauvignon is the Bordeaux blend, commonly known. This blend is composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, and can have additions such as Petit Verdot, Malbec, or Carménère. All these components contribute to the characteristic flavor of the blend.
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Meritage is a wine produced in the United States that mimics the classic blend. Although Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with other grape varieties such as Shiraz, Tempranillo, and Sangiovese. It is important to note that Meritage is a copy of the classic blend.
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After deciding whether to blend or not, winemakers must decide when to do so: before, during, or after fermentation. To account for differences in grape fermentation, many producers ferment and age each grape type separately before blending them just before bottling.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is known for its small size and thick skin, which results in a high proportion of seeds compared to fruit pulp, which can affect the structure and flavor of the wine due to high levels of phenolic compounds and tannins. Long pre-fermentation maceration periods can intensify these effects.
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