[cab-er-NAY SO- vin-yon]
The king of red wines! Cabernet Sauvignon is a remarkably steady and consistent performer through much of the world. Bordeaux has used the grape consistently since the 18th century, always blending it with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and sometimes a soupcon of Petite Verdot and Malbec. The Bordeaux model is built around not only the desire to craft complex wines, but also the need to ensure that different grape varieties ripen at different intervals and to give lesser wines color, tannin, or backbone.
This grapes classic flavors are blackberry, currant, plum, black cherry and spice. It can also be marked by herb, olive, mint, tobacco, cedar and anise as well as ripe, jammy notes. In warmer areas, it can be supple and elegant; in cooler areas, it can be marked by pronounced vegetal, bell pepper, oregano and tar flavors (a late ripener, it can not always be relied upon in cool areas, which is why Germany, for example, has never succumbed to the lure). It can also be very tannic, which is why it produces many of the world's longest lived wines. The best Cabernets always start out dark ruby or purple in color, with firm acidity, a full body, great intensity, concentrated flavors, and firm tannins.
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