Cabernet Sauvignon

Known as ‘The King of Red Wines,’ Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the leading red grape variety in the world. It was the 8th most popular grape variety in the 1990s. It's popularity increased, and in 2010 it was ranked the number 1 in the world. It is planted in almost every major wine producing country. The name “Cabernet Sauvignon” means “wild Cabernet.” Other names that Cabernet Sauvignon include: Petit Vidure, Vidure, Petit Cabernet, and in Italy, Uva Francese.
After France, you can find Cabernet Sauvignon in Chile, Australia, Spain, China, and the United States. In California, the variety has increased dramatically in the past 20 years in moderately warm regions. It is also cultivated in Italy, Argentina, Bulgaria, Canada, Lebanon, New Zealand, Israel, and Austria.

History of The Grape Variety

Cabernet Sauvignon is quite young, and it is originated in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France in the 1600s. It is believed that the grape variety was formed due to a spontaneous crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. The first

recorded reference to Cabernet Sauvignon dates back only to the 1700s, in a history of Bordeaux’s Château Mouton (now Château Mouton-Rothschild). Winemakers were searching for more durable plants that were relatively easy to grow, and the grape found its champion in the region of Bordeaux. Bordeaux’s legendary wines have made the grape famous since the 1800s. As the Bordeaux wine blend evolved into one of the world’s most famous and highly coveted wines, the Bordeaux brand spread across the globe, and it became the most widely planted grape globally.

California Cabernet Sauvignon, the most favorite wine in the USA, became international wine in the 1860s because European wine producers had no other choice but to import foreign Cabernet vines and grapes that shewed more resistant to the aphids.

As a consequence, almost all the local European Cabernet grapes died out, and much of the European Cabernet we drink today originates from American orchards.


Cabernet Sauvignon berries are small, spherical with blue-black, thick and very tough skin. This toughness makes the grapes resistant to disease and able to withstand autumn rains. It's a late season ripener.

Cabernet Sauvignon has small to medium conical, loose to well-filled clusters, medium-long Peduncles. Leaves are medium sized and very deeply five-lobed, lyre-shaped petiolar sinus and lateral sinuses seem like five round holes around leaf margin. The upper surface of the leaf is dark green and smooth. It has scattered tufts of hair on the lower surface.

Taste of Cabernet

Cabernet grapes (like all grapes) grow differently and develop different taste characteristics in different wine regions. For instance, when Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grow in very cold climates and are not able to ripen fully, the flavor of the wine can show a lot of the undesired aromas of vegetal notes, such as olives and pyrazines, which can remind the taste of green bell peppers. In hot climates, the wine’s flavors can suggest baked fruit rather than fresh fruit.  

As a wine, Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its dark color, medium to full-bodied, with firm tannin, lean structure, and alcohol content that is over 13.5%.

Cabernet Sauvignon has a complex array of scents and aromas that includes blackberries, black cherries, creme de cassis, boysenberry, blueberry and chocolate when young, to fragrances of tobacco, truffle, cedar wood, earth, lead pencil, black currant, and leather when mature. The wine is dry (not sweet), and the richest wines have dense, velvety texture as well as a considerable amount of tannin that shows itself in the back of your mouth as you sip the wine. The lightest wines are relatively smooth in texture with a medium to a small amount of tannin. The Bordeaux region of western France produces the world’s most legendary wines based on the Cabernet Sauvignon grape.  The red wines of a particular part of Bordeaux, known as the Left Bank, are the most Cabernet Sauvignon Dominant Bordeaux wines; they typically contain about 60 to 65 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Connoisseurs and collectors revere some Left Bank Bordeaux wines that have maintained the highest standards of quality over decades and sometimes centuries. The best Left Bank Bordeaux wines can age for many decades, developing complex, compelling aromas, and flavors of leather, tobacco, and cedar and becoming soft and nearly sweet from their aged tannins.

Given its acidity, tannins, and alcohol, Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that needs to be drunk with food, as by itself, it can be overwhelming. Food matches for Cabernet Sauvignon include Fillet steak with foie gras and truffles, mushrooms, Beef Wellington with honey roasted carrots, olives, Korean-style beef stir-fried in garlic, tangy cheese varieties like blue or goat cheese, soy and sesame.

For 20 minutes before serving, a bottle of cabernet sauvignon should be left to breathe.


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