Cabernet Sauvignon an iconic grape from which some of the most elegant and most sought after wines in the world are made. All ‘winelovers’ will have heard, read and maybe even tasted some of the great wineries in Bordeaux, particularly the Medoc, where the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot together make the finest ‘first growth’ Bordeaux wines, that surpass all others in terms of quality and price.
What is it that makes Cabernet Sauvignon stand out from other grape varieties?
Apart from its reputation for quality is a also great food wine. Notable for its tapestry of elegant aromas and flavour of blackcurrant, plums, black cherries, cedar wood, and cigar box. It has the natural acidity, which is the backbone of the wine, and tannin giving it the structure to be aged in French oak barrels, adding to the wines aromas and rich flavours. A big Cabernet is perfect to accompany steaks and other red meats, and cheeses from cured Manchegos to smelly Roquefort.
It is at this time of year when the Bordeaux ‘en primeur’ 2015 wines are released. The top estates present samples of the young Cabernet blends to be tasted and evaluated by the world’s top Bordeaux experts. The points received will determine the value and demand for the 2015 vintage. These are not your everyday wines as most of them will not be ready to drink for least ten years and can go on improving for another another twenty years and beyond. At this stage the wines are very tannic and closed, however, professional wine tasters with years of experience will evaluate and then advise their customers around the world which ones to buy. So if you have a few thousands of euros to spend on a case of Chateaux Margaux 2015 to drink in 2040, this is a good time to buy – and save a drop for me!
Cabernet Sauvignon’s popularity means that you can find it planted all over the world, and it has has travelled well. Outside of Bordeaux Napa Valley, California is also well known for world class Cabernets, such as Screaming Eagle, for which there is a long waiting list should you want to buy a bottle. Further afield, Chile, South Africa and Australia produce superb Cabernet Sauvignons, not forgetting the Super Tuscan wines from Italy. You may have heard of some of these, Sassicaia and Tignanello, for example.
Thankfully, it is not necessary to spend a fortune to enjoy top quality Cabernet Sauvignon Some of my favourites come from Chile, I recently tasted Bodegas Luis Felipe Edwards Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon which I really liked, Australia, where the Miamup Cabernet from Howard Park is excellent, and Washington in the USA, Chateau St.Michelle makes delicious wine made from the king of grapes.