Cabernet Sauvignon is widely accepted as one of the premier red wine varietals in the world. The small, dark, thick-skinned grapes are planted wherever red wine grapes grow except in the Northern fringes such as Germany. It is part of the great red Médoc wines of France, and among the finest reds in Australia, California and Chile. In some parts of the world Cabernet Sauvignon is known as Petit Cabernet, Sauvignon Rouge, and Vidure.
Characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon are dark cherry, cedar, tobacco, and black currant. Cool climate growth can give green pepper or olive. Up to 18 months of aging in small oak barrels before bottling, Cabernet is common in order to achieve more complexity.
For those Cabernet Sauvignon Lovers, here are my recommendations:
1) 2004 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – A refined and complex wine that combines subtlety and depth. It has a dark ruby color with a deep red edge and displays aromas of fresh blackberries, violets, cola, nutmeg and licorice. In the mouth, the wine has a juicy attack and offers great expression of fruit and spice on the mid-palate. Its fruit-driven finish is long and elegant. (On sale at Wines.com for $52.95 per bottle or $599.88 per case.)
2) 2003 Schug Heritage Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – An incredible acheivement by the former winemaker of Joseph Phelps Insignia! This cult classic is sure to move fast into the hands of collectors. Aromas of herb, dried cherry, plum and cedar are tight and taut on the palate. Well-structured. The intense, distinctive dark red fruit readily glows. While all of Schug’s reds are glorious efforts, their Reserve Cabernet truly rates among Sonoma’s finest. (On sale at Wines.com for $25 per bottle or $315 per case.)
3) 2007 Crios de Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon spent 9 months in one-year-old French and American oak and was bottled without fining or filtration. Purple-colored, it reveals an expressive perfume of cedar, spice box, black currant and black raspberry. This is followed by a medium to full-bodied wine with lots of savory black fruit, enough structure to evolve for 1-2 years, excellent balance, and a long, fruit-filled finish. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. The Crios de Susana Balbo label has rapidly become synonymous with great value. (On sale at Wines.com for $13.89 per bottle and $149.89 per case.)