Cheers To A Good Cali Cab!
Let's Lift Your Spirits!Thursday, August 26, 2021
With red wine day and Cabernet Sauvignon day coming up, I thought why not kill two birds with one stone and talk about one of my absolute favourites. Truth be told, I've never met a style of wine I didn't like. But, I love a good California Cab.
Did you know that 90% of American wine is from California? Here are some cool things about Cabernet Sauvignon that may surprise you!
Nature created a wonderful serendipity. One of the most popular grape varieties was born out of an accidental breeding between a red Cabernet Franc grape and a white Sauvignon Blanc grape. It wasn't until 1996 that the world learned — courtesy of Dr Carole Meredith and her research team at UC Davis — that Cabernet Sauvignon was the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.
Its origins: Cabernet Sauvignon was created and made famous in the Bordeaux (France) wine region. Its reputation took off even further when its grapes were planted in California. In 1976, a Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags' Leap in the Napa Valley beat out the top Bordeaux Chateaux in the 1976 Judgement of Paris in a blind taste test. There'd be no looking back for California's Cabernet Sauvignon. After visiting the Stag's Leap in Napa Valley I remember the winemaker telling us that the area actually mimics the environment and terroir of Bordeaux.
It's also the half sibling of the Merlot grape, so if you've ever had trouble differentiating between the two don't feel bad.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted wine grape in the world. According to Forbes magazine, it is grown on 840,000 acres (340,000 hectares). The total acreage of the world's vineyards destined for wine production is roughly 16 million acres (6.5 million hectares).
Some of the best places for Cabernet Sauvignon are found in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, the north coast counties of California (like Napa and Sonoma), and Chile — where you will find tremendous quality and value!
Some of my favourite California Cabernets include:
•@jospehcarrwines Joseph Carr Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon (97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Petite Syrah). It was love at first sip for this vibrant and compelling fruit-forward cab. A client shared with me recently: “I had two bottles of Joseph Carr (at two dinners, last week), and they were awesome.” Trust me, everyone I've recommended or gifted this Joseph Carr cab to has been blown away! If you like fruit, oak, and body this wine is for you! You get ripe cherry and rich pomegranate juice — fresh maple syrup lift from the glass. Lively fruit on the palate, expressive of ripe raspberry, fresh fig and succulent plum, these notes are all framed by cola spice and burnt butter cookies. The finish is soft and lingering. As the vibrant fruit starts to fade, warm comforting notes of vanilla, marzipan and cocoa take over.
Foodie suggestion: A juicy burger fresh from the grill.
•@quintessawinery The beautifully expressed Quintessa Rutherford Napa Valley Red Wine is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3% Carménère, and 1% Petit Verdot. Hidden in the heart of Rutherford (California). This is Cabernet country par excellence. Nearly two-thirds of the 4,000 acres of vines are Cabernet Sauvignon and most of the rest are other Bordeaux dark-skinned grapes grown to complement it. Rutherford's is full-throttle ripeness, even if it tends to have more structure, backbone, and longevity than almost any other California Cabernet. Quintessa is an organic estate that reflects a diversity of geology, aspects, microclimates, and biodiversity.The wine is powerfully structured, with an elegance to its tannins, and notable layers of complexity that reveal themselves as the wine opens in the glass and as it ages in the bottle. The aroma begins with lovely black cherry and cassis coated with dark chocolate. Notes of thyme and sage interplay with hints of cinnamon, cedar, and incense. The wine develops on the palate with lively acidity that offers balance to graceful layers of red and black fruit. Savory nuances of tar and tobacco follow, through a long, lingering finish marked by fine tannin.
•@caymuscab Caymus Vineyards produces two Cabernets Sauvignons — a “Napa Valley” and the venerable “Special Selection”. Both Cabernet bottlings have aromas and flavours which can only be achieved through “hang time” — a technique which chances the loss of crop if early winter sets in. Leaving the fruit to “hang” on the vine unusually long develops suppleness, increases colour, and matures the tannins of the grapes. The wines are abundant in textural tannins yet soft as velvet. Crop thinning, allowing measured sunlight to reach the vine's fruit zone, and waiting for increased ripeness are all part of our viticultural practices. Caymus cabernets offer a wide array of aromas and flavours including cocoa, cassis, and vanilla.
Caymus Special Selection is the flagship wine of the Wagner family and is comprised of the very best barrels of the vintage. This wine is not produced in difficult years. Caymus Napa Valley is more representative of a standard Cabernet of Napa Valley, as it is a bit less precocious than the Special Selection, but still delivers big. Caymus prides itself on producing wines that are as approachable in youth as well at maturity. Both the “Napa Valley” and “Special Selection” cabernets are produced under the winemaking hand of Chuck Wagner.
Grab a case of cab for this weekend's stash! Let's lift your spirits! Find and follow me on Instagram @raihndrops
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