The Dirt on (and Under) Cabernet Sauvignon

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

 


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In the winery, Cabernet plays well with other varieties. Merlot and Cabernet Franc are frequent companions, sometimes with Petit Verdot joining along. On the U.S. Central Coast, in Australia and in Provence, Syrah is often at its side. In Argentina, there’s Malbec; in Chile, there’s Carmenère; in Tuscany, there’s Sangiovese; and in Spain, there’s Tempranillo. Why, there’s a grape in every port! Cabernet is malleable with regard to oak aging, too, and works equally well with French and American oak. It’s even easy-going with vinification techniques, having taken on carbonic maceration (for quaffer-style wines) with aplomb in Bordeaux and beyond.

Grape 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 7,493

    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 1,040

    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 87,055

    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 87,055

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

    Dec 13, 2012 at 8:43 AM


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