Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine of balance when made right. Medium tannin and acidity allow the full notes of black cherry, blackberry, black currant, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, floral notes, and vanilla to burst from the glass. Often this wine is joined by some less famous friends, including Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, and others, while aging and finding its happy place in oak barrels. Cabernet, like any globally planted varietal has varying expressions from the old world to the new world.
In the old world, such as France, the fruit is restrained and acid is more pronounced along with floral, mineral, and earthy notes. In the new world, such as Napa or Chile, the fruit is ripe and forward often taking on a jammy quality (think Smucker’s) along with more “heat” (heat is the slight burning in the lungs from wines with an ABV % over 14.5) from the increased alcohol content. Regardless, this is a variety that can be fun to explore and try varying global blends. These include the Super Tuscans of Italy, Bordeaux in France, as well as Bordeaux style blends from Chile, California, Washington, and Australia.