Cabernet Sauvignon is the premier red wine grape varietal in the world - nicknamed 'the king of red wine grapes'. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant grape in the Bordeaux wine region of France and has spread to every other major growing region from Italy, Canada, South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand to name just a few.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape produces distinctive red wines that are high in tannins and can have a long aging potential. It is usually blended with other red varietals like; Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (the famous five) to make wines with increased complexity and character. Cabernet Sauvignon is a small, dark, thick skinned grape varietal that gives average crop yields, and is a late-ripening varietal.

 

It needs slightly warmer growing conditions than many other red varietals in order to achieve physiological ripeness. Despite its prominence in the wine industry, the grape is a relatively new varietal, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in Bordeaux, south-western France.
Cabernet Sauvignon taste characteristics can include: dark cherries, cedar, tobacco and blackcurrants, and cool climate conditions can give green peppers or olive aromas on the nose. Lengthy aging in small oak barrels before bottling is common for Cabernet Sauvignon in order to achieve more palate depth, structure and complexity.
The grapes popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation - the grapes have thick skins, which contributes to the grapes notoriously high tannin levels, which soften and mellow with aging. The vines are also hardy and resistant to rot and frost - and to its consistent presentation of structure, mouth feel and full flavours which express the typical character ('typicity') of the varietal.
Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to enthusiasts the world over, even when from unfamiliar wine regions. When you think of the finest red wines produced around the world, you are often thinking of wines which have been crafted with Cabernet Sauvignon.