Friday, February 5, 2010

Cabernet Sauvignon Part 1

Cabernet Sauvignon is a type of black grapes with thick skins and it produces wine with lots of tannin, high acidity, and intense aromatic black fruits. However, it requires tremendous amount of sun and heat to full ripe, and when it doesn't get what it needs, the wine smells and tastes like pencil shaving, leather, or wet wood. Yuck.

Majority of the students in my wine class picked Cabernet Sauvignon as their favourite wine, and 90% of the wine I drink and collect is also Cabernet Sauvignon. I find that cab is one of the easiest wine to learn about and identify in a blind tasting. It has higher acid and firmer tannin than Merlot, but less "syrupy" than Syrah or Grenache.

The wine has three flavour characteristics:
1. black fruits: black currant, black cherry
2. vegetal: bell pepper, mint, cedar, menthol
3. oaked: smoke, vanilla, coffee, coconut

Classically, Cabernet Sauvignon was blended with with other grapes such as cabernet franc, petit verdot, and merlot. My personal favourite is Bordeaux which is a cabernet and merlot blend. However, the new world such as Chile, California, and Australia all have great success producing 100% cabernet sauvignon. Even Italy has started producing pure cabernet called Super Tuscany marketed at no less than $100 per bottle.

Canadian Cabernet Sauvignon? Not so good and over priced.

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