Your Cab Sauv Style Guide Served!
Bordeaux SupremeBordeux owns the Cabernet without doubt but doesn’t make a 100 per cent Cab. Always blended, this grape finds its best feet on Bordeaux’s Left Bank. The Bordeaux Blend is acclaimed for its structure, depth of flavour and capacity to age well for decades. And the haloed family estate, Echo De Lynch-Bages 2017 nails the style in Medoc’s commune of Pauillac. Produced from its youngest vines, this Medoc blend expresses alluring red fruit, supple tannins and earthy finish.
Super Tuscan Cab
Cabernet Sauvignon’s most significant international mark by far is the role the French noble grape played the exciting wine revolution that defined modern Italian wine. The Super Tuscan movement was sparked by local winemakers who broke with the law to Cabernet and Merlot grapes and making straight reds and blending them with Sangiovese. The results were so good that the law bent to accommodate the Super Tuscan style and we handpicked a sterling straight Cabernet from the house of Brancaia which gives you a sense of just how the grape has thrived in Italy. Brancaia, No 2 2018 coats the palate with deep notes of black cherries, plum and vanilla and is unsurprisingly rated 90 points by Robert Parker.
The Napa Cab
California’s Napa Valley has built most of its reputation on the back of the Cabernet Sauvignon so spectacularly so as to draw the envy of the French who bind themselves by law to only blend it. Pity, the Napa Valley oenologists would remark, having fashioned a superb barrel aged opulent style bursting with ripe fruit and perfect phenolic expression thanks to quality soils, copious sunshine and positive oceanic influence. Cabernet Sauvignon is simply indivisible from Napa Valley’s humungous success as a wine phenomenon. Our Honig Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is almost as good as it gets, abounding with plum, blackberry, toast and chocolate and a luscious long finish.
South Africa is widely credited for being among the first to shine a light on the potential of the straight Cab and brought this style into its own in the sunny climes of its Western Cape region of Stellenbosch. That planting decision was one of the best ever made as Stellenbosch is widely regarded as South Africa’s gold standard for Cab making and now even turns out blends that can compete with Bordeaux. The distinctly sunny style is bolder and fruit forward with hints of spice and cedar with a firm tannic finish. You can find these sumptuous attributes in the Stark-Conde, Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, a full bodied expression, beaming with blackberry, tea leaf and barrel aged splendour.
Chile’s Got Cab
Chilean success with Cabernet came as a surprise to many including the Chileans themselves who had hitched their wagon to Merlot of which they made a lot. But as Central Valley winemakers experimented with and realised Cabernet Sauvignon’s potential to thrive in the warm and austere climate making fabulous barrel aged reds, the dial shifted. Chile’s biggest region would go on to create a famous South American style that shined with big dark fruit, spice and mellow tannins, exported at value driven prices that made the Chilean Cabernet very popular.
The Apaltagua, Gran Verano, Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 is classic Central Valley stuff, pouring out tones of blackberry and bell pepper with soft tannin personality.