Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are among the most widely grown, widely know, and widely enjoyed grapes for red wine. The flavors and aromas of Cabernet Sauvignon wines include vanilla, currants, and even green bell pepper if made form underripe Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Other characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon wine include high alcohol levels and strong tannins. These strong tannins make it easier to age Cabernet Sauvignon in cellars for many decades.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the youngest grape varieties around — it originated in the 17th century when Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc were crossed. Wine makers grow Cabernet Sauvignon almost everywhere in the world that red wine grapes are used because the variety is so hardy: the grape skins are thick and strong while the vines resist disease and rot.
Aging Cabernet Sauvignon
One of the most significant qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon is its ability to age well. Not only is it possible to cellar Cabernet Sauvignon wines for decades, but in fact they can improve significantly in taste after extended aging. Harsh tannins will soften while the more subtle flavors will develop and intensify. Some wine producers grow and pick grapes to specifically create wines that develop best over the course of decades and which should not be drunk young.
When picking out a Cabernet Sauvignon, you'll need to know if it's a wine designed for drinking in a year or two or one which is designed for cellaring and drinking in a couple of decades at the earliest.