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Cabernet wine is the most popular wine in the world. It is so popular because it can be grown in almost any wine region.
The only places where it cannot be grown are areas that are too hot or too cold. If it is too hot, as in some parts of Australia, the flavors become boring.
If the climate is too cold, as is the case in Germany, Cabernet Sauvignon does not ripen enough. This creates thin, “green” wines.
But for the most part, Cabernet Sauvignon wine is quite flexible and grows in virtually any climate where wine is made. It therefore has a wide range of different flavors.
In California and Australia, it can be very fruity and easy to drink, or elegant with full-bodied complexity and soft tannins. Or in France, where it is full-bodied and highly concentrated, with lots of tannins and structure.
The most famous region for Cabernet Sauvignon is Bordeaux. Areas like Pauillac, Medoc and Graves are famous for the wine made by the elite winemakers there.
Wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon have great aging potential. Cabernet from California can age for 15 to 20 years. Some Bordeaux can age for 50 years.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes have lots of tannins in the grape skins. Tannins are what makes these wines taste dry.
Flavors & Aromas You Will Enjoy
If you are interested in exploring dry red wines, the flavors you will encounter in Cabernet Sauvignon vary from region to region, depending again on the climate.
Aromas are usually of black currants, green peppers and herbs.
Flavors in Bordeaux are reminiscent of herbal and spice notes, of pencil shavings and tobacco. In warmer climates like Australia or California, wine has flavors of dark chocolate or herbal flavors like mint or licorice.
Cabernet Sauvignon wine on its own is very dry and tannic. It is usually mixed with grapes that give it more flavors of berries and other fruit. In France, it is blended with Merlot or Cabernet Franc.
If you find a California or Australian Cabernet Sauvignon that you would like to try, it is usually mixed with 10% of these grapes.
Australia also produces terrific Cabernet Sauvignon blends with other grapes, like Shiraz. Yellow Tail makes a delicious example of these blends.
Bordeaux wine is known to be the most expensive wine on the market. Here is a short list of famous Cabernet wines from France:
Chateau Lynch-Bages (Pauillac)
Chateau Latour (Pauillac)
Chateau Lascombes (Margaux)
Chateau Calon-Segur (St.-Estephe)
Chateau La Tour-Carnet (Haut Medoc)
Chateau Haut Brion (Graves)
Chateau Petrus (Pomerol)
Chateau Figeac (St.-Emilion)
If the wines in this list are out of your price range, you can find some delicious, high quality Bordeaux for under $25 here.
California Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is grown everywhere in California wine regions. Here are just a few you should enjoy:
Cakebread Winery (Napa)
Chateau Montelena (Napa)
Frogs Leap Winery (Rutherford)
Ravenswood Winery (All over California)
Robert Mondavi Winery (Napa)
Ledson Winery (Santa Rosa)
Silver Oak Winery (Napa, Sonoma)
South Coast Winery (Temecula)
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (Napa)
Australian Cabernet Sauvignon
Enjoy these Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Australia:
Yellow Tail (All over Australia)
Penfolds (All over Australia)
Rosemount Estate (McLaren Vale)
Greg Norman (All over Australia)
Jacobs Creek (Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, Coonawarra)
Penley Estate (Coonawarra)
Angove Family Winemakers (McLaren Vale)
Jim Barry Winery (Clare Valley)
Tip: When looking for Australian Cabernet wine, look for wineries located in Coonawarra. Coonawarra is famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon.
Washington Cabernet Sauvignon
Washington State is growing some delicious Cabernet Sauvignon. Be sure to try these examples:
Lost River Winery (Columbia Valley)
Chateau Ste. Michelle (Columbia Valley)
Cabernet Sauvignon from South America
Enjoy these South American Cabernet Sauvignon wines:
Concha y Toro (Chile)
Los Vascos (Chile)
Crios de Susana Balbo (Argentina)
Pairing Cabernet Wine
Cabernet wine is best with red meat and strong cheeses. This wine matches well with lamb, beef, roasts, a steak or even burgers.
Try Cabernet Sauvignon with blue cheese, parmesan or another aged smelly cheese.