A wine importer's guide to Cabernet Sauvignon
Great as a single varietal but also a wonderful grape for blending, Cabernet Sauvignon is a truly classic international grape variety that responds extremely well to the climate and soil of Argentina. Much like other grapes, its style is highly dependent on where it is grown.
As a result of the near perfect climatic conditions in Argentina, which result in very ripe grapes, a softness and approachability is common to virtually all Argentinian red wines, even when young. Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception to this rule, displaying round and smooth tannins and good ripe fruit flavours.
The typical flavours of Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon are blackcurrant, mintiness and a suggestion of green pepper. Further, if they’ve been oaked, which most of them will have been, these flavours can be supplemented by a hint of vanilla and suggestions of chocolate, coffee and other spices on the aftertaste. High in tannin and acidity, with careful winemaking and barrel ageing, Cabernet Sauvignon can produce some of the longest-living and intriguing reds Argentina has to offer.
Great with food, Cabernet Sauvignon goes particularly well with red meat, cheese, game and hearty stews.
What to look for
As Cabernet Sauvignon can vary greatly, the best thing to do when buying a bottle from a wine shop, having decided on the style you want, is to read the label thoroughly or, if you have time, review the description on the internet.
As a veteran wine merchant, I have tasted many Cabernet Sauvignons and no two are ever the same. With this in mind, don’t be put off all Cabernet Sauvignons because of one questionable bottle. We sell several Cabernet Sauvignons and they are all quite different in style. If you aren’t a fan of the very classic Bordeaux-style Cabernet, for example, why not try an approachable, young, unoaked variety instead?