Week 1 – Cabernet Sauvignon

The Grape

So our first wine is a cabernet sauvignon, one of the basic three red noble grapes. But what is it I hear you cry? The history seems to date back to when there was an accident in 17th century France, where there was a vine grown from a crossing between a grape called ‘Cabernet Franc’ and another known as ‘Sauvignon Blanc’. Winemakers seemed to like this new grape as it had a thicker skin, so was quite durable, and seemed to grow with relative ease.

It really took off in the Bordeaux region of France (the southwest of France) where the winemakers liked the tannin (we’ll get to that one day) levels in the grape. As popularity grew for the wine, it started to get planted all around the world growing into a big grape and earning it’s place as one of the ‘Noble Grapes’.

The Wine

So what about the wine itself? Cabernet Sauvignon is supposedly known for 3 main flavours:

  1. Blackcurrent
  2. Black Berry
  3. Black Cherry

It generally has a ‘medium – heavy’ body and an alcohol percentage of 13.5% – 15.5%.

With those basics in mind this weeks ‘Wine at the Weekend’ is:

‘Isla Negra’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

This is a wine from Chile and cost £4.50 from Tesco. It’s 12% ABV so on the weaker side but hey, it’s cheap and cheerful. Initially couldn’t taste much, it seemed to be pretty bitter and not taste nice, leaving me to think this entire under £5 might be a bad idea, but I soon changed my mind. I’ve heard before about letting wine breathe by letting it stand in the air, but this made me understand it a bit more.

After pouring my glass and briefly forgetting about it while I was cooking dinner, I came back to it and on a further sip found the bitterness had lessened. In it’s place I was able to start to taste some of the fruitiness, predominantly blackcurrant. It wasn’t overpowering at all which was pleasant and soon I could taste a bit of cherry. Not sure if it was black cherry as not sure of the difference between that and the regular cherries bought at the supermarket, but it had a cherry taste for sure.

Overall it was a pretty nice wine once left for a while. A good start for the first week, and leaving me feeling excited for the project ahead with the next wine being a Merlot. See you next weekend!