>> Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Guyot pruned vines in the vineyard. Bunches of ripe grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon. Chateau Reignac, Bordeaux, France
Cabernet sauvignon grape variety photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.
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Cabernet sauvignon is perhaps the world’s best known red grape variety. It is of course a vitis vinifera grape. The classical heartland of cabernet sauvignon is Bordeaux, albeit not the region’s most planted variety. It is the major grape in the Medoc and Graves regions where it is generally blended with merlot and with cabernet franc (a close relative). One of the reasons for its popularity is that it adapts very well to different wine regions and is therefore planted in many countries all over the world, from Bulgaria to New Zealand, often producing good to excellent quality wines.
Cabernet sauvignon ripens relatively late and is typically harvested one to two weeks after merlot. However, it is also a hardy variety that can survive and give quality fruit in both hot and cold climates, provided ripening is not too late.
Cabernet sauvignon gives wines that are often quite deep in colour thanks to its thick skin (which also protects against some diseases), without going to the really dark shades of some other grapes. In their youth the wines typically have a bluish or purple tinge, changing to ruby red and later to brick or even terracotta.
Cabernet sauvignon-based wines can often be recognised by their cassis (black currant) aromas sometimes with the addition of (depending on the region and the vinification) cedar-wood, earthy notes and pronounced tannins. In warmer climates cabernet sauvignon wines become more full-bodied and softer, with ripe fruit and sometimes a certain jamminess.
In many cases cabernet sauvignon is blended with other grape varieties, often to make so-called ‘Bordeaux blends’ (an increasing trend), but it is also very common to find pure “cab” wines.
All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.
Grape variety cabernet sauvignon - Images by Per Karlsson
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