HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT CABERNET

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT CABERNET

By Mark Angelillo, Snooth.com

Cabernet Sauvignon is a shape-shifter. This is true for nearly every grape, but most especially Cab. Perhaps because it is grown in so many places, we are aware of the many different shapes it can take. Climate, terroir, vintage year, winemaking and more make a huge difference. But what IS it about Cabernet Sauvignon? The Gironde native has captured our imagination for centuries. It is a fan favorite across the globe.

Maybe it’s the color. Cab juice is almost always a distinctive red-purple hue, thanks to the grape’s polyphenol-rich skins. And nobody can deny the grape’s natural balance – most Cabernet Sauvignon delivers a double-power-punch of rich red fruit and singeing acidity. Its capacity for complexity and development is clear.

Cab is grown in a lot of places, but we tend to stick with the old reliable favorites. The fruit fanfares of Napa and the restrained waltzes of Bordeaux are not featured here. The selections I’ve decided to highlight aren’t unheard of, but deserve some extra attention.
Cab’s strong varietal character stands out no matter where it’s grown. While we can make generalizations about how a grape expresses itself in a region, so much comes down to the bottle you drink. What’s more painful to comprehend is that every individual bottle is different. It’s so hard to generalize wine, but we do our best.

That said, you can count on Cab to bring notes of black cherry and currant. Violet flowers are known to emerge. Sometimes olive. The supporting nuances – chocolate, cedar box, pencil shavings – can vary. The oak program is also a matter of importance: Where is the oak from? How old is the oak?  Was the oak toasted? How long was the wine sitting in the oak? The variations are endless.

With this in mind, get tasting!

Here are a few suggestions:

1. CARTE BLANCHE 2015 PROPRIETARY RED, NAPA VALLEY – 98 POINTS
2. FAIT-MAIN 2016 CABERNET “TEETER-TOTTER” NAPA VALLEY
3. ILARIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY SPECIAL PRICING!!
4. KAMEN 2015 CABERNET SAUVIGNON ESTATE, SONOMA – 95 POINTS
5.  MC4 2015 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, ESTATE, ST. HELENA NAPA VALLEY – 94 POINTS
6.  MELIS FAMILY 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, BECKSTOFFER G3 VINEYARD NAPA VALLEY

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