Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is probably the most popular grape in the world. It is a cross between the Cabernet Franc grape and the Sauvignon Blanc grape. It is prized for its consistent structure and flavors and its ease of cultivation.

The most popular and prized Cabernets come from the Bordeaux region of France and the Stag's Leap district of California. This varietal also has flavors based on the Old World Style and the New World Style.

Cabernet Sauvignon Old World style flavor prophile: Herbs, earth, cassis, red/black currant, mocha, cedar scented, tobacco, black peppercorn, strong tannins.

Cabernet Sauvignon New World style flavor profile: Fruit driven, cherries, cassis, milk chocolate, oak scented, vanilla, eucalyptus or mint, strong tannins.

New world Cabs are produced and bottle for nearly immediate consumption. Old world Cabs are produced for bottled aging, although the wine drinkers of the world are buying wines that they can consume immediately. The old world wine producers have responded to the demand and it is now more difficult to differentiate the Old and New world Cabs.

My current favorite Cabs actually come from Washington State's Columbia Valley. They are a mix of both the New world and Old world flavors: Cassis, cedar, vanilla and medium tannins. Give the Cab from the Barnard Griffin winery a try some time.


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