For all wine lovers, the very mention of Cabernet Sauvignon evokes the international winegrowing royalty. Its name is reminiscent of the legendary red blends from Bordeaux, especially from the region of Médoc, the famed varietals native to Napa Valley (United States), the wines originating in Maipo (Chile), and also those from Mendoza, which have gradually become one of the world’s leading wines.
Even though everyone is aware of the importance of this variety, below are 10 essential facts to truly understand the Cabernet Sauvignon and its predominance:
1. It is the result of a cross-link:
Cabernet Sauvignon is born from the natural intertwining of the French varieties Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, which took place in South-West France during the 17th century. This grapevine originates in Bordeaux, giving rise to most of its most renowned wines.
2. It is the most planted and consumed variety across the world:
This vine is known as “the queen of red varieties”, not only since it is the most widely chosen by consumers, but also as it is the most planted vine in international terroirs. This is a highly versatile grape that adapts to all types of climates and soils in the wine-producing regions from the Old and New World.
The Cabernet Sauvignon’s identity is largely defined by structure, precisely speaking of its solid body, firmness and tannins which support the wine
3. Its plasticity and nobility:
Given these two inarguable attributes, Cabernet Sauvignon spread from France to every terroir providing top-quality wines, from Tuscany (Italy) and the Napa Valley (United States) to Luján de Cuyo (Mendoza) and Valle del Maipo (Chile). Today, this variety is harvested in virtually 100% of the world’s most relevant terroirs. Cabernet Sauvignon is a very noble vine that can give rise to unforgettable wines in all great terroirs.
4. A matter of structure
The Cabernet Sauvignon’s identity is largely defined by structure, precisely speaking of its solid body, firmness and tannins which support the wine, and that compact feeling that can be perceived in the mouth.
5. It is the backbone of great blends:
Cabernet Sauvignon is the lifeblood of many great French and Italian blends, due to the structure, strength and body that can blend with other vines that turn it into more rounded and provide their own nuances. For instance, Paraíso –Luigi Bosca’s icon wine– is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec-based blend.
6. Serious, but never excessive:
Above all, this is a serious variety, so it will neither feature excessive fruit at its core, nor be too floral or expressive. Its wines stand out for their elegance and majesty, with great character and personality.
7. A great ally of oak:
Given its body and structure, Cabernet Sauvignon can be perfectly aged in barrels. Its ageing in wood adds the complexity and elegance that characterise its great wines as well.
8. Its perfect evolution when bottled:
All iconic Cabernet wines from around the globe have something in common: they evolve very well when bottled. Over time, wines turn more sophisticated after their ageing process, resulting in far more unique and upscale beverages.
9. Pyrazines, a key aspect for its identity:
One of the organoleptic features that best describe this wine is the pyrazine, an aromatic organic compound that is reminiscent of bell pepper and is part of its primary aromas. This explains its spicy character, and is one of the keys to such a particular character.
10. The remarkable Cabernet from Mendoza
In the terroirs of Mendoza, the dry climate, sunlight and great thermal amplitude allows grapes of this variety to reach a maturity that provides reds of excellent typicity, well-defined aromas, and deep flavours.
In addition, green and rough tannins are not so perceivable in the Cabernet wines from Mendoza –such as De Sangre Cabernet Sauvignon–, while these are more common in wines made in colder regions across the planet. With this variety, tannins tend to be softer and more pleasant in the mouth.