Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet sauvignon is an aristocratic grape that needs time to mellow. Blending with other grapes (such as merlot, cabernet franc and malbec) adds both depth and complexity. It’s a formula that harks back to cabernet sauvignon’s time-honoured Bordeaux heritage.

Back to cabernet sauvignon and its stern personality – it’s all about tannin, and cabernet sauvignon’s small berries and tough skins deliver tannin in spades. Cabernet sauvignon has abundant flavour to balance these tannins – blackcurrant dominates with savoury flavours of bay leaf and cedarwood. The trick to producing really good cabernet sauvignon is picking it ripe but not overripe. Cooler regions with reliable Indian summers are best – Central Victoria, Coonawarra and Margaret River, for example. Warmer regions like the Barossa and Clare Valleys produce their best cabernet sauvignon in cooler vintages. Oak plays an important role and explains why cabernet sauvignon is so age-worthy.

Australia’s original cabernet sauvignon cuttings originally came from Bordeaux, as did malbec. Merlot, cabernet franc and the fifth Bordeaux variety, petit verdot, missed the boat in 1832, arriving with much fanfare in the 1980s. While blending is the key in Bordeaux, Australians like straight varieties, with Coonawarra favouring that approach, and Margaret River playing it both ways with compelling results.

Forester Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 750mL
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Running With Bulls Tempranillo 750mL
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The Crafty Punter Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 750mL
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I am George The Fixer Cabernet Sauvignon 750mL
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