LET’S TALK CABERNET5 September 2018 – posted in: Winery
Cabernet Sauvignon is the principal grape varietal found in many of the most established and ancient wine regions of the world, it is affectionately known as ‘The King of Red Wine’. However, Cabernet Sauvignon is by far the youngest of the so-called ‘noble grapes’, and it may have come into existence quite by chance. The origins of the grape were something of a mystery, until recent DNA tests revealed that it is in fact a cross-breed; half Cabernet Franc and half Sauvignon Blanc, which would have been first grown in 17th century France (most probably somewhere in or around Bordeaux).
This ‘noble’ grape variety is often blended with merlot and other compatible varietals to produces some of the finest age-worthy red wines from some of the world’s best appellations. This is not to say that straight up Cabernet does not have a worthy place in your wine cellar. This variety has an incredible flavour profile, and importantly the longest cellaring potential of all the wine varietals.
At Cupitt’s we have been producing Cabernet from the cool climate wine region Hilltops. Aromas and flavours in cool climate wines are complex and intense with the natural acidity bringing brightness and freshness. Cool climate wines are also better suited to match a wide range of foods due to medium bodied flavour profile which compliment your meal rather than overwhelm it. Cupitt’s Carolyn’s Cabernet is well balanced, has good length of flavour and generous fruit including cassis and dark berries.
Cabernet is known for its deep colour and can be quite tannic in its youth. This drops away around three to fours years. Cabernet sauvignon is a savoury red wine, with aromas of cedar, cassis and currant, and often a defining hint of mint.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that cries out for food. Thanks to its acidity, tannins and alcohol, if there ever was a varietal made better by a feast, it’s Cabernet. A rich meat dish is a perfect pairing. Think a favourite cut of steak or a slow-cooked beef ragu. Hard cheeses, like an aged gouda or cheddar, also match well to Cabernet.
- In Tuscany, Italy, wineries were not permitted by law to grow or use Cabernet Sauvignon in their blended wines. However, a movement known as the Super Tuscans emerged, made up of talented vintners who knew they could bring extra body and life to their wines by including this grape into their blend. They went with their gut, defied the regulations that governed their vineyards, and help lift an ailing region and restore it to its former glories.
- The French had held tightly onto reputation for centuries that they were the best Cabernet producers in the worlds, and have been guilty on many occasions of turning their noses up at efforts from elsewhere on the planet. However, they received a shock in 1976, at the now infamous ‘Judgement of Paris’, when many of the world’s most esteemed wine experts and critics unknowingly and unanimously hailed Californian Cabernet Sauvignon over French wines of the same grape during a blind tasting. This single event catapulted New World red wines into prominence, with Californian Cabernet Sauvignon being officially the grape varietal which commanded the highest price at auction – with one six litre bottle (an ‘imperial’) being sold for half a million US dollars in 2000.
- The oldest, continuously used Cabernet Sauvignon vines are not grown in Bordeaux but in the Kalimna vineyard of Barossa Valley. The vines were planted in the 1880s, and have been growing and producing remarkably characterful fruit for over a hundred and thirty years.