Cabernet Sauvignon is the premier red wine grape in the world. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant grape in the Bordeaux region of France and has spread to every other major growing region. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape produces distinctive wines that are tannic and can have long aging potential. Average aging potential for Cabernet is 5 to 10 years in order to achieve peak flavor. It is usually blended with other varieties to make wines with increased complexity.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a small dark thick-skinned grape that gives average yields. It needs slightly warmer growing conditions than many other varieties in order to achieve maturity. DNA testing shows that it is descended from Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc
Cabernet Sauvignon Taste characteristics: dark cherry, cedar, tobacco, 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.
When you think of the finest red wines in the world, you often are thinking of wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is known in some parts of the world by other names including: Petit Cabernet, Sauvignon Rouge, and Vidure.
Cabernet Franc is a red wine grape that is often used in Bordeaux blends to add acidity and aroma. Cabernet Franc is usually used as a minor (10%-15%) component in a blend with other varieties. Genetic research indicates that it is the parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. It makes wines that are lighter and fruitier than Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Merlot grape is a close cousin to Cabernet Sauvignon in many respects. It is lower in tannins and makes wines that mature faster and are softer in texture. Merlot is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon in order to soften the blend.
Merlot is able to mature in regions that are cooler than those required for Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot is more susceptible to fungus and mold diseases and therefore a bit harder to grow. Merlot varies widely in quality around the world depending on location and producer. Merlot usually has ripe berry components in the bouquet. Its wines tend to be soft, fruity and smooth in texture. Select Merlots can have long aging potential but most are ready to consume in 4 to 8 years. Merlot is usually bottled in a Bordeaux (high shouldered) bottle.
This grape is known as Syrah in France and Shiraz in Australia. In the United States, it can appear under either name depending on the style of the winery. The grape is thought to be named for a city in Persia (Shiraz) where it probably originated. Syrah usually becomes drinkable at an early age and most are produced for consumption within a year after release (2nd year from harvest).
This grape has shown it can create some fabulous wines in the right conditions. It is important to find the right site for planting and to restrict the growth of the vine and its crop to achieve the best results.
Syrah is a perfumed, seductively brooding wine marked by dense, rich, chewy black berry fruit with notes of tar, wood smoke, bacon, leather, chocolate, and sometimes violets. The tannins are steely yet elegant, and co-exist well with oak contact. Also grown in Argentina, California, Mexico, Washington State, Chile and South Africa.