Cabernet Sauvignon: the king of grapes!

For centuries, this full-bodied, tannic, complex grape variety has graced the finest cellars in the world. Made famous from its role in the haut wines of Bordeaux, the wine grape Cabernet Sauvignon has spread all over the world. Other than France, it is now grown extensively in Italy, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, California and Washington State. Because of its sturdy tannic structure, Cabernet Sauvignon based wines can age well, and some of the best examples can last decades. At its best, Cabernet Sauvignon is rich, elegant, and delicious – capable of being weak-in-the-knees delicious.

Food Pairings for Cabernet Sauvignon

It thrives when paired with heavier proteins, like beef, lamb and game, like bison. When young, it has a flavour profile made up of purple fruit flavours, like black currant and black berry, and often has smoky nuances because of its typical oak ageing. Older Cabernet Sauvignon picks up a bouquet of graphite, leather and violet. Here are classic examples of one of the great, classic grape varieties:

2009 Chateau Larose Perganson Cru Bourgeois (Bordeaux, France)

This is a great introduction to very good Bordeaux. From arguably the best vintage Bordeaux has ever seen, this wine is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and blended with Merlot, which is typical for the region. It is rich, and loaded with cedary black currant flavours. Lamb is a great traditional pairing for the wines of Bordeaux.

2013 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley (California, USA)

Knights Valley borders the famous American wine region of Napa Valley, and offers superb value. This is typical of Northern California Cabernet Sauvignon, with intense sunny flavours of overripe blueberry, fresh sage, and toasty oak flavours – a juicy, velvety version of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

2013 Vina Carmen Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva Los Quillayes Vineyard (Maipo, Chile)

Cabernet Sauvignon is being grown in all of the winemaking world, and you can find great value from countries, like Chile. Carmen has been in existence since 1850, and their Cabernet Sauvignon offers great quality for an approachable price. Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon offers cherry flavours with accents of fresh green herbs.

2013 Catena Zapata Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza, Argentina)

Many wine-lovers associate Argentina with the grape variety Malbec, but quite a few wine professionals might suggest that, in Argentina, Cabernet Sauvignon achieves higher peaks in quality than any other grape. This Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied, with lovely notes of blackberry and purple plum – perfect with your favourite beef dish.

2012 Wynns Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra Black Label (Coonawarra, Australia)

Coonawarra is a region to remember for all Cabernet Sauvignon-lovers. It has a famous red clay soil called Terra Rossa, which is perfectly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from here have a telltale eucalyptus quality. Wynns is a legend in the region, and their Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the best under-$30 Cabernet Sauvignons in the Alberta market.

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