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Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is the most planted of fine wine grapes, just ahead of merlot, and it is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a spectrum of climates as diverse as Canada's Okanagan Valley, the high plains of Argentina, Tuscany or Lebanon's Beqaa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognized through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet franc. The Judgment of Paris, in 1976, where Napa Valley cabernets scored ahead of some top Bordeaux châteaux in a blind tasting, is a perfect example of the way this variety has played a key role in bringing international recognition to a wine region. One of the most noted traits of Cabernet Sauvignon is its affinity for oak, either during fermentation or in barrel aging. In addition to having a softening effect on the grape's naturally high tannins, the unique wood flavours of vanilla and spice complement the natural grape flavours of black currant and tobacco. The aroma of black currants is one of the most distinctive and characteristic element of Cabernet Sauvignon that is present in virtually every style of the wine across the globe. Styles from various regions and producers may also have aromas of eucalyptus, mint and tobacco. In general New World examples have more pronounced fruity notes while Old World wines can be more austere with heightened earthy notes.