Cabernet Sauvignon


Cabernet Sauvignon is the ultimate international variety, grown all over the world in almost every wine producing country. It features loose bunches of small, black-blue thick skinned berries. The stalks are hard and tough, and the pips are large, all of which contributes to the tannin rich profile of the wines. it is also very resilient to pests, disease and cold, but it is susceptible to powdery mildew and eutypa dieback. It thrives in warm climates, but in a number of different types of soil:

  • Gravel, as in the left bank of Bordeaux
  • Alluvial and Granitic as in Napa, California
  • Terra Rossa or fossillized limestone asin Coonawarra, Australia

Favorite piece of Cav Sav trivia: Although Cabernet Sauvignon is a red grape, its parents are in fact Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.


The thick skins that are the hallmark of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, means that is very adaptable to very adaptable to whatever the winemaker wants to do, and that is also a very forgiving easy grape to work with. Winemakers will also make use of Cab's thick skins, allowing them to macerate on juice for extended periods up to 3 weeks long, which will impart color and tannin. Because of all Cabs abundance of fllavorful skins and hardy pips, it requires a lot of work to mellow out its more beastly components: malalolactic fermentationoak aging and blending with other more subtle varieties are all part of a good Cab producers toolkit. 


Old World New World
  • France
    • Bordeaux
  • Italy:
    • Tuscany
  • Spain


  • California
    • Napa
  • Chile
  • Argentina
  • Australia
    • Coonawarra
    • Mudgee


Common Descriptors

Color: concentrated dark ruby red with rim fade, often inky when young, with bricking at rim associated with age
Aroma: black currant (cassis), blackberry, black cherry, cedar, vanilla, mocha, coffee bean, pencil lead, tobacco leaf, green pepper, mint (US), eucalyptus (AU), wet leaves (Bordeaux), sweet vanilla spice, oak, cigar box
Body: Full
Acidity: Medium to high
Alcohol: Medium to high
Tannin: High
Flavors: Fruit driven in New World; Mineral driven in the old world