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Cabernet is king

What Chardonnay is to white wine, Cabernet Sauvignon is to red

AJ Linn

Friday, 15 September 2023, 15:08

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The first of September was International Cabernet Sauvignon Day, dedicated to the world's most famous wine grape. What Chardonnay is to white wine, Cabernet Sauvignon is to red, and it is believed to be a natural cross between red Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in the 17th

century.

Originally from Bordeaux (where 80% of the vines are Cabernet) its growth envelops the planet from California to Australia via South Africa and Spain.

In Spain it is most popular in the Catalan region (Penedés) and Priorato, although it is also found in La Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Its hardiness and high tannin content make it ideal for today's production, and in California, for example, it prevails over all others. Oddly enough Spain has a lower production of Cabernet Sauvignon than countries like France, Chile, Australia, and Italy.

If we make wine, we are attracted to the grape for its intense colour and structure, offering a taste of red and black fruit with an ideal level of acidity and a tendency to improve while maturing in oak barrels and bottles. What are the best examples of this magnificent grape? Château Margaux and Chateau Latour, the renowned Bordeaux estates that consistently produce exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines, followed by Opus One, the Californian joint venture between Napa Valley and Bordeaux wine experts. Another Californian, Screaming Eagle, is known for its limited production and cult following, and consistently produces some of the most sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the world. Penfolds Grange from South Australia is an iconic Australian wine with a Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blend.

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