The red wine grape that conquered the world

Big Beltie Cabernet Sauvignon IGP Pays d’Oc, France 2021 (PS8.99, House of Townend) Although recently Burgundy is the biggest French premium wine area – and the one that winemakers across the globe have sought to copy – in the past, this distinction was owned by Bordeaux. In the last century, one could follow the growth of the Bordelais across the globe, following the plantations of the most significant in Bordeaux’s red wine grapes, cabernet sauvignon to vineyards located in California, Chile, China… basically everywhere wine is produced. Because of its popularity,  it was a matter of time before people began to develop an aversion to cabernet. This is not assisted by the fact that it’s been used in the production of some of the world’s most robustly syrupy red wine by winemakers who fail to remember that the best Bordeaux always tames the strength with a hint of Atlantic freshness. When done right, cabernet sauvignon is a more interesting and versatile wine to be ignored, but it can be a great wine like the excellent-value Big Beltie, bringing a little French Mediterranean energy to the classic characters of cassis.

Wynns The Siding Coonawarra Cabernet, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia 2021 (PS15, Tesco) Australian red wine makers are mostly known for Shiraz, and more recently, they’ve built an image of an excellent pinot Noir. However, they also produce some of the best cabernet sauvignons you can find anywhere. What I enjoy the most about Australian cabernet is how it varies from region to area: there’s a distinct sense of place to the best wines from Australia. In a lavish tasting of about 30 of the best southern hemisphere cabernets, which was organized by The World of Fine Wine The most memorable wines were such diversely stunning wines like the exquisitely smooth, beautiful Victoria Yarra Yering Carrodus Cabro (Yarra Valley, Australia 2018); (Yarra Valley Australia 2018.); the intensely strong, inexpensively complicated South Australian Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon ((South Australia 2010); and the luscious, pure cassis-farmed Wynns Coonawarra Estate John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon (Coonawarra, Australia 2020). Only Riddoch can leave the consumer with a change from PS10 if you can locate the bottle. However, Wynns The Siding offers a delicious sample of Coonawarra cassis at an affordable cost.

Metic Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley, Chile 2020 (from PS10.80, The Sourcing Table; Hop Burns and Black; Chilled and Tannin) Cabernet sauvignon came to Chile in the form of Bordeaux during the late 19th century. The country has grown to be one of the largest producers of wine in the world. There are huge retailers like Casillero of Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon performing a remarkable regular job of offering the traditional Chilean cabernet offering of soft, ripe, fruit-pastille-like blackcurrants for a cost of PS7.50 for a bottle in the majority of grocery stores. The root of Chilean cabernet can be found within one of my most favorite recent wines of the region: Metic cabernet sauvignon is created from a small plot of old cabernet grapes, 120 years old, in the warmth of Colchagua Valley, and then the vines doubt adds a feeling of balance and vigor to the summer compote of currants and berries flavors. Staying in the southern hemisphere but some 5,000 miles to the west, South Africa’s David Nieuwoudt makes some highly original cabernet from his remote, high-altitude vines in Cederberg: his Cederberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 (PS20.63, has a streak of wildness to its vivid blackberry fruit.

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