makes the most dependable candidate for aging, more often
improving into a truly great wine than any other single
varietal. With age, its distinctive black currant aroma
can develop bouquet nuances of cedar, violets, leather,
or cigar box and its typically tannic edge may soften
and smooth considerably.
is the most widely planted and significant among the
five dominant varieties in the Medoc district of France's
Bordeaux region, as well as the most successful red
wine produced in California.
Long thought to be an ancient
variety, recent genetic studies at U.C. Davis have determined
that Cabernet Sauvignon is actually the hybrid offspring
of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc.
Cabernet sauvignon berries are
small, spherical with black, thick and very tough skin.
This toughness makes the grapes fairly resistant to
disease and spoilage and able to withstand some autumn
rains with little damage. It is a mid to late season
ripener. These growth characteristics, along with its
flavor appeal have made Cabernet Sauvignon one of the
most popular red wine varieties worldwide.
The best growing sites for producing
quality wines from Cabernet Sauvignon are in moderately
warm, semi-arid regions providing a long growing season,
on well-drained, not-too-fertile soils.
Typically, Cabernet Sauvignon
wines smell like black currants with a degree of bell
pepper or weediness, varying in intensity with climatic
conditions, viticulture practices, and vinification
techniques. Climates and vintages that are either too
cool or too warm, rich soils, too little sun exposure,
premature harvesting, and extended maceration are factors
that may lead to more vegetative, less fruity character
in the resulting wine.
In the mouth, Cabernet can have
liveliness and even a degree of richness, yet usually
finishes with firm astringency.