Red, Cabernet Sauvignon, WINE

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Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties, grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates. For most of the 20th century, it was the world's most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s. Despite its prominence, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to consumers, even when coming from unfamiliar wine regions.

The classic profile of Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be full body with high tannins and noticeable acidity that contributes to the wine's extended aging potential. In cooler climates, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to produce wines with blackcurrant notes that can be accompanied by green bell pepper notes, mint, and cedar, which will all become more pronounced as the wine ages. In more moderate climates, the blackcurrant notes are often mitigated, with black cherry and black olives notes becoming more prominent. In the hottest climates, the currant flavors can veer towards the over-ripe and "jammy" side.

Both Old World and New World styles can be remarkably varied. Bordeaux is the grape's ancestral home, and where it finds the most complex expression. In the wine regions of the Left Bank, the Cabernet influence on the wines shows up in unique fashion according to each sub-region. In St-Estèphe and Pessac-Léognan, the grape develops more mineral flavors. Aromas of violets are a characteristic of Margaux, Pauillac is noted by a strong lead pencil scent, and St-Julien by cedar and cigar boxes, while the southern Graves region is characterized by strong blackcurrant flavors, though in less intense expression overall. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon used in the blend will depend on terroir and the winemakers styles as well as the vintage. In Italy, especially the vineyards of Tuscany, Cabernet Sauvignon is characterized by ripe black cherry flavors that can give a perception of sweetness, as well as strong notes of blackcurrant. The wines typically reach an alcohol level around 14% but can still maintain notable levels of balance and finesse.

New World Cabernet is decidely more "consumer friendly." In California, the main stylistic difference in Cabernet Sauvignon is between hillside/mountain vineyards and those on flatter terrain like valley floors or some areas of the Central Valley. In Napa, the hillside vineyards of Diamond Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, and Spring Mountain District have thinner, less fertile soils, which produces smaller berries and more intense flavors, reminiscent of Bordeaux wines that require years of aging to mature. The yields are also much lower. Wines produced from mountainside vineyards tend to be characterized by deep, inky colors and strong berry aromas. Throughout California there are many wine regions that have the potential to grow Cabernet Sauvignon to full ripeness and produce fruity, full-bodied wines with alcohol levels regularly above the Bordeaux average of 12–13%. The use of oak in California Cabernet has a long history, with many producers favoring new barrels made predominantly of American oak. Washington Cabernet Sauvignon is characterized by its fruitiness and easy drinking styles that are not overly tannic. Washington AVAs that have seen recent success with their Cabernet Sauvignons include the Columbia Valley, Red Mountain, Walla Walla Valley, and Yakima Valley AVAs.

Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in nearly every South American country including Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay. In Chile, the wines were historically limited by the excessively high yields that were commonplace throughout the country. As producers began to concentrate on limiting yields, regional differences began to emerge that distinguished Chilean Cabernets. For vineyard plantings along flat river valleys, the climate of the region is the most important consideration, but as plantings move to higher elevations and along hillsides, soil type is a greater concern. The wines of the Aconcagua region are noted for their ripe fruit but closed, tight structure that needs some time in the bottle to develop. In the Maipo Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon wines are characterized by their pervasive blackcurrant fruit and an earthy, dusty note. In warmer regions, such as the Colchagua Province, the grapes ripen more fully and produce wines with rich, ripe fruit flavors. The wines here are famously approachable for their soft acidity and tannic structure. In Argentina, Cabernet Sauvignon trails Malbec as the country's staple red grape but its numbers are growing. The wines are characterized by lighter fruit flavors and are meant to be consumed young. Premium examples are often blended with Malbec and produce full, tannic wines with savory leather and earthy tobacco notes. In recent years, there have been increased plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Uco Valley of the Mendoza Province.

In the 1980s, Australia followed California's contemporary trend in producing lighter, more "food friendly" wines with alcohol levels around 11-12% percent, but by the early 1990s, the styles changed again to focus on balance and riper fruit flavors. Today, Cabernet Sauvignon is the second most widely planted red grape in Australia, following Shiraz with which it is often blended. It can be found in several wine regions with many large producers using grapes from several states. Notable regional differences characterize Australian Cabernet Sauvignon styles. In the 1970s, the Coonawarra region first brought international attention to Australian Cabernet Sauvignons with intense fruit flavors and subtle mint and herbal notes, owing in large part to its unique, iron-rich terra rossa soils. The Margaret River region soon followed with wines that were tightly structured with pronounced black fruit notes. In contrast to these cooler regions, Barossa Valley produces big, full bodied wines, while the nearby Clare Valley produces wines with more concentrated fruit.

There is no doubt and no argument — Cabernet Sauvignon has taken its place as the king of red wine grapes, and for good reason. There is no other red grape in the world that has availed itself to so many regions, climates, and styles.

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95+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is going to be a knock-out once it loses some baby fat and the new oak incorporates a bit more. Deep, powerful and vertical in feel, the 2014 possesses remarkable depth, intensity of color and balance. Inky, deep and… ...

AG 95
RP 95
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O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2014  (#330710)

Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available

The 2013 vintage was defined by near perfect weather for grape growing; long, hot days, cool nights and foggy mornings and no threat of rain or frost. This allowed for more concentrated berries, greater extraction and robust tannin structure. The elegant, herbaceous and floral qualities that we love… ...

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Stellareese Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Calistoga Marcey's Vyd 2013  (#329044)

Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12 available

Not yet reviewed; 2015 vintage rated 94+ points by Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Wine Advocate): Deep purple-black in color... springs from the glass with lifted crème de cassis, violets and chocolate box notes plus hints of lilacs, raspberry leaves, anise and cardamom. The perfumed black fruit preserves and… ...

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Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2016  (#332880)

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available

93 points James Suckling: The largest production cuvée, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon was vinified in tank before being pressed to barrel where it went through malo. Aged 13 months in barrels, its vibrant purple color is followed by a terrific bouquet of blueberries, cassis, scorched earth, and spice.… ...

JD 93
WA 92
WS 90
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Wines of Substance Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2016  (#332881)

Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JD 93
WA 92
WS 90

93 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): ...powerful and burly, but also quite pleasing for a young Mt. Veeder Cabernet. Inky blue/purplish fruit, licorice, lavender, bacon fat spice and licorice fill out the wine's mid-weight frame nicely. Plush and unctuous through to the finish, Mt. Veeder's Cabernet… ...

AG 93
JD 90
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Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2015  (#332415)

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
$31.95
$44.00
Save $12.05 (27%)44.00
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99 points and 'Top 100 Wines of 2017,' James Suckling: Extremely perfumed with iron, clay and currant character. Copper pennies and hints of steak. Then this turns to flowers, iodine and oyster shells. Full body that's juicy and defined by hefty blackcurrant flavors and real meatiness. Dark… ...

JS 99
RP 94
WS 93
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Peter Michael Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Au Paradis 2014  (#330893)

Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 1 available
JS 99
RP 94
WS 93

92 points James Suckling: Rich and fruity with lots of blackberry and currant character. Full body, chewy tannins and a medium finish. Needs a little time to soften. Better in 2018. (12/13/16) ...

JS 92
WE 90
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Mira Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012  (#330035)

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$44.95
$55.00
Save $10.05 (18%)55.00
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96 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Signature... sees 22 months in 50% new French oak. Its deep, inky color is followed by an incredibly pure bouquet of crème de cassis, hints of blue fruits, graphite, and cedar. With gorgeous minerality, full-bodied richness, building tannin and… ...

JD 96
WA 93
AG 93
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Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Signature 2015  (#330759)

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
JD 96
WA 93
AG 93

93-95 points Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Wine Advocate): A barrel sample, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Fay Vineyard is deep garnet-purple in color with an earthy/herbal nose of black cherry and blackberry notions plus scents of incense, dusty earth and menthol. Full-bodied, rich and very earthy in the mouth… ...

WA 93-95
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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Fay 2015  (#332765)

Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California

750ml Bottle | In stock, 11 available

94+ points Robert Parker: The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is a broodingly big, muscular, backward red offering hints of wet pebbles, scorched earth, sweet black currants, blackberries, cassis, loamy soil, underbrush and foresty notes. Muscular, dense and tannic, it is meant for those with considerable… ...

RP 94
IWC 94
WA 94
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Levy & McClellan Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009  (#326329)

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
RP 94
IWC 94
WA 94
$349.00
$500.00
Save $151.00 (30%)500.00
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95 points Decanter: Powerful blackcurrant nose, with slightly charred oak. Very rich without being jammy, it packs a punch. An assertive and very youthful style, but good acidity and tannins mean this should go the distance. (Apr 2018) 78.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 5.6%… ...

DE 95
WA 92
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Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014  (#331325)

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$44.95
$50.00
Save $5.05 (10%)50.00
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91-93 points Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Wine Advocate): A blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis (a barrel sample) is a deep garnet-purple color with a lovely nose of pure cassis and blackberries with earth and herbal notions plus violets and an… ...

WA 91-93
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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Artemis 2015  (#331084)

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California

750ml Bottle | In stock, 10 available
$52.95
$63.00
Save $10.05 (16%)63.00
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