Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

Overview
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's
Canadian wine
Canadian wine is produced in mainly southern British Columbia and southern Ontario. There is also a growing number of small scale producers of grapes and wine in southern Quebec and Nova Scotia. The two largest wine-producing regions in Canada are the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia and the...

 Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's
Lebanese wine
Lebanon is among the oldest sites of wine production in the world. The Israelite prophet Hosea is said to have urged his followers to return to Yahweh so that "they will blossom as the vine, [and] their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon"...

 Beqaa Valley
Beqaa Valley
The Beqaa Valley is a fertile valley in east Lebanon. For the Romans, the Beqaa Valley was a major agricultural source, and today it remains Lebanon’s most important farming region...

. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognized through its prominence in Bordeaux wine
Bordeaux wine
A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world...

s where it is often blended with Merlot
Merlot
Merlot is a darkly blue-coloured wine grape, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to derive from the Old French word for young blackbird, merlot, a diminutive of merle, the blackbird , probably from the color of the grape. Merlot-based wines...

 and Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone - as in the Loire's Chinon...

.
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Encyclopedia
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's
Canadian wine
Canadian wine is produced in mainly southern British Columbia and southern Ontario. There is also a growing number of small scale producers of grapes and wine in southern Quebec and Nova Scotia. The two largest wine-producing regions in Canada are the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia and the...

 Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's
Lebanese wine
Lebanon is among the oldest sites of wine production in the world. The Israelite prophet Hosea is said to have urged his followers to return to Yahweh so that "they will blossom as the vine, [and] their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon"...

 Beqaa Valley
Beqaa Valley
The Beqaa Valley is a fertile valley in east Lebanon. For the Romans, the Beqaa Valley was a major agricultural source, and today it remains Lebanon’s most important farming region...

. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognized through its prominence in Bordeaux wine
Bordeaux wine
A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world...

s where it is often blended with Merlot
Merlot
Merlot is a darkly blue-coloured wine grape, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to derive from the Old French word for young blackbird, merlot, a diminutive of merle, the blackbird , probably from the color of the grape. Merlot-based wines...

 and Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone - as in the Loire's Chinon...

. From France
French wine
French wine is produced in several regions throughout France, in quantities between 50 and 60 million hectolitres per year, or 7–8 billion bottles. France has the world's second-largest total vineyard area, behind Spain, and is in the position of being the world's largest wine producer...

, the grape spread across Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and to the New World
New World wine
New World wines are those wines produced outside the traditional wine-growing areas of Europe, in particular from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.-Early wines in the Americas:...

 where it found new homes in places like California's
California wine
California wine has a long and continuing history, and in the late twentieth century became recognized as producing some of the world's finest wine. While wine is made in all fifty U.S. states, up to 90% of American wine is produced in the state...

 Napa Valley, Australia's
Australian wine
The Australian Wine Industry is the fourth largest exporter of wine around the world, with 760 million litres a year to a large international export market and contributes $5.5 billion per annum to the nation's economy...

 Coonawarra
Coonawarra
Coonawarra is a wine region, on the Limestone Coast of South Australia, that is known for the Cabernet Sauvignon wines produced on its "terra rossa" soil. Coonawarra is an Aboriginal word meaning "Honeysuckle". It is about 380 km southeast of Adelaide, close to the border with...

 region and Chile's
Chilean wine
Chilean wine is wine made in the South American country of Chile. The region has a long viticultural history for a New World wine region dating to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French...

 Maipo Valley. For most of the 20th century, it was the world's most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot
Merlot
Merlot is a darkly blue-coloured wine grape, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to derive from the Old French word for young blackbird, merlot, a diminutive of merle, the blackbird , probably from the color of the grape. Merlot-based wines...

 in the 1990s.

Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing
Plant breeding
Plant breeding is the art and science of changing the genetics of plants in order to produce desired characteristics. Plant breeding can be accomplished through many different techniques ranging from simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for propagation, to more complex molecular...

 between Cabernet franc
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone - as in the Loire's Chinon...

 and Sauvignon blanc
Sauvignon blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety which originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French word sauvage and blanc due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France., a possible descendant of savagnin...

 during the 17th century in southwestern France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation - the grapes have thick skins and the vines are hardy and resistant to rot
Decomposition
Decomposition is the process by which organic material is broken down into simpler forms of matter. The process is essential for recycling the finite matter that occupies physical space in the biome. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death...

 and frost
Frost
Frost is the solid deposition of water vapor from saturated air. It is formed when solid surfaces are cooled to below the dew point of the adjacent air as well as below the freezing point of water. Frost crystals' size differ depending on time and water vapour available. Frost is also usually...

 - and to its consistent presentation of structure and flavours which express the typical character ("typicity
Typicity
Typicity is a term in wine tasting used to describe the degree to which a wine reflects its varietal origins, and thus demonstrate the signature characteristics of the grape from which it was produced, i.e., how much a Merlot wine “tastes like a Merlot”...

") of the variety. Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to consumers, even when from unfamiliar wine regions. Its widespread popularity has also contributed to criticism of the grape as a "colonizer" that takes over wine regions at the expense of native grape varieties.

History and origins



For many years, the origin of Cabernet Sauvignon was not clearly understood and many myths and conjectures surrounded it. The word "Sauvignon" is believed to be derived from the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 sauvage meaning "wild" and to refer to the grape being a wild Vitis vinifera
Vitis vinifera
Vitis vinifera is a species of Vitis, native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, and southwestern Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran....

vine native to France. Until recently the grape was rumoured to have ancient origins, perhaps even being the Biturica grape used to make ancient Roman wine and referenced by Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

. This belief was widely held in the 18th century, when the grape was also known as Petite Vidure or Bidure, apparently a corruption of Biturica. There was also belief that Vidure was a reference to the hard wood (French vigne dure) of the vine, with a possible relationship to Carménère
Carmenère
The Carménère grape is a wine grape variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, where it was used to produce deep red wines and occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot....

 which was once known as Grand Vidure. Another theory was that the grapevine originated in the Rioja
La Rioja (Spain)
La Rioja is an autonomous community and a province of northern Spain. Its capital is Logroño. Other cities and towns in the province include Calahorra, Arnedo, Alfaro, Haro, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, and Nájera.-History:...

 region of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

.

While the period when the name Cabernet Sauvignon became more prevalent over Petite Vidure is not certain, records indicate that the grape was a popular Bordeaux planting in the 18th century Médoc
Médoc
The Médoc is a region of France, well known as a wine growing region, located in the département of Gironde, on the left bank of the Gironde estuary, north of Bordeaux. Its name comes from Medullicus, or "country of the Medulli", the local Celtic tribe...

 region. The first estates known to have actively grown the variety (and the likely source of Cabernet vines for other estates) were Château Mouton and Château d'Armailhac
Château d'Armailhac
Château d'Armailhac, previously named Château Mouton-d'Armailhacq , Château Mouton-Baron Philippe , Mouton Baronne and Château Mouton-Baronne-Philippe , is a winery in the Pauillac appellation of the Bordeaux region of France...

 in the Pauillac
Pauillac
Pauillac is a commune in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.-Population:-Wine:The commune consists of only 3000 acres of vineyards in the Haut-Médoc between the villages of Saint-Julien to the south and Saint-Estèphe to the north, but is home to three of Bordeaux's five...

.

The grape's true origins were discovered in 1996 with the use of DNA typing at the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology
UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology
The Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis, located in Davis, California, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the areas of grape growing and wine making. Located just 45 minutes from Napa Wine Country the department has strong connections with wine...

, by a team led by Dr. Carole Meredith
Carole Meredith
Carole P. Meredith is an American grape geneticist who was a professor at the Department of Viticulture and Enology of University of California, Davis before she retired in 2003...

. The DNA evidence determined that Cabernet Sauvignon was the offspring of Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc and was most likely a chance crossing that occurred in the 17th century. Prior to this discovery, this origin had been suspected from the similarity of the grapes' names and the fact that Cabernet Sauvignon shares similar aromas with both grapes—such as the black currant and pencil box
Pencil Box
Pencil Box was a children's television programme broadcast by CBC Television from 1976 to 1979. The programme comprised stories written by Ottawa students, mostly aged 8 to 12, and incorporated various story-telling devices, such as mime, puppets, masks, and animation...

 aromas of Cabernet franc and the grass
Grass
Grasses, or more technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. They include the "true grasses", of the Poaceae family, as well as the sedges and the rushes . The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns ...

iness of Sauvignon blanc.

Offspring and White Cabernet


While not as prolific in mutating
Mutation
In molecular biology and genetics, mutations are changes in a genomic sequence: the DNA sequence of a cell's genome or the DNA or RNA sequence of a virus. They can be defined as sudden and spontaneous changes in the cell. Mutations are caused by radiation, viruses, transposons and mutagenic...

 as Pinot noir
Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is a black wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes...

 nor as widely used in production of offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon has been linked to other grape varieties. In 1961, a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache
Grenache
Grenache is one of the most widely planted red wine grape varieties in the world. It ripens late, so it needs hot, dry conditions such as those found in Spain, the south of France, and California's San Joaquin Valley. It is generally spicy, berry-flavored and soft on the palate with a relatively...

 produced the French wine grape Marselan
Marselan
Marselan is a French wine grape that is a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. It was first bred in 1961 near the French town of Marseillan. The vine is grown mostly in the Languedoc region with some plantings on Northern Coast of California. The grape produces a medium body red wine....

. In 1977 a vine producing 'bronze' grapes was found in the vineyards of Cleggett Wines in Australia. They propagated this mutant, registered it under the name of Malian and have sold pale red wines under that name. In 1991 one of the Bronze Cabernet vines started producing white grapes. Cleggett registered this "White Cabernet" under the name of Shalistin. Compared to its Cabernet parent, Malian appears to lack anthocyanin
Anthocyanin
Anthocyanins are water-soluble vacuolar pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue according to pH...

s in the subepidermal cells but retains them in the epidermis
Epidermis (botany)
The epidermis is a single-layered group of cells that covers plants' leaves, flowers, roots and stems. It forms a boundary between the plant and the external environment. The epidermis serves several functions, it protects against water loss, regulates gas exchange, secretes metabolic compounds,...

, whereas Shalistin has no anthocyanins in either layer. The team that went on to discover the VvMYBA1 and VvMYBA2 genes that control grape colour have suggested that a gene involved in anthocyanin production has been deleted in the subepidermis of Malian, and then subepidermal cells invaded the epidermis to produce Shalistin.

Viticulture



While Cabernet Sauvignon can grow in a variety of climates, its suitability as a varietal
Varietal
"Varietal" describes wines made primarily from a single named grape variety, and which typically displays the name of that variety on the wine label. Examples of grape varieties commonly used in varietal wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot...

 wine or as a blend component is strongly influenced by the warmth of the climate. The vine is one of the last major grape varieties to bud
Bud
In botany, a bud is an undeveloped or embryonic shoot and normally occurs in the axil of a leaf or at the tip of the stem. Once formed, a bud may remain for some time in a dormant condition, or it may form a shoot immediately. Buds may be specialized to develop flowers or short shoots, or may have...

 and ripen (typically 1–2 weeks after Merlot and Cabernet franc) and the climate of the growing season affects how early the grapes will be harvest
Harvest (wine)
The harvesting of wine grapes is one of the most crucial steps in the process of winemaking. The time of harvest is determined primarily by the ripeness of the grape as measured by sugar, acid and tannin levels with winemakers basing their decision to pick based on the style of wine they wish to...

ed. Many wine regions in California give the vine an abundance of sunshine with few problems in ripening fully, which increases the likelihood of producing varietal Cabernet wines. In regions like Bordeaux, under the threat of inclement harvest season weather, Cabernet Sauvignon is often harvested a little earlier than ideal and is then blended with other grapes to fill in the gaps. In some regions, climate will be more important than soil. In regions that are too cool, there is a potential for more herbaceous and green bell pepper
Bell pepper
Bell pepper, also known as sweet pepper or a pepper and capsicum , is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum . Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colors, including red, yellow, orange and green. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as...

 flavours from less than ideally ripened grapes. In regions where the grape is exposed to excess warmth and over-ripening, there is a propensity for the wine to develop flavours of cooked or stewed blackcurrants.

The Cabernet grape variety has thrived in a variety of vineyard soil types, making the consideration of soil less of concern particularly for New World winemakers. In Bordeaux, the soil aspect of terroir
Terroir
Terroir comes from the word terre "land". It was originally a French term in wine, coffee and tea used to denote the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place bestowed upon particular varieties...

was historically an important consideration in determining which of the major Bordeaux grape varieties were planted. While Merlot seemed to thrive in clay
Clay
Clay is a general term including many combinations of one or more clay minerals with traces of metal oxides and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure.- Formation :Clay minerals...

 and limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 based soils (such as those of the Right Bank regions of the Gironde estuary
Gironde estuary
The Gironde is a navigable estuary , in southwest France and is formed from the meeting of the rivers Dordogne and Garonne just below the centre of Bordeaux...

), Cabernet Sauvignon seemed to perform better in the gravel
Gravel
Gravel is composed of unconsolidated rock fragments that have a general particle size range and include size classes from granule- to boulder-sized fragments. Gravel can be sub-categorized into granule and cobble...

 based soil of the Médoc region on the Left Bank. The gravel soils offered the benefit of being well drained while absorbing and radiating heat to the vines, aiding ripening. Clay and limestone based soils are often cooler, allowing less heat to reach the vines, delaying ripening. In regions where the climate is warmer, there is more emphasis on soil that is less fertile, which promotes less vigor in the vine which can keep yields low. In the Napa Valley wine regions of Oakville
Oakville AVA
The Oakville AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within Napa Valley AVA and centered around the town of Oakville, California. The appellation extends over a flat expanse of well drained gravel soil between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains...

 and Rutherford
Rutherford AVA
The Rutherford AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within Napa Valley AVA and centered around the town of Rutherford, California. The area is known for its unique terroir particularly with its Cabernet Sauvignon. The well drained soil of this area is composition of gravel, loam and sand...

, the soil is more alluvial and dusty. Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon has been often quoted as giving a sense of terroir with a taste of "Rutherford dust". In the South Australian wine
South Australian wine
The South Australian wine industry is responsible for more than half the production of all Australian wine. The state of South Australia has a vast diversity in geography and climate which allows the state to be able to successfully produce a wide range of grape varieties-from the cool climate...

 region of Coonawarra
Coonawarra
Coonawarra is a wine region, on the Limestone Coast of South Australia, that is known for the Cabernet Sauvignon wines produced on its "terra rossa" soil. Coonawarra is an Aboriginal word meaning "Honeysuckle". It is about 380 km southeast of Adelaide, close to the border with...

, Cabernet Sauvignon has produced vastly different results from grapes vines planted in the region's terra rosa
Terra rosa (soil)
Terra rossa is a type of red clay soil produced by the weathering of limestone. When limestone weathers, the clay contained in the rocks is left behind, along with any other non-soluble rock material. Under oxidizing conditions, when the soils are above the water table, iron oxide forms in the...

 soil-so much so that the red soil is considered the "boundary" of the wine region, with some controversy from wine growers with Cabernet Sauvignon planted on red soil.

In addition to ripeness levels, the harvest yield
Yield (wine)
In viticulture, the yield is a measure of the amount of grapes or wine that is produced per unit surface of vineyard, and is therefore a type of crop yield...

s can also have a strong influence in the resulting quality and flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon wine. The vine itself is prone to vigorous yields, particularly when planted on the vigorous SO4 rootstock
Rootstock
A rootstock is a plant, and sometimes just the stump, which already has an established, healthy root system, used for grafting a cutting or budding from another plant. The tree part being grafted onto the rootstock is usually called the scion...

. Excessive yields can result in less concentrated and flavorful wine with flavors more on the green or herbaceous
Herbaceous
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

 side. In the 1970s, a particular clone of Cabernet Sauvignon that was engineered to be virus free was noted for its very high yields-causing many quality conscious producers to replant their vineyards in the late 20th century with different clonal varieties. To reduce yields, producers can plant the vines on less vigorous rootstock and also practice green harvesting with aggressive pruning
Pruning
Pruning is a horticultural practice involving the selective removal of parts of a plant, such as branches, buds, or roots. Reasons to prune plants include deadwood removal, shaping , improving or maintaining health, reducing risk from falling branches, preparing nursery specimens for...

 of grape clusters soon after veraison
Veraison
Véraison is a viticulture term meaning "the onset of ripening". It is originally French, but has been adopted into English use...

.

In general, Cabernet Sauvignon has good resistance to most grape diseases, powdery mildew
Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects a wide range of plants. Powdery mildew diseases are caused by many different species of fungi in the order Erysiphales. It is one of the easier diseases to spot, as its symptoms are quite distinctive. Infected plants display white powdery spots on the...

 being the most noted exception. It is, however, susceptible to the vine diseases Eutypella scoparia
Eutypella scoparia
Eutypella scoparia is a plant pathogen that causes Eutypa dieback on pecan.- External links :* * -References:...

and excoriose.

The "green bell pepper" flavor


There are a couple of noted Cabernet Sauvignon flavors that are intimately tied to viticultural
Viticulture
Viticulture is the science, production and study of grapes which deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. When the grapes are used for winemaking, it is also known as viniculture...

 and climate influences. The most widely recognized is the herbaceous or green bell pepper flavor caused by pyrazine
Pyrazine
Pyrazine is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound with the chemical formula C4H4N2.Pyrazine is a symmetrical molecule with point group D2h. Derivatives like phenazine are well known for their antitumor, antibiotic and diuretic activity. Pyrazine is less basic in nature than pyridine, pyridazine...

s, which are more prevalent in under-ripened grapes. Pyrazine compounds are present in all Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and are gradually destroyed by sunlight
Sunlight
Sunlight, in the broad sense, is the total frequency spectrum of electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. On Earth, sunlight is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere, and solar radiation is obvious as daylight when the Sun is above the horizon.When the direct solar radiation is not blocked...

 as the grape continues to ripen. To the human palate
Palate
The palate is the roof of the mouth in humans and other mammals. It separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity. A similar structure is found in crocodilians, but, in most other tetrapods, the oral and nasal cavities are not truly separate. The palate is divided into two parts, the anterior...

 this compound is detectable in wines with pyrazine levels as low as 2 nanograms (ng) per liter. At the time of veraison, when the grapes first start to fully ripen, there is the equivalent pyrazine level of 30 ng/l. In cooler climates, it is difficult to get Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to ripen fully to the point where pyrazine is not detected. The green bell pepper flavor is not considered a wine fault
Wine fault
A wine fault or defect is an unpleasant characteristic of a wine often resulting from poor winemaking practices or storage conditions, and leading to wine spoilage. Many of the compounds that cause wine faults are already naturally present in wine but at insufficient concentrations to adversely...

 but it may not be desirable to all consumers' tastes. The California wine region of Monterey
Monterey AVA
The Monterey AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in eastern Monterey County, California. It was established in 1984. It is part of the larger Central Coast AVA. It runs roughly from its northern point, north of Monterey Bay to its southern point, abutting Paso Robles, California...

 was noted in the late 20th century for its very vegetal Cabernet Sauvignon with pronounced green pepper flavor, earning the nickname of "Monterey veggies". In addition to its cool climate, Monterey is also prone to being very windy, which can have the effect of shutting down the grape vines and further inhibiting ripeness.

Two other well known Cabernet Sauvignon flavors are mint
Mentha
Mentha is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae . The species are not clearly distinct and estimates of the number of species varies from 13 to 18. Hybridization between some of the species occurs naturally...

 and eucalyptus
Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Members of the genus dominate the tree flora of Australia...

. Mint flavors are often associated with wine regions that are warm enough to have low pyrazine levels but are still generally cool, such as Australia's Coonawarra region and some areas of Washington State
Washington Wine
Washington wine is wine produced from grape varieties grown in the U.S. state of Washington. Washington ranks second in the United States in the production of wine, behind only California. By 2006, the state had over of vineyards, a harvest of of grapes, and exports going to over 40 countries...

. There is some belief that soil could also be a contributor to the minty notes, since the flavor also appears in some wines from the Pauillac region but not from similar climate of Margaux
Margaux
Margaux is a commune in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.-Geography:The village lies in the Haut Médoc wine making region on the left bank of the Garonne estuary, northwest of the city of Bordeaux.-Population:-Wines:...

. Resinous Eucalyptus flavors tend to appear in regions that are habitats for the eucalyptus tree, such as California's Napa and Sonoma valleys
Sonoma Valley AVA
The Sonoma Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area in Sonoma County, California, USA which centers on the Sonoma Valley in the southern portion of the county...

 and parts of Australia, but there has been no evidence to conclusively prove a direct link between proximity of eucalyptus trees and the presence of that flavor in the wine.

Winemaking



In many aspects, Cabernet Sauvignon can reflect the desires and personality of the winemaker while still presenting familiar flavors that express the typical character of the variety. The most pronounced effects are from the use of oak during production. Typically the first winemaking
Winemaking
Winemaking, or vinification, is the production of wine, starting with selection of the grapes or other produce and ending with bottling the finished wine. Although most wine is made from grapes, it may also be made from other fruit or non-toxic plant material...

 decision is whether or not to produce a varietal or blended wine. The "Bordeaux blend" of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet franc, with potentially some Malbec
Malbec
Malbec is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins, and are long known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. The French plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in the South West...

, Petit Verdot
Petit verdot
Petit Verdot is a variety of red wine grape, principally used in classic Bordeaux blends. It ripens much later than the other varieties in Bordeaux, often too late, so it fell out of favour in its home region. When it does ripen, it is added in small amounts to add tannin, colour and flavour to the...

 or Carménère, is the classic example of blended Cabernet Sauvignon, emulated in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 with wines produced under the "Meritage
Meritage
Meritage is a proprietary term used to denote red and white Bordeaux-style wines without infringing on the Bordeaux region's legally protected designation of origin. Winemakers must license the Meritage trademark from its owner, the California-based Meritage Alliance...

" designation. But Cabernet Sauvignon can be blended with a variety of grapes such as Shiraz, Tempranillo
Tempranillo
Tempranillo is a variety of black grape widely grown to make full-bodied red wines in its native Spain. It is the main grape used in Rioja, and is often referred to as Spain's "noble grape". Its name is the diminutive of the Spanish temprano , a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks...

 and Sangiovese
Sangiovese
Sangiovese is a red Italian wine grape variety whose name derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, "the blood of Jove"...

. The decision to blend is then followed by the decision of when to do the blending— before, during or after fermentation
Fermentation (wine)
The process of fermentation in wine turns grape juice into an alcoholic beverage. During fermentation, yeast interact with sugars in the juice to create ethanol, commonly known as ethyl alcohol, and carbon dioxide...

. Due to the different fermentation styles of the grapes, many producers will ferment and age each grape variety separately and blend the wine shortly before bottling.

The Cabernet Sauvignon grape itself is very small, with a thick skin, creating a high 1:12 ratio of seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

 (pip) to fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 (pulp). From these elements the high proportions of phenols and tannins can have a stark influence on the structure and flavor of the wine— especially if the must
Must
Must is freshly pressed fruit juice that contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit. The solid portion of the must is called pomace; it typically makes up 7%–23% of the total weight of the must. Making must is the first step in winemaking...

 is subjected to long periods of maceration
Maceration (wine)
Maceration is the winemaking process where the phenolic materials of the grape— tannins, coloring agents and flavor compounds— are leached from the grape skins, seeds and stems into the must. Maceration is the process by which the red wine receives its red color, since 99% of all grape juice is...

 (skin contact) before fermentation. In Bordeaux, the maceration period was traditionally three weeks, which gave the winemaking staff enough time to close down the estate after harvest to take a hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

 holiday. The results of these long maceration periods are very tannic and flavorful wines that require years of aging. Wine producers that wish to make a wine more approachable within a couple of years will drastically reduce the maceration time to as a little as a few days. Following maceration, the Cabernet must can be fermented at high temperatures up to 30 °C
Celsius
Celsius is a scale and unit of measurement for temperature. It is named after the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius , who developed a similar temperature scale two years before his death...

 (86 °F
Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit is the temperature scale proposed in 1724 by, and named after, the German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit . Within this scale, the freezing of water into ice is defined at 32 degrees, while the boiling point of water is defined to be 212 degrees...

). The temperature of fermentation will play a role in the result, with deeper colors and more flavor components being extracted at higher temperatures while more fruit flavors are maintained at lower temperature. In Australia there has been experimentation with carbonic maceration
Carbonic maceration
Carbonic maceration is a winemaking technique, often associated with the French wine region of Beaujolais, in which whole grapes are fermented in a carbon dioxide rich environment prior to crushing. Conventional alcoholic fermentation involves crushing the grapes to free the juice and pulp from the...

 to make softer, fruity Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

The tannic nature of Cabernet Sauvignon is an important winemaking consideration. As the must is exposed to prolonged periods of maceration, more tannins are extracted from the skin and will be present in the resulting wine. If winemakers choose not to shorten the period of maceration, in favor of maximizing color and flavor concentrations, there are some methods that they can use to soften tannin levels. A common method is oak aging, which exposes the wine to gradual levels of oxidation that can mellow the harsh grape tannins as well as introduce softer "wood tannins". The choice of fining agents can also reduce tannins with gelatin
Gelatin
Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, brittle , flavorless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceuticals, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar...

 and egg white
Egg white
Egg white is the common name for the clear liquid contained within an egg. In chickens it is formed from the layers of secretions of the anterior section of the hen's oviduct during the passage of the egg. It forms around either fertilized or unfertilized egg yolks...

s being positively
Electric charge
Electric charge is a physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when near other electrically charged matter. Electric charge comes in two types, called positive and negative. Two positively charged substances, or objects, experience a mutual repulsive force, as do two...

-charged protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

s that are naturally attracted to the negatively-charged tannin molecules. These fining agents will bond with some of the tannins and be removed from the wine during filtration
Filtration
Filtration is commonly the mechanical or physical operation which is used for the separation of solids from fluids by interposing a medium through which only the fluid can pass...

. One additional method is micro-oxygenation which mimics some of the gradual aeration
Aeration
Aeration is the process by which air is circulated through, mixed with or dissolved in a liquid or substance.-Aeration of liquids:-Methods:Aeration of liquids is achieved by:...

 that occurs with barrel aging, with the limited exposure to oxygen aiding in the polymerization
Polymerization
In polymer chemistry, polymerization is a process of reacting monomer molecules together in a chemical reaction to form three-dimensional networks or polymer chains...

 of the tannins into larger molecules, which are perceived on the palate
Palate
The palate is the roof of the mouth in humans and other mammals. It separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity. A similar structure is found in crocodilians, but, in most other tetrapods, the oral and nasal cavities are not truly separate. The palate is divided into two parts, the anterior...

 as being softer.

Affinity for oak



One of the most noted traits of Cabernet Sauvignon is its affinity for oak, either during fermentation or in barrel aging. In addition to having a softening effect on the grape's naturally high tannins, the unique wood flavors of vanilla
Vanilla
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

 and spice
Spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

 complement the natural grape flavors of black currant and tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

. The particular success of Cabernet-based Bordeaux blends in the 225 liter (59 gallon) barrique were a significant influence in making that barrel size one of the most popular worldwide. In winemaking, the decision for the degree of oak influence (as well as which type of oak) will have a strong impact on the resulting wine. American oak, particularly from new barrels, imparts stronger oak flavors that are less subtle than those imparted by French oak. Even within the American oak family, the location of the oak source also plays a role with oak from the state of Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 having more pronounced influence on Cabernet Sauvignon than oak from Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. Winemakers often use a variety of oak barrels from different locations and of different ages and blend the wine as if they are blending different grape varieties.

Winemakers can also control the influence of oak by using alternatives to the standard barrique barrels. Larger barrels have a smaller wood-to-wine ratio and therefore less pronounced oak flavors. Winemakers in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 sometimes use barrels made from other wood types such as chestnut
Chestnut
Chestnut , some species called chinkapin or chinquapin, is a genus of eight or nine species of deciduous trees and shrubs in the beech family Fagaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The name also refers to the edible nuts they produce.-Species:The chestnut belongs to the...

 and redwood. Another method that winemakers consider is tea bagging with oak chips or adding oak planks to the wines while fermenting or aging it in stainless steel tanks. While these methods are less costly than oak barrels, they create more pronounced oak flavors, which tend not to mellow or integrate with the rest of the wine's components; nor do they provide the gradual oxidation benefit of barrel aging.

Bordeaux



The Bordeaux wine region is intimately connected with Cabernet Sauvignon, even though wine is rarely made without the blended component of other grape varieties. It is the likely "birthplace" of the vine, and producers across the globe have invested heavily in trying to reproduce the structure and complexity of Bordeaux wines. While the "Bordeaux blend" of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet franc and Merlot created the earliest examples of acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon wine, Cabernet Sauvignon was first blended in Bordeaux with Syrah, a pairing that is widely seen in Australia and some vin de pays wines from the Languedoc. The decision to first start blending Cabernet Sauvignon was partly derived from financial necessity. The sometime temperamental and unpredictable climate of Bordeaux during the "Little Ice Age
Little Ice Age
The Little Ice Age was a period of cooling that occurred after the Medieval Warm Period . While not a true ice age, the term was introduced into the scientific literature by François E. Matthes in 1939...

" did not guarantee a successful harvest every year; producers had to insure themselves against the risk of losing an entire vintage by planting a variety of grapes. Over time it was discovered that the unique characteristics of each grape variety can complement each other and enhance the overall quality of wine. As a base, or backbone of the wine, Cabernet Sauvignon added structure, acidity, tannins and aging potential. By itself, particularly when harvested at less than ideal ripeness, its can lack a sense of fruit or "fleshiness" on the palate which can be compensated from by adding the rounder flavors of Merlot. Cabernet franc can add additional aromas to the bouquet as well as more fruitiness. In the lighter soils of the Margaux region, Cabernet-based wines can lack color, which can be achieved by blending in Petit Verdot. Malbec, used today mostly in Fronsac
Fronsac
Fronsac is the name or part of the name of the following communes in France:* Fronsac, Gironde, in the Gironde department* Fronsac, Haute-Garonne, in the Haute-Garonne department* La Lande-de-Fronsac, in the Gironde department...

, can add additional fruit and floral aromas.

DNA evidence has shown Cabernet Sauvignon is the result of the crossing of two other Bordeaux grape varieties— Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc— which has led grapevine historians, or ampelographers, to believe that the grape originated in Bordeaux. Early records indicate that the grape was a popular planting in the Médoc region during the 18th century. The loose berry clusters and thick skins of the grape provided a good resistance to rot in the sometimes wet maritime climate of Bordeaux. The grape continued to grow in popularity till the Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects a wide range of plants. Powdery mildew diseases are caused by many different species of fungi in the order Erysiphales. It is one of the easier diseases to spot, as its symptoms are quite distinctive. Infected plants display white powdery spots on the...

epidemic of 1852 exposed Cabernet Sauvignon's sensitivity to that grape disease. With vineyards severely ravaged or lost, many Bordeaux wine growers turned to Merlot, increasing its plantings to where it soon became the most widely-planted grape in Bordeaux. As the region's winemakers started to better understand the area's terroir and how the different grape varieties performed in different region, Cabernet Sauvignon increased in plantings all along the Left Bank region of the Gironde river in the Médoc as well as Graves
Graves
Graves is an important subregion of the Bordeaux wine region. Graves is situated on the left bank of the Garonne river, in the upstream part of the region, southeast of the city Bordeaux and stretch over...

 region, where it became the dominant variety in the wine blends. In the Right bank regions of Saint-Émilion
Saint-Émilion AOC
Saint-Émilion is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée for wine in the Bordeaux wine region of France, where it is situated in the Libourne subregion on the right bank of the Dordogne...

 and Pomerol
Pomerol
Pomerol is a commune in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.It is located near Bordeaux.-Population:-Wine:The mostly small-sized producers in this area of about produce red wines. As in the neighbouring appellation of Saint-Émilion, the predominant grape variety is Merlot,...

, Cabernet is a distant third in plantings behind Merlot & Cabernet franc.

In the wine regions of the Left Bank, the Cabernet influence of the wine has shown unique characteristics in the different regions. In Saint-Estèphe
Saint-Estèphe
Saint-Estèphe is a commune in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.-Population:-Wine:Saint-Estèphe is best known as the northernmost, and one of the four major wine-growing appellations of the Médoc...

 and Pessac-Léognan
Pessac-Léognan
Pessac-Léognan is a French wine appellation, within the Graves subregion of the Bordeaux wine region. Both red and white wine is produced within the appellation, which consists of 10 communes: Cadaujac, Canéjan, Gradignan, Léognan, Martillac, Mérignac, Pessac, Saint-Médard-d'Eyrans, Talence and...

, the grape develops more mineral flavors. Aromas or violets are a characteristic of Margaux. Pauillac is noted by a strong lead pencil scent and Saint-Julien
Saint-Julien-Beychevelle
Saint-Julien-Beychevelle is a commune on the left bank of the Garonne estuary in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.-Population:-Wine:...

 by cedar
Cedar wood
Cedar wood comes from several different trees that grow in different parts of the world, and may have different uses.* California incense-cedar, from Calocedrus decurrens, is the primary type of wood used for making pencils...

 and cigar box
Cigar box
Cigar boxes are popular juggling props. Their rectangular shape resembles that of its namesake; they are sometimes padded on the ends and/or the sides with a felt-like material....

es. The Cabernet wines of the Moulis
Moulis-en-Médoc
Moulis-en-Médoc is a commune in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.-Geography:The village is situated in the Médoc on a hill, overhanging the Tiquetorte stream, which flows into the Gironde estuary....

 are characterized by their soft tannins and rich fruit flavors while the southern Graves region is characterized by strong black currant flavors, though in less intense wines over all. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon used in the blend will depend on terroir and the winemakers styles as well as the vintage. The First Growth
First Growth
First Growth status refers to a classification of wines primarily from the Bordeaux region of France.-Bordeaux reds:The need for a classification of the best Bordeaux wines arose for the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris. The result was the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, a list...

 estates of Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Latour
Château Latour
Château Latour is a French wine estate, rated as a First Growth under the 1855 Bordeaux Classification. Latour lies at the very southeastern tip of the commune of Pauillac in the Médoc region to the north-west of Bordeaux, at its border with Saint-Julien, and only a few hundred metres from the...

 are noted for regularly producing wines with some of the highest percentage of Cabernet— often around 75%.

A common factor affecting the flavors of Bordeaux wines is the harvest yields of Cabernet Sauvignon. Throughout Bordeaux there is a legal maximum permitted yield of 50 hectoliters (hl) per hectare
Hectare
The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

 (ha). With the aid of global warming and vigorous rootstocks, many Bordeaux vineyards can easily surpass 60 hl/ha, with some estates taking advantage of the legal loophole of plafond limite de classement ("ceiling limit classification") that permits higher yields during "exceptional" years. This has had an adverse affect on the quality of production from some producers who regularly use grapes harvested at excessive yields. In recent years there has been more of an emphasis on keeping yields low, particularly for an estate's Grand vin.

Other French regions


The Bordeaux wine region accounts for more than 60% of the Cabernet Sauvignon grown in France. Outside of Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is found in varying quantities throughout Le Midi and in the Loire Valley
Loire Valley (wine)
The Loire Valley wine region includes the French wine regions situated along the Loire River from the Muscadet region near the city of Nantes on the Atlantic coast to the region of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé just southeast of the city of Orléans in north central France. In between are the regions of...

. In general, Cabernet Sauvignon wines are lighter and less structured, drinkable much earlier than Bordeaux wine. In the southwest French appellation d'origine contrôlée
Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée
Appellation d’origine contrôlée , which translates as "controlled designation of origin", is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products, all under the auspices of the government bureau Institut National...

(AOCs) of Bergerac and Buzet
Buzet AOC
Buzet is an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée for wine in South West France, in the department of Lot-et-Garonne.-History:Originally known as Côtes de Buzet, it was a Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure from 1953, and was promoted to AOC status in 1973...

 it is used to make rosé
Rosé
A rosé is a type of wine that has some of the color typical of a red wine, but only enough to turn it pink. The pink color can range from a pale orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grapes and wine making techniques.- Production techniques :There are three major ways to produce rosé...

 wine. In some regions it is used to add flavor and structure to Carignan while it is blended with Négrette
Négrette
Négrette is a dark red wine grape grown primarily in South West France in the region between Albi and Toulouse. It is a direct descendant of Mavro rootstock, a grape variety cultivated extensively on the island of Cyprus.-Wine regions:...

 in Gaillac and Fronton as well as Tannat
Tannat
Tannat is a red wine grape, historically grown in South West France in the Madiran AOC and is now one of the most prominent grapes in Uruguay, where it is considered the "national grape". It is also grown in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Peru, and in Italy's Puglia region where it is used as a...

 in Madiran
Madiran wine
Madiran wine is produced around the village of Madiran in Gascony under two Appellations d'Origine Contrôlées : Madiran for red wines and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec for white wines...

. In Provence, the grape had some presence in the region in the mid 19th century, when viticulturist Jules Guyot
Jules Guyot
right|thumb|250 px| Le Château Savigny-lès-Beaune, where Jules Guyot died in 1872Dr. Jules Guyot was a French physician and agronomist who was born in the commune of Gyé-sur-Seine in the department of Aube...

 recommended it as a blending partner with Syrah. In recent years, several Midi wine estates, such as Mas de Daumas Gassac
Mas de Daumas Gassac
Mas de Daumas Gassac is a French wine producer from the wine region Languedoc, classified as Vin de Pays de l'Hérault due to its use of grape varieties outside specifications of its AOC. The winery, producing both white and red wine, is located in the south of France, in the commune of Aniane...

 have received international acclaim for their Cabernet Sauvignon blended in Hérault
Hérault
Hérault is a department in the south of France named after the Hérault river.-History:Hérault is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790...

, with Rhône grapes like Syrah. It is often made as a single varietal in the vin de pays of the Languedoc. The influence of Australian flying winemakers has been considerable in how Cabernet Sauvignon is treated by some Languedoc wine estates, with some producers making wines that can seem like they are from the New World. Overall, the grape has not exerted it dominance of the region, generally considered less ideally situated to the dry climate than Syrah. The Languedoc producers who give serious consideration to Cabernet Sauvignon, generally rely on irrigation to compensate for the climate.

Italy



Cabernet Sauvignon has a long history in Italian wine
Italian wine
Italian wine is wine produced in Italy, a country which is home to some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Italy is the world's largest wine producer, responsible for approximately one-fifth of world wine production in 2005. Italian wine is exported largely around the world and has...

s, being first introduced to the Piedmont region in 1820. In the mid-1970s, the grape earned notoriety and controversy as a component in the so-called "Super Tuscan" wines of Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

. Today the grape is permitted in several Denominazioni di origine controllata (DOCs) and is used in many Indicazione Geografica Tipica
Indicazione geografica tipica
Indicazione geografica tipica is the second of four classifications of wine recognized by the government of Italy. Created to recognize the unusually high quality of the class of wines known as Super Tuscans, IGT wines are labeled with the locality of their creation, but do not meet the...

(IGT) wines that are made outside DOC perimeters in certain regions. For most of its history the grape has been viewed with suspicion as a "foreign influence" that distracts from the native grape varieties. After decades of experimentation, the general view of Cabernet Sauvignon has improved as more winemakers find ways to complement their native grape varieties with Cabernet as a blending component.

In Piedmont, the grape was sometimes used as an "illegal" blending partner with Nebbiolo for DOC classified Barolo
Barolo
Barolo is a red Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita wine produced in the northern Italian region of Piedmont. It is made from the Nebbiolo grape and is often described as one of Italy's greatest wines...

 with the intention of adding color and more fruit flavors. In the DOCs of Langhe
Langhe
The Langhe is a hilly area to the south and east of the river Tanaro in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont, northern Italy....

 and Monferrato, Cabernet is a permitted blending grape with Nebbiolo as well as Barbera
Barbera
Barbera is a red Italian wine grape variety that, as of 2000, was the third most-planted red grape variety in Italy . It produces good yields and is known for deep color, low tannins and high levels of acid...

. Wines that are composed of all three grape varieties are often subjected to consider oak treatment to add a sense of sweet spiciness to compensate for the high tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo as well as the high acidity of Barbera. There are varietal styles of Cabernet Sauvignon produce in Piedmont with qualities varying depending on the location. In other regions of northern Italy, such as Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna
Emilia-Romagna
Emilia–Romagna is an administrative region of Northern Italy comprising the two historic regions of Emilia and Romagna. The capital is Bologna; it has an area of and about 4.4 million inhabitants....

 and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the grape is often blended with Merlot to produce Bordeaux style blends. In the Veneto region, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes blended with the main grapes of Valpolicella
Valpolicella
Valpolicella is a viticultural zone of the province of Verona, Italy, east of Lake Garda. The hilly agricultural and marble-quarrying region of small holdings north of the Adige is famous for wine production. Valpolicella ranks just after Chianti in total Italian Denominazione di Origine...

-Corvina
Corvina
Corvina is an Italian wine grape variety that is sometimes also referred to as Corvina Veronese or Cruina or it is mainly known in Europe as"Cassabria". It is mainly grown in the Veneto region of northeast Italy. Corvina is used with several other grapes to create the light red regional wines...

, Molinara
Molinara (grape)
Molinara is a red Italian wine grape grown primarily in the Veneto region of north eastern Italy. It adds acidity to the blends Valpolicella and Bardolino made with Corvina and Rondinella. The wine's high propensity for oxidation, coupled with its low color extract, has caused a decline in favor...

 and Rondinella
Rondinella
Rondinella is an Italian wine grape mainly grown in the Veneto region of Italy and used in wines such as Valpolicella and Bardolino. It is often blended Corvina, whom DNA evidence has shown is a parent variety, and Molinara. The grape has rather neutral flavors but is favored by growers due to its...

. In southern Italy, the grape is mostly used as a blending component with local varieties-such as Carignan in Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

, Nero d'Avola
Nero d'Avola
Nero d'Avola is "the most important red wine grape in Sicily" and is one of Italy's most important indigenous varieties. It is named after Avola in the far south of Sicily and its wines are compared to New World Shirazes, with sweet tannins and plum or peppery flavours...

 in Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, Aglianico
Aglianico
Aglianico is a black grape grown in the Basilicata and Campania regions of Italy. The vine originated in Greece and was brought to the south of Italy by Greek settlers. The name may be a corruption of Vitis hellenica, Latin for "Greek vine"...

 in Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

 and Gaglioppo
Gaglioppo
Gaglioppo is a red wine grape that is grown in southern Italy, primarily around Calabria. The vine performs well in drought conditions but is susceptible to oidium and peronospera. The grape produces wine that is full-bodied, high in alcohol and tannins with a need for considerable time in the...

 in Calabria.

Cabernet Sauvignon has had a controversial history in Tuscan wine, particularly for its role in the arrivals of "Super Tuscan" in the mid 1970s. The origin of Super Tuscans is rooted in the restrictive DOC practices of the Chianti
Chianti
Chianti is a red Italian wine produced in Tuscany. It was historically associated with a squat bottle enclosed in a straw basket, called a fiasco ; however, the fiasco is only used by a few makers of the wine now; most Chianti is now bottled in more standard shaped wine bottles...

 zone prior to the 1990s. During this time Chianti could be composed of no more than 70% Sangiovese and had to include at least 10% of one of the local white wine grapes. Many Tuscan wine producers thought they could produce a better quality wine if they were not hindered by the DOC regulations, particularly if they had the freedom to use Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend and not require to use white grape varieties. The marchese Piero Antinori was one of the first to create a "Chianti-style" wine that ignored the DOC regulations, releasing a 1971 Sangiovese-Cabernet Sauvignon blend known as Tignanello in 1978. Other producers followed suit and soon the prices for these Super Tuscans were consistently beating the prices of some of most well known Chianti. Other Tuscan wine regions followed suit, blending Cabernet Sauvignon with Sangiovese
Sangiovese
Sangiovese is a red Italian wine grape variety whose name derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, "the blood of Jove"...

 and even making varietal versions of the grape. Gradually the DOC system caught on and began allowing more regions to use the grape in their DOC designated wines. Cabernet Sauvignon in Tuscany is characterized by ripe black cherry
Black Cherry
Prunus serotina, commonly called black cherry, wild black cherry, rum cherry, or mountain black cherry, is a woody plant species belonging to the genus Prunus...

 flavors that can give a perception of sweetness as well as strong notes of black currant. The wines typically reach an alcohol level around 14% but can still maintain notable levels of acidity. When blended with Sangiovese in significant quantities, Cabernet Sauvignon can dominate the blend with most Tuscan producers aiming to find a particular balance that suits their desired style.

Other Old World producers



The introduction of Cabernet Sauvignon in Spanish wine
Spanish wine
Spanish wines are wines produced in the southwestern European country of Spain. Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain has over 2.9 million acres planted—making it the most widely planted wine producing nation but it is the third largest producer of wine in the world, the largest...

 occurred in the Rioja
Rioja (wine)
Rioja is a wine, with Denominación de Origen Calificada named after La Rioja, in Spain. Rioja is made from grapes grown not only in the Autonomous Community of La Rioja, but also in parts of Navarre and the Basque province of Álava. Rioja is further subdivided into three zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja...

 region when the Marqués de Riscal planted cuttings from Bordeaux. By 2004, it was the sixth most widely planted red wine grape in Spain. Today it is found in some quantities in every Spanish wine region, though it is not permitted in every Denominación de Origen
Denominación de Origen
Denominación de Origen is part of a regulatory classification system primarily for Spanish wines but also for other foodstuffs like honey, meats and condiments. In wines it parallels the hierarchical system of France and Italy although Rioja and Sherry preceded the full system...

(DO) designated region. In those areas, wines with Cabernet Sauvignon are relegated to less distinguished designations such as Vino de la Tierra or Vino de Mesa. The grape is most prominent in the Catalan wine
Catalan wine
Catalan wine is wine made in the Spanish wine region of Catalonia. More rarely, the term may also be used to refer to some French wines made in the Catalan region of Roussillon, once joint with the southern territories that currently are part of Spain...

 region of Penedès
Penedès
Penedès is a natural and historical region of the autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. It is located in the south of the Principality of Catalonia between the pre-coastal mountain range and the Mediterranean sea...

, where its use was revived by the estates of Bodegas Torres
Bodegas Torres
Founded in 1870 by Jaime Torres, Bodegas Torres is a historical wine growing company located in Pacs, some 4 km from Vilafranca del Penedès, where the company has its head office...

 and Jean León. There the grape is often blended with Tempranillo. It is also primarily a blending grape in the Ribera del Duero
Ribera del Duero
Ribera del Duero is a Spanish Denominación de Origen located in the country's northern plateau and is one of eleven 'quality wine' regions within the autonomous community of Castile and León...

, but producers in Navarra
Navarra (DO)
Navarra is a Spanish Denominación de Origen for wines that extends over practically the entire southern half of the autonomous community of Navarre...

 have found some international acclaim for their varietal wines.

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, English wine producers have experimented with growing the variety in plastic tunnels which can create a greenhouse
Greenhouse
A greenhouse is a building in which plants are grown. These structures range in size from small sheds to very large buildings...

 effect and protect the grapes from the less than ideal climate of the wine region. While the grape is permitted to be planted in some German wine
German wine
German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60 percent of the German wine production is situated in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions ...

 regions (such as the Mosel), the vineyard sites best suited for ripening Cabernet are generally already occupied with Riesling
Riesling
Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally...

; many producers are ill-inclined to uproot the popular German variety in favor of Cabernet Sauvignon. In the 1980s, inexpensive Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

n Cabernet Sauvignon was highly touted for its value and helped to establish that country's wine
Bulgarian wine
Grape growing and wine production have a long history in Bulgaria, dating back to the times of the Thracians. Wine is, together with beer and grape rakia, among the most popular alcoholic beverages in the country.-Viticultural regions:...

 industry and garner it more international presence in the wine market. The grape is performing a similar function for many countries in Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria, Czech Republic
Czech wine
Wine in the Czech Republic is produced mainly in southern Moravia, although a few vineyards are located in Bohemia. However, Moravia accounts for around 96% of the country's vineyards, which is why Czech wine is more often referred to as Moravian wine ...

, Georgia
Georgian wine
Georgia is one of the oldest wine producing regions of the world. The fertile valleys of the South Caucasus, which Georgia straddles, are believed by many archaeologists to be the source of the world's first cultivated grapevines and neolithic wine production, over 8,000 years ago...

, Hungary, Moldova
Moldovan wine
With a production of 124,200 tons of wine , Moldova has a well established wine industry. It has a vineyard area of of which are used for commercial production. The remaining are vineyards planted in villages around the houses used to make home-made wine, or "vin de casa"...

, Romania
Romanian wine
Romania is one of the world's largest wine producers, producing around 610,000 tons of wine. In recent years, Romania has attracted many European business people and wine buyers, due to the affordable prices of both vineyards and wines compared to other wine producing nations such as France,...

, Russia
Russian wine
Russian wine refers to wine made in the Russian Federation and to some extent wines made in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics though this later referencing is an inaccurate representation of wines from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine...

, Slovenia
Slovenian wine
Slovenian wine is wine from the Central European country of Slovenia. Viticulture and winemaking has existed in this region since the time of the Celts and Illyrians tribes, long before the Romans would introduce winemaking to the lands of France, Spain and Germany...

, and Ukraine
Ukrainian wine
The wine industry of Ukraine is well-established with long traditions. Several brands of wine from Ukraine are exported to bordering countries, the European Union, and North America.-History:...

. It can be in the eastern Mediterranean wine regions of Cyprus
Cyprus wine
The Cypriot wine industry ranks 37th in the world in terms of total production quantity ., and much higher on a per capita basis. Although, chronologically, Cyprus belongs to the old world of wine producing countries, the industry has gone through changes that place it more on par with the new world...

, Greece
Greek wine
Greece is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. The earliest evidence of Greek wine has been dated to 6,500 years ago where wine was produced on a household or communal basis. In ancient times, as trade in wine became extensive, it was transported from end to end of the...

, Israel
Israeli wine
Israeli wine is produced by hundreds of wineries, ranging in size from small boutique enterprises to large companies producing over ten million bottles per year. Wine has been produced in the Land of Israel since biblical times. In 2009, Israeli wine exports totaled over $22 million...

 and Lebanon
Lebanese wine
Lebanon is among the oldest sites of wine production in the world. The Israelite prophet Hosea is said to have urged his followers to return to Yahweh so that "they will blossom as the vine, [and] their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon"...

. In Russia there is the similarly named, but otherwise unrelated hybrid grape, Cabernet Severny that has begun to supplant Cabernet Sauvignon plantings due to its more consistent performance in that region's cooler climate.

California



In California, Cabernet Sauvignon has developed its characteristic style and reputation, recognizable in the world's market. Production and plantings of the grape in California are similar in quantity to those of Bordeaux. The 1976 Judgment of Paris wine tasting event helped to catapult Californian Cabernet Sauvignons onto the international stage when Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is a winery established by Warren Winiarski in 1970 and based in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, California. The winery was sold to a joint venture by Chateau Ste...

' 1973 Stags Leap District
Stags Leap District AVA
The Stags Leap District AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within the Napa Valley AVA north of the city of Napa, California. The Stags Leap District was the first appellation to be designated an AVA based on the unique terroir characteristics of its soil...

 Cabernet Sauvignon beat out classified Bordeaux
Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855
The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 resulted from the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris, when Emperor Napoleon III requested a classification system for France's best Bordeaux wines which were to be on display for visitors from around the world...

 estates like Château Mouton Rothschild
Château Mouton Rothschild
Château Mouton Rothschild is a wine estate located in the village of Pauillac in the Médoc, 50 km north-west of the city of Bordeaux, France. Its red wine of the same name is regarded as one of the world's greatest clarets. Originally known as Château Brane-Mouton it was renamed by Nathaniel...

, Château Montrose
Château Montrose
Château Montrose is a winery in the Saint-Estèphe appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855....

, Château Haut-Brion
Château Haut-Brion
Château Haut-Brion is a French wine, rated a Premier Cru Classé , produced in the Gironde region. It differs from the other wines on the list in its geographic location in the north of the wine-growing region of Graves...

 and Château Léoville-Las Cases
Château Léoville-Las Cases
Château Léoville-Las Cases is a winery in the Saint-Julien appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. Château Léoville-Las Cases is also the name of the red wine produced by this property...

 in a blind tasting conducted by French wine experts. In the 1980s, a new epidemic of phylloxera
Phylloxera
Grape phylloxera ; originally described in France as Phylloxera vastatrix; equated to the previously described Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, Phylloxera vitifoliae; commonly just called phylloxera is a pest of commercial grapevines worldwide, originally native to eastern North America...

 hit California, devastating many vineyards, which needed replanting. There was some speculation that ravaged Cabernet vineyards would be replanted with other varietals (such as those emerging from the Rhone Rangers
Rhone Rangers
The Rhone Rangers are a group of winemakers who promote the use of grape varieties from the Rhône Valley in the south of France. They are mostly based in the Central Coast of California and are now organized into a not-for-profit organization for the promotion of wines containing at least 75% of...

 movement) but in fact California plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon doubled between 1988 and 1998; many wine regions— such as Napa Valley north of Yountville
Yountville AVA
The Yountville AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within Napa Valley AVA and centered around the town Yountville, California. The town's founder George Calvert Yount planted the first vineyard in this area around 1836. Yountville AVA is one of the coolest wine regions in Napa Valley,...

 and Sonoma
Sonoma County wine
Sonoma County wine is wine made in Sonoma County, California, USA. County names in the United States automatically qualify as legal appellations of origin for wine produced from grapes grown in that county and do not require registration with the United States Department of the Treasury, Alcohol...

's Alexander Valley— were almost completely dominated by the grape varieties. It also started to gain a foothold in Dry Creek Valley
Dry Creek Valley AVA
The Dry Creek Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area in Sonoma County, California, located northwest of the town of Healdsburg. The valley is formed by Dry Creek, a tributary of the Russian River, and is approximately long and wide...

, Sonoma Mountain
Sonoma Mountain AVA
The Sonoma Mountain AVA is an American Viticultural Area in Sonoma County, California, USA. It is centered on the Sonoma Mountain landform in the Sonoma Mountains. The appellation includes the town of Glen Ellen, California and is bordered on the west by the Sonoma Valley AVA...

 and Mendocino County. Cabernet from Sonoma County has shown a tendency to feature anise
Anise
Anise , Pimpinella anisum, also called aniseed, is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Its flavor resembles that of liquorice, fennel, and tarragon.- Biology :...

 and black olive notes while Napa County Cabernets are characterized by their strong black fruit flavors.

In California, the main stylistic difference in Cabernet Sauvignon is between hillside/mountain vineyards and those on flatter terrain like valley floors or some areas of the Central Valley. In Napa, the hillside vineyards of Diamond Mountain District
Diamond Mountain District AVA
The Diamond Mountain District AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in California's Mayacamas Mountains in the northeast portion of the Napa Valley AVA...

, Howell Mountain
Howell Mountain AVA
The Howell Mountain AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within Napa Valley AVA. Howell Mountain is located in the Vaca Mountains on the northeast side of Napa Valley around the town of Angwin, and overlooks the town of St. Helena, California....

, Mt. Veeder
Mt. Veeder AVA
Mount Veeder AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within Napa Valley AVA among the Mayacamas Mountains. The boundaries of this appellation include with planted on thin volcanic soil. Many vineyards are found on the steep mountain face some as steep as 30°...

, Spring Mountain District
Spring Mountain District AVA
The Spring Mountain District AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in the Napa Valley AVA in California. Spring Mountain District AVA was officially established as an American Viticulture Area in 1993. Encompassed within its bounds are about , of which about are planted to vineyards. Given...

 have thinner, less fertile soils which produces smaller berries with more intense flavors, reminiscent of Bordeaux wines that require years of aging to mature. The yields are also much lower, typically in the range of 1-2 ton
Ton
The ton is a unit of measure. It has a long history and has acquired a number of meanings and uses over the years. It is used principally as a unit of weight, and as a unit of volume. It can also be used as a measure of energy, for truck classification, or as a colloquial term.It is derived from...

s per acre
Acre
The acre is a unit of area in a number of different systems, including the imperial and U.S. customary systems. The most commonly used acres today are the international acre and, in the United States, the survey acre. The most common use of the acre is to measure tracts of land.The acre is related...

 in contrast to the 4-8 tons that can be produced in the more fertile valley floors. Wines produced from mountainside vineyards tend to be characterized by deep inky colors and strong berry
Berry
The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. Grapes are an example. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels with a thin covering and fleshy interiors....

 aromas. Throughout California there are many wine regions that have the potential to grow Cabernet Sauvignon to full ripeness and produce fruity, full-bodied wines with alcohol levels regularly above the Bordeaux average of 12-13% — often in excess of 14%.
The use of oak in California Cabernet has a long history, with many producers favoring the use of new oak barrels heavily composed of American oak. After the early 1980s' unsuccessful trend to create more "food friendly
Wine and food matching
Wine and food matching is the process of pairing food dishes with wine to enhance the dining experience. In many cultures, wine has had a long history of being a staple at the dinner table and in some ways both the winemaking and culinary traditions of a region will have evolved together over the...

" wines, with less ripeness and less oak influence, winemakers' focus shifted back to oak influence, but producers were more inclined to limit and lighten the use of oak barrels, with many turning to French oak or a combination of new and older oak barrels.

Other American wine regions


After Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon is the second most widely planted grape variety in Washington State. It is generally found in the warmer sites of the Columbia Valley
Columbia Valley AVA
The Columbia Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area which lies in the Columbia River Plateau, through much of central and southern Washington state, with a small section crossing into the neighboring state of Oregon. The AVA includes the drainage basin of the Columbia River and its tributaries...

. The vines are choice plantings for growers due to their hardy vine stalks and resistance to the cold winter frost that is commonplace in Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington is the portion of the U.S. state of Washington east of the Cascade Range. The region contains the city of Spokane , the Tri-Cities, the Columbia River and the Grand Coulee Dam, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the fertile farmlands of the Yakima Valley and the...

. Washington Cabernet Sauvignon is characterized by its fruitiness and easy drinking styles that are not overly tannic. Recent Washington American Viticultural Area
American Viticultural Area
An American Viticultural Area is a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau , United States Department of the Treasury....

s (AVAs) that have seen some success with their Cabernet Sauvignons include Red Mountain
Red Mountain AVA
The Red Mountain AVA is an American Viticultural Area that includes the land surrounding Red Mountain in Benton County, Washington. It is part of the Yakima Valley AVA, which in turn is part of the larger Columbia Valley AVA. Located between Benton City and Richland, the Red Mountain AVA is the...

, Walla Walla Valley
Walla Walla Valley AVA
The Walla Walla Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within Washington State and extending partly into the northeastern corner of Oregon. The wine region is entirely included within the larger Columbia Valley AVA. The area is named after the Walla Walla people who lived along the...

 and parts of the Yakima Valley AVA
Yakima Valley AVA
The Yakima Valley AVA was the first American Viticultural Area established within Washington State, gaining the recognition in 1983. Part of the larger Columbia Valley AVA, Yakima Valley AVA is home to more than of vineyards, giving the area the largest concentration of wineries and vineyards in...

 near the Tri-Cities
Tri-Cities, Washington
The Tri-Cities is a mid-sized metropolitan area in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Washington, consisting of three neighboring cities: Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland. The cities are located at the confluence of the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia rivers in the semi-arid region of...

 region.

In Oregon there are small quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in the warmer southern regions
Southern Oregon AVA
The Southern Oregon AVA, is an American Viticultural Area which lies in Southern Oregon, United States. The Southern Oregon AVA was established in 2004, and was created to include the land of two smaller AVAs, the Rogue Valley AVA and the Umpqua Valley AVA...

 of the Umpqua
Umpqua Valley AVA
Part of the larger Southern Oregon AVA the Umpqua Valley American Viticultural Area is located entirely within Douglas County, Oregon. The official boundaries of the AVA are detailed in the United States of America Title 27 Chapter I Part 9 section 89. Grapes grown here include Pinot Noir, Pinot...

 and Rogue Valleys
Rogue Valley AVA
The Rogue Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in southern Oregon. The federal government approved this appellation in 1991. It is entirely contained within the larger Southern Oregon AVA and includes the drainage basin of the Rogue River and several tributaries, including the...

. It has also started to develop a presence in the Arizona, New York, Texas and Virginia wine
Virginia wine
Virginia wine refers to wine made from grapes grown in the U.S. state of Virginia. Wine has been produced in the area since the early days of European colonization in the 17th century. Virginia has hot humid summers that can be challenging to viticulture. Since 2000, Chardonnay has been the most...

 industries-particularly in the Texas Hill Country
Texas Hill Country AVA
The Texas Hill Country AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in the Texas Hill Country north of San Antonio and west of Austin, Texas. The appellation is the second largest American Viticultural Area, and covers an area of over...

 and North Fork of Long Island AVA
North Fork of Long Island AVA
The North Fork of Long Island AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in eastern Suffolk County, New York. Authored by winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich in 1985, it includes the entire North Fork of Long Island and the townships of Riverhead, Shelter Island, and Southold. The North Fork of Long...

s. Throughout the United States, Cabernet Sauvignon is made in both varietal and blended styles. Under the American system, varietal Cabernet Sauvignon can include up to 25% other grapes.

South America


Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in nearly every South American country including Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Argentina, Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 and Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

. In Chile, the wines were historically limited by the excessively high yields that were commonplace throughout the country. As producers begun to concentrate on limiting yields, regional differences began to emerge that distinguished Chilean Cabernets. For vineyard plantings along flat river valleys, the climate of the region is the most important consideration; as plantings move to higher elevations and along hillsides, soil type
Soil type
In terms of soil texture, soil type usually refers to the different sizes of mineral particles in a particular sample. Soil is made up in part of finely ground rock particles, grouped according to size as sand, silt and clay...

 is a greater concern. The wines of the Aconcagua
Aconcagua River
For other uses, see Aconcagua .The Aconcagua River is a river in Chile that rises from the joint of two minor tributary rivers at above sea level in the Andes, Juncal river from the east and Blanco river from the south east...

 region are noted for their ripe fruit but closed, tight structure that needs some time in the bottle to develop. In the Maipo Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon wines are characterized by their pervasive black currant fruit and an earthy, dusty note. In warmer regions, such as the Colchagua Province
Colchagua Province
Colchagua Province is one of three provinces of the central Chilean region of O'Higgins . Its capital is San Fernando. It is bordered on the north by Cachapoal Province, on the east by the Argentine Republic, on the south by Curicó Province, and on the west by Cardenal Caro Province.-Geography and...

 and around Curicó
Curicó
Curicó , meaning "Black Waters" in Mapudungun , is the capital city of the Curicó Province, part of the Maule Region in Chile's central valley....

, the grapes ripen more fully; they produce wines with rich fruit flavors that can be perceived as sweet due to the ripeness of the fruit. The acidity levels of these wines will be lower and the tannins will also be softer, making the wines more approachable at a younger age.

In Argentina, Cabernet Sauvignon lags behind Malbec
Malbec
Malbec is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins, and are long known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. The French plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in the South West...

 as the country's main red grape but its numbers are growing. The varietal versions often have lighter fruit flavors and are meant to be consumed young. Premium examples are often blended with Malbec and produce full, tannic wines with leather
Leather
Leather is a durable and flexible material created via the tanning of putrescible animal rawhide and skin, primarily cattlehide. It can be produced through different manufacturing processes, ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry.-Forms:...

 and tobacco notes. In recent years, there have been increased plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Uco Valley
Uco Valley
Valley de Uco is a viticultural region southwest of Mendoza City in Argentina. It is widely considered one of the top wine regions in Mendoza, and all of Argentina. The average temperature is 14ºC and altitudes range from 900 meters to 1,200 meters above sea level...

 of the Mendoza Province; the wines coming from vineyards planted at higher altitudes garner some international attention.

Australia



In the 1970s, the Coonawarra region first brought international attention to Australian Cabernet Sauvignons with intense fruit flavors and subtle minty notes. The Margaret River
Margaret River, Western Australia
Margaret River is a town in the South West of Western Australia, located in the valley of the eponymous Margaret River, south of Perth, the state capital. Its Local Government Area is the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River....

 region soon followed with wines that were tightly structured with pronounced black fruit notes. In the 1980s, Australia followed California's contemporary trend in producing lighter, more "food friendly" wines with alcohol levels around 11-12% percent; by the early 1990s, the styles changed again to focus on balance and riper fruit flavors. Today Cabernet Sauvignon is the second most widely planted red wine grape in Australia, following Shiraz with which it is often blended. It can be found in several wine regions with many large producers using grapes from several states. Notable regional differences characterize Australian Cabernet Sauvignon: in addition to the wine styles of Coonawarra and Margaret River, the Barossa Valley
Barossa Valley (wine)
The Barossa Valley is one of Australia's oldest wine regions. Located in South Australia, the Barossa Valley is about 56km northeast of the city of Adelaide...

 produces big, full bodied wines while the nearby, cooler Clare Valley
Clare Valley
The Clare Valley is one of Australia's oldest wine regions, best known for Riesling wines. It lies in the Mid North of South Australia, approximately 120 km north of Adelaide. The valley runs north-south, with Main North Road as the main thoroughfare....

 produces wines with more concentrated fruit, and wines of the Victorian wine
Victorian wine
Victorian wine is wine made in the Australian state of Victoria. With over 600 wineries, Victoria has more wine producers than any other Australian wine-producing state but ranks third in overall wine production due to the lack of a mass bulk wine-producing area like South Australia's Riverland and...

 region of the Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley
The Yarra Valley is the name given to the region surrounding the Yarra River in Victoria, Australia. The river originates approximately 90 kilometres east of the City of Melbourne and flows towards it and out into Port Phillip Bay...

 are noted for their balance in acidity, tannins and fruit flavors.

Other New World producers


Since the end of apartheid, the South African wine
South African wine
South African wine has a history dating back to 1659, and at one time Constantia was considered one of the greatest wines in the world. Access to international markets has unleashed a burst of new energy and new investment. Production is concentrated around Cape Town, with major vineyard and...

 industry has been working to reestablish itself in the world's wine markets with many regions actively promoting their Cabernet Sauvignon. Today it is the most widely planted red wine grape in South Africa. It is produced in both varietal and blended styles; some producers favor a Bordeaux blend, while others follow the Australian example of blending with Syrah. Early examples of South African Cabernet Sauvignon were produced by grapes planted in vineyard locations that were cooler than ideal, creating very herbaceous wines with the distinctive "green bell pepper" notes. In the mid 1990s, there was more emphasis on harvesting at fuller ripeness, and new clones were introduced that produced riper, sweeter fruit. As the vines age, and better vineyards locations are identified, regional styles are starting to emerge among South African Cabernet Sauvignons: the Stellenbosch region is noted for heavy, full bodied wines while Constantia
Constantia, Cape Town
Constantia is an affluent suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, situated about 15 kilometres south of the centre of Cape Town. The Constantia Valley lies to the east of and at the foot of the Constantiaberg mountain. Constantia Nek is a low pass linking to Hout Bay in the west.-History:Constantia is...

's wines are characterized by their herbal and minty flavors.

In New Zealand, climate has been a challenge in finding wine regions suitable for producing Cabernet Sauvignon. Most of the industry focus has centered on the North Island
North Island
The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island is in area, making it the world's 14th-largest island...

. The Hawke's Bay
Hawke's Bay
Hawke's Bay is a region of New Zealand. Hawke's Bay is recognised on the world stage for its award-winning wines. The regional council sits in both the cities of Napier and Hastings.-Geography:...

 region was the first to make a significant effort in producing Cabernet Sauvignon but the cool climate of the region, coupled with the high yields and fertile alluvial soils, produced wines that were still marked with aggressive green and vegetal flavors. Added focus on canopy management, which gives the grapes more sunlight to ripen by removing excess foliage, and low vigor rootstock and pruning combine to achieve lower yields and have started to produce better results. The grape is sometimes blended with Merlot to help compensate for climate and terroir. Other regions in New Zealand have sprung up with a renewed focus on producing distinctive New Zealand Cabernet Sauvignon: The Gimblett Road and Havelock North regions of Hawke's Bay, with their warm gravel soils, have started to achieve notice as well as Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is an island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand, located about from Auckland.The island is the second-largest in the Hauraki Gulf after Great Barrier Island. It is the most populated, with nearly 8,000 permanent residents plus another estimated 3,400 who have second or holiday homes...

 near Auckland
Auckland
The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...

. Overall the grape lags far behind Pinot noir
Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is a black wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes...

 in New Zealand's red wine grape plantings.

Popularity and criticism


In the past century, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed a swell of popularity as one of the noble grapes in the world of wine. Built partially on its historical success in Bordeaux as well as New World wine regions like California and Australia, planting the grape is considered a solid choice in any wine region that is warm enough to cultivate it. Among consumers Cabernet has become a familiar wine which has aided in its accessibility and appeal even from obscure wine regions and producers. In the 1980s, the Bulgarian wine industry was largely driven and introduced to the international wine market by the success of its Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The widespread popularity of Bordeaux has contributed to criticism of the grape variety for its role as a "colonizer" grape, being planted in new and emerging wine regions at the expense of focus on the unique local grape varieties. Some regions, such as Portugal with its abundance of native grape varieties, have largely ignored Cabernet Sauvignon as it seeks to rejuvenate its wine industry beyond Port production.

Wine styles



The style of Cabernet Sauvignon is strongly influenced by the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. When more on the unripe side, the grapes are high in pyrazine
Pyrazine
Pyrazine is a heterocyclic aromatic organic compound with the chemical formula C4H4N2.Pyrazine is a symmetrical molecule with point group D2h. Derivatives like phenazine are well known for their antitumor, antibiotic and diuretic activity. Pyrazine is less basic in nature than pyridine, pyridazine...

s and will exhibit pronounced green bell peppers and vegetal flavors. When harvested overripe the wines can taste jammy and may have aromas of stewed black currants
Blackcurrant
Blackcurrant, Ribes nigrum, is a species of Ribes berry native to central and northern Europe and northern Asia, and is a perennial....

. Some winemakers choose to harvest their grapes at different ripeness levels in order to incorporate these different elements and potentially add some layer of complexity to the wine. When Cabernet Sauvignon is young, the wines typically exhibit strong fruit flavors of black cherries and plum
Plum
A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera in the shoots having a terminal bud and solitary side buds , the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one...

. The aroma of black currants is one of the most distinctive and characteristic element of Cabernet Sauvignon that is present in virtually every style of the wine across the globe. Styles from various regions and producers may also have aromas of eucalyptus, mint and tobacco. As the wines age they can sometimes develop aromas associated with cedar, cigar boxes and pencil shavings. In general New World examples have more pronounced fruity notes while Old World wines can be more austere with heightened earthy notes.

Ability to age



In the 19th and 20th centuries, a large part of Cabernet Sauvignon's reputation was built on its ability to age and develop in the bottle. In addition to softening some of their austere tannins, as Cabernet wines age new flavors and aromas can emerge and add to the wines' complexity. Historically this was a trait characterized by Bordeaux with some premium examples in favorable vintages having the potential to last for over a century, but producers across the globe have developed styles that could age and develop for several decades. Even with the ability to age, some Cabernet Sauvignon wines can still be approachable a few years after vintage. In Bordeaux, the tannins of the wines tend to soften after ten years and can typically last for at least another decade-sometimes longer depending on the producer and vintage. Some Spanish and Italian Cabernet Sauvignons will need similar time as Bordeaux to develop but most examples are typically made to be drunk earlier.

While New World Cabernets are characterized as being drinkable earlier than Bordeaux, premium producers such as the Californian cult wines will produce wines that need time to age and could potentially develop for two to three decades. Overall, the majority of Californian Cabernets are meant to be approachable after only a couple of years in the bottle but can still have the potential to improve further over time. Similarly many premium Australian Cabernet will also need at least ten years to develop though many are approachable after two to five years. New Zealand wines are typically meant to be consumed young and will often maintain their green herbal flavors even with extended bottle aging. South American Cabernets have very pronounced fruit flavors when they are young and the best made examples will maintain some of those flavors as they age. South African wines tend to favor more Old World styles and typically require six to eight years' aging before they start to develop further flavors.

Pairing with food



Cabernet Sauvignon is a very bold and assertive wine that has potential to overwhelm light and delicate dishes. The wine's high tannin content as well as the oak influences and high alcohol levels associated with many regional styles play important roles in influencing how well the wine matches with different foods. When Cabernet Sauvignon is young, all those elements are at their peak, but as the wine ages it mellows; possibilities for different food pairings open up. In most circumstances, matching the weight (alcohol level and body) of the wine to the heaviness of the food is an important consideration. Cabernet Sauvignons with high alcohol levels do not pair well with spicy foods due to hotness levels of the capsaicin
Capsaicin
Capsaicin 2CHCH=CH4CONHCH2C6H3-4--3- ) is the active component of chili peppers, which are plants belonging to the genus Capsicum. It is an irritant for mammals, including humans, and produces a sensation of burning in any tissue with which it comes into contact...

s present in spices like chili pepper
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

s being enhanced by the alcohol with the heat accentuating the bitterness of the tannins. Milder spices, such as black pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

, pair better due to their ability to minimize the perception of tannins—such as in the classic pairings of Cabernet Sauvignon with steak au poivre
Steak au poivre
Steak au poivre or pepper steak is a French dish that consists of a steak, traditionally a filet mignon, coated with loosely cracked peppercorns and then cooked. The peppercorns form a crust on the steak when cooked and provide a pungent but complementary counterpoint to the rich flavor of the...

and pepper-crusted ahi tuna.

Fat
Fat
Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are triglycerides, triesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure...

s and proteins reduce the perception of tannins on the palate. When Cabernet Sauvignon is paired with steak
Steak
A steak is a cut of meat . Most are cut perpendicular to the muscle fibers, improving the perceived tenderness of the meat. In North America, steaks are typically served grilled, pan-fried, or broiled. The more tender cuts from the loin and rib are cooked quickly, using dry heat, and served whole...

 or dishes with a heavy butter
Butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

 cream sauce, the tannins are neutralized, allowing the fruits of the wine to be more noticeable. In contrast, starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

es such as pasta
Pasta
Pasta is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, now of worldwide renown. It takes the form of unleavened dough, made in Italy, mostly of durum wheat , water and sometimes eggs. Pasta comes in a variety of different shapes that serve for both decoration and to act as a carrier for the...

s and rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 will have little effect on tannins. The bitterness of the tannins can also be counterbalanced by the use of bitter foods, such as radicchio
Radicchio
Radicchio is a leaf chicory , sometimes known as Italian chicory and is a perennial. It is grown as a leaf vegetable which usually has white-veined red leaves. It has a bitter and spicy taste, which mellows when it is grilled or roasted.- History :Humans have been using radicchio since ancient times...

 and endive
Endive
Endive , Cichorium endivia, is a leaf vegetable belonging to the daisy family. Endive can be cooked or used raw in salads.-Background:Endive is also a common name for some types of chicory...

, or with cooking methods that involve charring
Charring
Charring is a chemical process of incomplete combustion of certain solids when subjected to high heat. The resulting residue matter is called Char. By the action of heat, charring removes hydrogen and oxygen from the solid, so that the remaining char is composed primarily of carbon...

 like grilling
Grilling
Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly and meat that has already been cut into slices...

. As the wine ages and the tannins lessen, more subtle and less bitter dishes will pair better with Cabernet Sauvignon. The oak influences of the wine can be matched with cooking methods that have similar influences on the food-such as grilling, smoking and plank roasting. Dishes that include oak-influenced flavors and aromas normally found in Cabernet Sauvignon—such as dill weed, brown sugar
Brown sugar
Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content, or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white...

, nutmeg
Nutmeg
The nutmeg tree is any of several species of trees in genus Myristica. The most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas of Indonesia...

 and vanilla—can also pair well.

The different styles of Cabernet Sauvignon from different regions can also influence how well the wine matches up with certain foods. Old World wines, such as Bordeaux, have earthier influences and will pair better with mushroom
Mushroom
A mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word "mushroom" is most often applied to those fungi that...

s. Wines from cooler climates that have noticeable vegetal notes can be balanced with vegetable
Vegetable
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant....

s and greens
Leaf vegetable
Leaf vegetables, also called potherbs, green vegetables, greens, leafy greens or salad greens, are plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, sometimes accompanied by tender petioles and shoots...

. New World wines, with bolder fruit flavors that may even be perceived as sweet, will pair well with bolder dishes that have lots of different flavor influences. While Cabernet Sauvignon has the potential to pair well with bitter dark chocolate, it will not pair well with sweeter styles such as milk chocolate. The wine can typically pair well with a variety of cheese
Cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

s, such as Cheddar, mozzarella
Mozzarella
Mozzarella is an Italian Traditional Speciality Guaranteed food product. The term is used for several kinds of Italian cheeses that are made using spinning and then cutting :...

 and Brie
Brie (cheese)
Brie is a soft cow's cheese named after Brie, the French region from which it originated . It is pale in color with a slight grayish tinge under a rind of white mold; very soft and savory with a hint of ammonia...

, but full flavored or blue cheese
Blue cheese
Blue cheese is a general classification of cow's milk, sheep's milk, or goat's milk cheeses that have had cultures of the mold Penicillium added so that the final product is spotted or veined throughout with blue, blue-gray or blue-green mold, and carries a distinct smell, either from that or...

s will typically compete too much with the flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon to be a complementary pairing.

Health Benefits



In late 2006, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology published the result of studies conducted at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine is an American medical school in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, currently ranked among the top 20 medical schools in the United States. It was chartered by Mount Sinai Hospital in 1963....

 that showed the beneficial relationship of resveratrol
Resveratrol
Resveratrol is a stilbenoid, a type of natural phenol, and a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi....

, a compound found in all red wine, in reducing the risk factors associated with Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death...

. The study showed that resveratrol found in Cabernet Sauvignon can reduce levels of amyloid beta
Amyloid beta
Amyloid beta is a peptide of 36–43 amino acids that is processed from the Amyloid precursor protein. While it is most commonly known in association with Alzheimer's disease, it does not exist specifically to cause disease...

 peptides, which attack brain cells and are part of the etiology of Alzheimer's. Resveratrol has also been shown to promote the clearance of amyloid-beta peptides. It has also been shown that non-alcoholic extracts of Cabernet Sauvignon protect hypertensive rats during ischaemia and reperfusion.

External links