King of the grapevine packing a real punch
The undisputed king of the grapevine, not only is cabernet sauvignon prized for its bold blackcurrant flavours, but it’s also the primary grape in some of the greatest wines in the world. A Bordeaux red (specifically from the left bank of the Gironde) is made up of a blend of red grape varieties, and you won’t find a famous label such as Margaux or Pauillac without a generous measure of cab sav, which brings power, finesse and ageing potential — but that’s not to say the wines can’t be enjoyed young.
Location and climate is always the trump card, and while Bordeaux is its homeland, this hardy, thick-skinned grape has spread its vines far and wide.
Along with the more expensive New World examples, such as the Margaret River in Australia, you can still enjoy a reasonably priced cabernet sauvignon from most of the various wine-making regions.
Here are some contemporary cabs that caught our eye and satisfied our senses... TTD Padthaway Cabernet Sauvignon, £6.50, Sainsbury’s Robert Oatley Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon, £9.99, The Co-operative Robert Oatley Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Australia (£9.99, The Co-operative, in-store only) Right at the heart of the Australian wine scene, you would normally have to fork out for a wine from this famous region, so run, don’t walk, to snap this label up.
Soft and herbal, deliciously pungent black fruit aromas are followed by a forest floor of blackberry fruits with smooth tannins, cassis, dark chocolate flavours and a lingering vegetal note. Busby Estate Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, South Eastern Australia (£4.98, Asda, in-store only) On the cabernet trail for an easy drinking value wine? Look no further than this — the ripe blackberry fruit, soft tannins, light minty note and savoury, slightly dry finish has enough fruity concentration to tug on the tastebuds. TTD Padthaway Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Australia (£6.50, Sainsbury’s) With a smidgen of shiraz to spice up the crushed blackberry and plummy fruit, a touch of mint rides on gentle waves of cabernet fruit with fine tannins and a juicy freshness on the finish keeps you coming back for more. Busby Estate Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, £4.98, Asda Warwick Cape Lady Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Western Cape, South Africa (£8.50, Morrisons) Along with a hint of mocha, this cab sav is brimming with blueberry and blackberry fruits and with a velvety smooth richness, strength and purity folded into soft tannins, it’s big on flavour without the hefty price tag. Bremerton Estate Coulthard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Langhorne Creek, South Australia (£14.95, Frontier Fine Wines) A wine of this calibre is the Aussie version of a good Bordeaux, and it’s drinking beautifully now.
Perfumed and concentrated with lifted mint on the rich blackcurrant and creme de cassis fruit and well-integrated oak on the long, silky finish, it simply begs to be drunk. Sip, savour and watch it disappear with your best cut of meat.