Thursday, September 1, 2011

Today is #Cabernetday (part 1 - Cabernet Sauvignon) - Learn a thing or two before you start talking about it.

Cabernet Sauvignon
  • "The world's most renowned grape variety for the production of fine wine, long-lived red wine. Originating in Bordeaux, particularly the well-drained Médoc and Graves, where this late ripening vine is almost invariably blended with other grapes, it has been taken up in other French wine regions and in much of the Old and New Worlds, where it has been blended with traditional native varieties, with its traditional Bordeaux blending partner, Merlot, but has more often been used to produce pure varietal wine." -  Jancis Robinson MW in her book "Guide to Wine Grapes"
  • "Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most common grape varieties for powerful reds. (But you can also find mild-mannered Cabernet wines and soft, fruity Caberbet wines. Cabernet grows in so many different places, under so many different conditions, that it can make multiple styles of wine.) Cabernets from specific origins within California, such as Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley, and so on - as opposed to those labeled broadly as being from 'California' - are usually powerful. Some of them are extremely so, while others fall into the more gentle end of this style. Other powerful Cabernet-based wines include: The top Super Tuscans, elite red Bordeaux wines, top-of-the-line Washington Cabs, Australia's better Cabernets, and Chile's top Cabernets." - Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW and Ed McCarthy in their book "Wine Style"
  • "Cabernet Sauvignon used to be known as Vidure-Sauvignonne or Petite-Vidure." - Benjamin Lewin MW in his book "What price Bordeaux?"
  • Originating in the Bordeaux region in France, it is a grape variety that is at its best at the poor and well drained gravelly soils found in the Medoc (left bank of the Gironde), but that today is cultivated with success is the four corners of the viticultural world; from California to Australia; from Chile to Italy, it is a grape that can do well in many different climates. Due to its small berries and, therefore, a high rate of pip to pulp, the wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon may present a very high concentration of flavonoid phenolics and, consequently, a sturdy tannic structure. The problem is that the presence of such tannins (specially, if they are underripe and “green”) can be overwhelming in a young wine. A few years in the bottle are necessary to tame it. The berries are also thick-skinned, so you can expect wines with deep color.
  • The wines generally have a firm structure, full body, robust and fleshy texture, with firm acidity and high tannins. When young the wines can be angular due to the high tannins but, when they age, they can show pencil lead, sage, sweet earth, and lots of complexity. 
Go ahead and celebrate #Cabernetday!
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