King of the grapevine pack­ing a real punch

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - DRINK -

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.

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