Thick-skinned grapes produce fruity, highly ageable red wines
This red wine grape is the most frequently planted variety for premium wines. It prefers more southerly regions and hot, sandy and stony soils. With thick skins and many large seeds, the small dark berries are late to ripen. Warm climates are favourable for the development of tannins, acidity and fruit flavours. As the grapes do not ripen as easily, wines produced in cool regions are not so full-bodied. This variety is therefore not grown as much in cooler climates.
Nevertheless, wherever it grows the Cabernet Sauvignon grape always retains its unmistakable aromas. It develops an extremely concentrated fruitiness redolent of blackcurrant juice. The thick skins of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety not only give the wine its deep red colour, they also greatly influence its flavour, imparting a high tannin content but without overshadowing the fruitiness. They give young wines a somewhat rough and heavy edge. This astringency lessens with age as, thanks to their high tannin content, Cabernet Sauvignon wines have an excellent potential for ageing to perfection. As it matures, a Cabernet Sauvignon develops a wide spectrum of additional aromas. Hints of cedarwood, tobacco and chocolate enhance its fruity flavour structure.
A Cabernet Sauvignon is therefore ideally suited to barrique-ageing. It gains complexity in the barrel and the secondary aromas continue to develop. Exposure to oak aromas makes it more supple. Time spent in barrels also makes the wines more long-lived, in some cases they can continue maturing into excellent fine wines over many decades. Cabernet Sauvignon is great for drinking with lamb and beef dishes, as well as for making the accompanying red wine jus.