CAB IS KING! All Hail the king! Now, now, don’t be fooled that this varietal is all noble and refined, in fact, it is a little hedonistic at times! Cabernet Sauvignon can be a big brooding powerhouse of a wine and usually takes a few years of maturity to mellow and refine. Although, amongst my favorite wines to drink, I do admit I’ve also tasted many overpriced, underwhelming Cabernet Sauvignons. That’s why I suggest being careful when considering which Cabernet Sauvignon wines to buy. Like most other wines; site matters and producers matter.
This rowdy grape varietal that when well-made is usually begins mellowing out after a “time out”….time on oak, a bit of time in the bottle, time in the decanter, time in the glass….time! It needs to grow up a bit! For our region of the world, Washington State fruit yields intense, sometimes harshly tannic wines with full fruit and alcohol so with the right winemaking touch, there can be promises of magic as it will evolve into a super structured delicious imbibe. At the appropriate age, this fabulous wine usually draws out layers of flavors of dark fruit like blackberry, black cherry, black plum, and other notes like cedar, pencil lead, and cigar box begging to be toned down with oak. All of my favorite flavors!
FUN FACTS ABOUT THIS ROWDY GRAPE VARIETAL
* Originally from France and a shining star of Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the FIVE Noble Grapes of Bordeaux alongside Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Malbec.
* Cabernet Sauvignon is the predominant grape in many blended red wines from the Left Bank of the Bordeaux region whereas Merlot rules the Right Bank. The Left Bank simply means the wineries are located on the southwest side of the Gironde River.
* Americans spent more than $3.2 billion dollars on Cabernet Sauvignon wines last year. (2020) Funny though, 2020 vintage saw less tonnage for harvest. I guess Covid had even farmers on their heels.
* Cabernet Sauvignon: 53,000 tons in WA State 2020 but that is WAY down from the 74,000 in 2018. Mostly due to the fact Covid had everyone including farmers backpedaling.
* Cabernet is the product of two ancient varietals: Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc
Due to its late ripening (to avoid frost) and relative ease of growing Cabernet Sauvignon is planted in almost EVERY wine growing region in the WORLD! We are talking the entire planet Earth!
* Washington’s most compelling, uniquely styled wines and cross-the-board high quality fruit guarantees excellent wines from numerous producers, great vintages are where the best wineries shine and create something truly special
* Many producers make Cab Sauvs that drink well now, but in many regions it has the ability to age. Cabernet Sauvignon wine promises years of cellaring potential!
Want to understand Washington wines better? Stop by the Broken Barrel In Leavenworth for a WA VS THE WORLD tasting. Can’t Stop in? Email Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org– She will be happy to suggest and ship you the wines (within WA State).
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