Since its apparent origin in 17th century Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon – sometimes referred to as ‘the King of Red Wines’ – has conquered the world, and become one of Australia’s most celebrated red wine varieties.
Here are five things you might not know about this most noble grape!
1. IT HAS AN INTERESTING FAMILY
Cabernet is the result of a chance crossing of Sauvignon Blanc (no, really!) and Cabernet Franc, as discovered through DNA typing in 1996.
Through Cabernet Franc, it’s also a half-sibling to Merlot – no wonder Cabernet Merlot blends are so divine!
2. IT’S REALLY POPULAR
How popular? Really, really popular. It’s possibly the most-planted red wine grape in the world, outstripping Merlot in the 1990s, and its grown across Europe, the Americas, and Australia.
In fact, between 1990 and 2010, Cabernet plantings worldwide doubled.
3. IT LOVES BEING COOL
While Cabernet does well in moderate to warm environments, it absolutely loves cooler climates and particularly thrives in regions close to water.
Cabernet grown in cool climates often reveal varietal notes of mint and eucalyptus, and even green bell pepper.
4. IT REALLY BLENDS IN
While Australia has made single-varietal Cabernet Sauvignon its own, many of the world’s most-prized red blends include Cabernet – particularly the famed Bordeaux blends, and Bordeaux-styled reds like Claret, which can include any combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
5. IT AGES GRACEFULLY
Thanks to being one of the most tannic of the major red varieties, the phenolic compounds in Cabernet result in it having significant longevity.
Its ability to age and develop over extended periods in the bottle is legendary, with some Cabernets softening over decades.
Whether you’re opening a fresh bottle or one that’s been kept for a special occasion, we hope we’ve helped enhance your appreciation of Cabernet next time you’re looking for something delicious to go with your Sunday lamb roast.
Long live the King!