Wine & Ratings

Cabernet Sauvignon

About Cabernet Sauvignon

What Is Cabernet Sauvignon?  

Pronunciation: Cab-ehr-nay SOH-vin-yon 

Cabernet Sauvignon is an extremely popular red-wine grape variety known for making full-bodied, firm-textured wines that often age well. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are used largely for dry red wines and occasionally in rosé wines. 

It is a black grape variety famous for its concentrated flavors and firm tannins. It is used in making the great wines of Bordeaux, as well as collectible Napa Valley wines, among others. 

Cabernet Sauvignon is a late-ripening variety that yields moderate-size crops of thick-skinned, blue-black grapes hanging in loose clusters from copper-colored canes. 

The grapes are often blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot in wines ranging from generic red Bordeaux to the collectible first-growth wines of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and Chateau Latour in the Médoc region.  

Cabernet Sauvignon Regions  

Originating in Bordeaux, France, the grape variety spread quickly around the world in the late 20th century. Today, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are widely planted in Bordeaux, California, Washington state, Australia and Chile. Since the 1970s, the grape variety has become practically synonymous with Napa Valley wine. 

Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting Notes 

Wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are typically deep red to almost black in color, full in body, astringent or grippy in texture to help the wine age and tasting of black cherries, dark plums and hints of herbs, bell peppers and tobacco. 

The tannins and flavor concentration come from the grape variety’s thick skins and small berries. These traits are usually refined by maturing in oak barrels for six to 24 months before bottling. These traits also help Cabernet Sauvignon wines age and improve over time in the bottle, often getting more complex and elegant for 10 to 20 and even sometimes for 50 years or more. 

Cabernet Sauvignon Fun Facts 

  1. Genetic testing has shown that Cabernet Sauvignon is‚ÄĒto no great surprise‚Äďthe ‚Äúchild‚ÄĚ of a cross between ‚Äúparents‚ÄĚ Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in Bordeaux.¬†
  1. Super Tuscan blends from Italy often use Cabernet Sauvignon as a major ingredient in their blends. 
  1. Cabernet Sauvignon vines are relatively easy-to-grow, give good yields per acre and are resistant to mildew. 
  1. Great Bordeaux vintages of the past include 1945, 1959, 1961, 1970, 1982, 1990 and 2000. 

Cabernet Sauvignon Synonyms 

Petit Cabernet, Vidure, Petite-Vidure, Bouchet, Bouche, Petit-Bouchet and Sauvignon Rouge. 

Cabernet Sauvignon Pairs Well With 

Grilled Steak and Cabernet Sauvignon Pairing  

Grilled Rack of California Lamb with Collard Almond Pesto 

Asian BBQ Lamb Ribs  

Beef Cheeks with Roasted Root Vegetable Jam 

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil 

Sardinian Pasta with Sausage & Tomato 

Bucatini all’Amatriciana ¬†¬†

Sumac and Za’atar Roast Chicken 

Buttermilk Fried Chicken 

More on Cabernet Sauvignon  

The Most Popular Cabernet Sauvignons and How We Rated Them  

A Global Guide to Great Cabernet Sauvignon   

The Supreme Australian Cabernet Sauvignon Regions 

 12 Stellar Cabernet Sauvignons for Every Budget 

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