The Dirt on (and Under) Cabernet Sauvignon

The who, what, why, where, when and how of this mighty black grape

 


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Madonna, Fabio and Oprah

The global devotion to this variety is so fervent that we often refer to Cabernet Sauvignon as simply Cabernet. There’s never confusion, except possibly when standing in a Loire vineyard. There, decorum calls for using the full names of father and son. Also, unlike many other grapes where the name changes with the country or region (consider the aliases of Grenache: Garnacha, Cannonau, Alicante and many more), Cabernet Sauvignon does not. Other monikers exist, but their usage is rare and frankly a bit démodé: Petit-Cabernet, Vidure, Bouchet, Sauvignon Rouge.

Cabernet image via Shutterstock

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Comments

  • Snooth User: gustavoa
    130884 1

    I can see this to have some true, I am a Cabernet lover and on the white wines side I had always prefer Sauvignon Blanc.
    Cheers

    Dec 04, 2012 at 1:35 PM


  • Snooth User: EMark
    Hand of Snooth
    847804 6,088

    Very interesting article. Thank you.

    Dec 04, 2012 at 6:20 PM


  • What an enjoyable,concise and well written article. Thanks.

    Dec 04, 2012 at 6:49 PM


  • Wow! Sauvignon Blanc. I would never have guessed.

    Dec 04, 2012 at 11:13 PM


  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 1,004

    Love the article.
    My question is: What did cabernet franc lack as far as not being able to be competitive with cabernet sauvignon?

    Dec 12, 2012 at 8:55 PM


  • Snooth User: Christy Canterbury MW
    Hand of Snooth
    1060100 68,784

    Zinfandel1, To be PC, it's not that CF "lacks" something but rather that it's just different. In fact, in the vineyard, CF offers some important pluses over CS. CF ripens more easily & is more resistant to inclement weather at harvest. However, CF has less color and less structure (despite its bright acidity) than CS. Also, CS produces more flavor power than CF in milder climates like Bordeaux. So, essentially, CS is better equipped for longer aging.

    Dec 13, 2012 at 8:42 AM


  • Snooth User: Christy Canterbury MW
    Hand of Snooth
    1060100 68,784

    Thanks to everyone for the kind comments! Glad you enjoyed this piece.

    Dec 13, 2012 at 8:43 AM


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