Cabernet and Cabernet Blends

Cabernet and Cabernet Blends

Paige Wieselmann

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted variety in the world. This is probably because of a few reasons. The Cab-Sauv vine performs so well in the vineyard, it tends to avoid a lot of disease and issues in the vineyard as it buds and ripens very late. It also has quite a thick skin and can grow quite vigorously. Cabernet Sauvignon: the wine, also has an immensely prestigious history. Some of the most expensive wines in the world: Bordeaux Grand Cru reds from the ‘Medoc’ (Margeaux, St Estephe, St Julien etc…) consist predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon. This Bordeaux-esque wine style – using Cabernet Sauvignon is emulated from as far and wide as Lebanon, South Africa and Chile to USA, China… and Australia. Cabernet Sauvignon is a great wine variety to be blended with other robust red varieties. It’s not hard to find Cabernet and Merlot in the same bottle, often with a splash of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. This is often referred to as a ‘Bordeaux Blend’. Cabernet has also been paired with Sangiovese in Italy, Tempranillo in Spain and even with Shiraz in Australia - described as the ‘Bull & the Bear’ by Two Hands winery in the Barossa Valley. Various regions will lay claim as the home to this regal variety in Australia. Coonawarra and Margaret River probably have a valid argument for being Australia’s homes of Cab Sauv - as the quality of Cabernet Sauvignon in these areas seems to be right up there. McLaren Vale and the Barossa Valley produce some interesting juicier interpretations and there are also some Cabernet Gems to be found in the Clare Valley and even the Pyrenees region and Yarra Valley in Vic. High quality Cabernet tends to have a lot of ‘structure’: firm tannins, acid, fruit weight and length and concoction of black fruit flavours – often framed by oaky notes and some earth and mint. They are often great wines to lay down for 5-10 years or more and the notes become more savoury and leathery. Cabernet is also a great meaty food match with everything from Game to Lamb, Beef and strong cheeses. Some of these premium Cabernets will surely impress at the next BBQ. Below are a couple of cracking examples of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Blends:

 

 

 

Whistle Post Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Aged for 12 months in old French oak hogsheads. This Cabernet has good depth of colour with lively purple hues. The nose is attractive with notes of blackcurrant, red fruits and hints of regional mint. A small amount of oak maturation gives a subtle sweet spice to the fruit aromas. Palate: A soft full palate expressing sweet dark berry fruit and light oak ­flavours.
Vintage Conditions: The 2013 Coonawarra Vintage was excellent, characterised by a warm, dry summer followed by a cool autumn nights. A warm, fast ­flowering period saw an even fruit set with high berry numbers per bunch. This combined with a late break and ideal summer temperatures extending well into April allowed good conditions for ripening and harvest. Drink now + 5 years or more.

 

 Higher Plane Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

 

Purple red in colour, this wine is bursting with Cabernet fruit characters of spicy plum, blackcurrant/cassis, mulberry, choc-mint and cedar/vanilla oak. The richly fruited palate is plush and shows terrific concentration from low crops. Resolved, supportive tannins from the long, even ripening, ensure extended cellaring potential. The 2012 vintage was superb in Margaret River, with plenty of gentle sunshine for perfect ripening of Cabernet Sauvignon with regards to both flavour and tannin. There was no bird pressure due to the natural nectar source from the Marri blossom being abundant, so that allowed for long hang-time of the grapes on the vines to achieve complete ripeness. Drink now + 10 years 

 

Higher Plane 'The Messenger' 2012

 

This is a truly special wine. A true Bordeaux style blend with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance made up of carefully selected parcels of Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot. The nose is a brooding and exotic mix of bright blueberry, cassis, raspberry, cinnamon and violet notes that intermingle with hints of charry oak, chorizo and tapenade. The palate entry is plush offering great generosity of fruit flavour and concentration. This wine builds with intensity throughout the palate and reveals a lovely, fine grained and resolved tannin profile. A very complex wine, with a long and profound finish. The 2012 vintage was a near perfect one for the Bordeaux red varieties with a relatively mild autumn after a warm, but not hot summer allowing for a long hang time on the vine which develops fine balanced tannins in the grapes. Drink now + 15 years

 

Browse our full range of Cabernet Sauvignons here