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Cabernet Sauvignon

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As the basis for the of the famous crus classés of the French Médoc, this variety has risen to become the most popular red wine grape in the world. Good Cabernet wines are dark red, smell of cedar and blackcurrants, have considerable body and a firm structure. Grown in cooler climates it tends to have more herbaceous notes, like eucaliptus and green peppers. Normally wines made of Cabernet Sauvignon age extremely well. It is also blended with other varieties to make wines with increased complexity.
DNA testing shows that it is descended from Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc; a chance crossing between these two varieties had happened during the 17th century in southwestern France. Nowadays this late ripening robust variety flourishes in warmer climates, delivering high-quality wines in California, Australia, South Africa, Chile, and also Spain and Italy.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes have a particularly thick skin and thus results in wines high in tannin which provides both structure and age-ability. The thick skin on Cabernet Sauvignon grapes also means that they are very resistant to attacks by most types of insects. In addition to that vines are hardy and resistent to rot and frost. All these characteristics contributed to grape’s popularity – relative ease of cultivation complemented with immense qualities of the grape became a winning combination for thousands of winemakers around the world.
It’s worth to mention that Cabernet Sauvignon shows good affinity for oak, either during fermentation or in barrel aging. In addition to having a softening effect on naturally high tannins, the unique wood flavors of vanilla and spice complement the natural grape flavors of blackcurrant and tobacco.
Cabernet Sauvignon has a long history in Italian wines, being first introduced to the Piedmont region in 1820. In Tuscany Cabernet Sauvignon has started to play its controversial role in the arrivals of Supertuscans in the middle 1970s. Many Tuscan wine producers thought they could produce a better quality wine if they were not inhibited by DOC regulations of those days, particularly if they had the freedom to use Cabernet Sauvignon in the blends. After success and worldwide recognition for some Tignanello-like wines have been achieved, gradually the DOC system caught on and began allowing more regions to use the grape in their DOC designated wines. In entire region as well as on Tuscan coast the Cabernet wines typically reach an alcohol level around 14%, but can still maintain notable levels of acidity. When blended with Sangiovese in significant quantities, Cabernet Sauvignon can dominate the blend, but most of producers aim to find a particular balance that suits their desired style.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Tenuta Argentiera vineyards, Livorno province

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Caiarossa vineyards, Pisa province

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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