Cabernet gets by with a Little Help from Its Friends
October 18, 2009
As John, Paul, George and Ringo put we ‘get by with a little help from our friends’ and in the case of Cabernet Sauvignon this statement is very true. Very few wines travel as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, planted in virtually every major wine-producing region on earth, it is a grape that is easily adapted to a wide variety of growing conditions.
France’s Bordeaux region is considered the birthplace of Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is also the birthplace of blending with its friends Merlot, Malbec and others, to improve Cabernet based wines. The ease and acceptance of blending Cabernet Sauvignon, generally other Bordeaux varieties just mentioned, but frequently with something more typical of the host vineyard, is one reason for Cabernet worldwide plantings.
While many classic blends, include Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvinon is adapt at making easy friends with Tempranillo, Sangiovese, and Shiraz. Some examples of these fantastic friendships are the following.
IL Poggione ‘San Leopoldo’ 2004, Itlay
This is a wonderful blend of old and new friends, 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc. The wine is an intense garnet colour with concentrated aromas of blackberry and jammy fruit and hints of coffee and vanilla. Soft Elegant tannins on the finish.
Rothschild ‘Escudo Rojo’ 2004, Chile
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and the long lost Carmenere. The nose is full of smoke, spice and blackfruit. On the palate the same smoky meaty flavours come through with plush tannnins and a medium finish.