A naturally occurring cross varietal of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.
Black grape varietal originating from the South of France, notably the Left Bank of Bordeaux.
Notable for pronounced black fruit and herbaceous aromas and flavors.
Can produce outstanding wines that will age in the bottle for many, many years.
Requires moderate to warm climates, though the best vintages are produced in warmer climates that allow the fruit to fully ripen.
Underripe Cabernet Sauvignon fruit can produce more noticeable green aromas and flavor notes.
The best vintages are dry, deeply colored, full bodied, high in tannins and high in acidity.
Developments in winemaking the last decade have evolved to produce Cabernet Sauvignon wines higher in alcohol.
Important regions include Bordeaux France, Left Bank including areas Médoc AOC, and Haut-Médoc AOC, plus Margaux AOC, Pauillac AOC, and Graves AOC. Cabernet Sauvignon likewise can thrive in the warmer vineyards of the South of France.
In California, Napa Valley and Sonoma are known to produce high quality vintages. The Napa Valley stands out with its warm, sunny climate and long growing season. Noteworthy are the Napa sub-regions of Oakville, Rutherford, and Calistoga.
In Chili, the Central Valley, Colchagua Valley, and Maipo Valley are the noteable producing regions. Stollenbosch is a high quality region in South Africa.
In Australia we look at the Margaret River and Coonawarra regions.
In more moderate climates, Cabernet Sauvignon is often used in blends, such as in Bordeaux, California Meritage blends, and in the South Africa Cape Blends.
Our assessment for what it’s worth, is that the best vintages come from the Napa Valley, and the best blends from Bordeaux.
Above stated, some really good Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be found in other regions. However, we find these to be very vintage specific. That is to say, only in the best growing years, when Mother Nature is most cooperative, will these regions produce very good quality Cabernet Sauvignon!
As a self-confessed Cab Sauv Snob, we are often asked what is our favorite reasonably priced Cabernet Sauvignon. Anatomy 101 fits that bill perfectly.
Which Cab Sauv is our “current” favorite? Frog’s Leap Estate Grown Rutherford Napa Valley never disappoints!