Cabernet Sauvignon is synonymous with red Bordeaux where it originated; a wine style so eminent that it is emulated everywhere. This has made Cabernet into a veritable globetrotter, adapting so well to different cultures and climates that it is grown with success throughout the world. Rather like Chardonnay, the two have become the vanilla and chocolate ice-cream flavours of wine. Interestingly, Cabernet Sauvignon is the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the parentage probably happening by accident sometime in the 18th century in Bordeaux .
Cabernet Sauvignon has typical aromas of dark cherries, blackcurrants and green peppers, the latter become more apparent in slightly unripe wines. As they ripen, the grapes develop aromas of eucalyptus, mint, tobacco and cedar. Cabernet’s thick grape skins are full of phenols that add tannic structure and deep colour to the wine. In spite of its power, Cabernet Sauvignon is not particularly round and fleshy and can sometimes seem hollow in the middle, a characteristic sometimes called the “donut-effect”. It is therefore often blended with mouth filling Merlot. Only in warm climates where full ripeness softens Cabernet’s tannic rigour is it bottled on its own. Its structure also explains its affinity with oak: the additional tannins and toasty aromas of new French oak barrels marry well with the grape. Cabernet Sauvignon develops real interest with bottle age. Oak, Cabernet and its blending partners unite to form a complex, mature bouquet while the tannic grip softens.
In Bordeaux, Cabernet is grown on the warm gravelly Left Bank of the Gironde. It needs warmth to ripen fully and mirrors terroir. Wines from Saint-Estèphe show grip and intense earthy notes. Pauillac is a benchmark with its balance between power, elegance, opulence and cigar box aromas. Saint-Julien shows mineral definition, pure fruit and linear structure. Margaux is all about silky texture wrapped around firm tannins. Pessac-Léognan from the top of the Graves is lighter with hints of pencil shavings.
Cabernet Sauvignon also shines in other well-known wine regions throughout the world: In Maremma and Bolgheri, coastal Tuscany shares a maritime climate with Bordeaux. Here, Cabernet is successfully blended with both Merlot and Sangiovese. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the star varietals in California’s Napa Valley producing wines that are concentrated and extracted often with elevated alcohol levels. Australia’s heartland for Cabernet is Coonawarra: recognizable by its eucalyptus scent, ripe fruit and its savoury tannins, while Margaret River Cabernet is more restrained, elegant and minty. Chilean Cabernet’s blackcurrant aromas virtually jump out of the glass and in South Africa, it is the Cape’s most planted red grape, usually blended with Merlot to make charming wines especially in Stellenbosch and Paarl.
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- 2017 Castillo De OliteNavarre D.O.0.75l Red€5.00 €4.13Produced from grapes grown in the hillsides of Navarre in the north of Spain, this light and fruity red wine is aromatic and easy drinking. For more than 20 years it has been a great favourite of our clientele. Perfect for every day drinking.
- MédocCru Bourgeois 0.375l Red€6.00 €4.96An attractive Cru Bourgeois made in the north of the Médoc by the talented grandsons of Marc Pages. Bright dark violet colour, fresh, sweet and fruity on the nose with good blackcurrant flavour, firmly structured palate and a fresh, lively finish. Great value.
- 2014 Chateau le BostBergerac0.75l Red€6.96 €5.75Quite a traditional wine with lots of character and aromas of red fruits, tobacco and cedar. Produced in the charming region of Bergerac, just south-east of Bordeaux, the wines from here are just a little more rich and rustic.
- 2013 Château FonbelSaint-Émilion Grand Cru0.375l Red€8.09 €6.69Vibrant and deeply coloured. Juicy and fresh on the nose with crisp acidity and aromas of prunes and damsons. The palate has flavours of red fruit with pretty notes of spice. A good richness and fine soft structure.
- 2016 Bordeaux SupérieurThienpont Selection Bordeaux Supérieur0.75l RedNew€9.00 €7.44We are delighted to announce the addition to the portfolio of Thienpont own label wines of a delicious Thienpont Bordeaux Supérieur 2016. Following the demise of the very popular “Z de Bordeaux”, we have been searching far and wide for a worthy, everyday drinking Bordeaux that we can call our own. We have found it at the historic Chateau le Grand Verdus overlooking the Garonne river in Entre-deux-Mers. Made from a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, this is a very bright, immediately accessible Bordeaux wine with a pure nose of red fruits, spices and a touch of liquorice. On the palate the wine is very smooth and round with good freshness and intensity. This wine will drink well for the next three to five years and is great when served with bistro cuisine such as chicken, grilled beef or stews in relaxed surroundings.
- 2013 Château ClauzetSaint-Estèphe0.375l Red€9.24 €7.64Bright garnet colour, expressive nose with notes of wild berries, spice and minerality. A nice structure with present yet supple tannins and a lovely fresh finish.
- MédocCru Bourgeois 0.75l RedPrimeur€9.30 €7.69Much appreciated for its freshness and precision this year, this well-known, good value Bordeaux has a dark ruby red colour, an inviting nose of berried fruit with a touch of oak and mint and a round, juicy taste. The tannins are firm but round and there is lingering acidity and a lively finish to this attractive wine.
- 2010 Haut-Médoc (BIO)Thienpont Selection Haut-Médoc0.75l RedBio€9.99 €8.26We tasted a lot samples before discovering this very pretty Haut-Médoc which we have included in our ‘sélection THIENPONT’, our list of favourite Bordeaux appellations. We are delighted by the price and quality of this estate, which is ideally situated between communes of Margaux and Moulis. Organically cultivated with a blend of 53% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, the wine is matured in oak for 1 year. Attractive deep purple colour with hints of violet. The nose, at first restrained, develops with dark fruit and vanilla notes. The palate is supple with a powerful texture, lots of finesse and tightly-knit, fine-grained tannins. Notes of black fruits, imparted by Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, are nicely balanced and suplemented by the plump roundness of Merlot.
- 2014 Château FonbelSaint-Émilion Grand Cru0.375l Red€10.30 €8.51This little Saint Emilion cru made by the Vauthier family with 80% Merlot grapes is very pretty and expressive this year. It is an easy drinking wine with attractive red fruit character. Notes of red cherry and plums on the palate, good crunchy acidity, quite firm tannins. This is a very easy wine to like.