Grape Varieties

Cabernet Sauvignon

One of the world’s best-known red grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon is grown around the globe, from Chile, the US, New Zealand and Australia. The progeny of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, these thick-skinned deep purple grapes produce full-bodied, fruit-forward and dry wines.

Where is Cabernet Sauvignon grown?

Cabernet Sauvignon’s origins lie in Bordeaux, France – a result of an accidental cross-breeding of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc vines in the 17th Century.

Today, Cabernet Sauvignon is the most-grown grape variety across the world.

Notable regions include:

  • France
  • South Australia
  • South America − Chile and Argentina
  • California − Napa Valley and Sonoma valley

Style and character

Cabernet Sauvignon wines are loved for their full, rich fruit-forward taste. Varietal wines have high acidity and are high in alcohol (around 13%). And thanks to their thick skin and sturdy tannins, they are perfectly suited for ageing.

Cabernet Sauvignon is also commonly used in blends, and partners particularly well with Merlot.

Our best Cabernet Sauvignon wines

Tasting notes

Wines using Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are typically packed with dark fruit flavours, from blackcurrants to blackberries and cherries, combined with subtle hints of spice and a vanilla aroma.

Cabernet Sauvignon wines grown in regions such as Bordeaux, France, have a powerful punch of herbal aromas such as tobacco and violets, with earthy notes mixed with Star Anise, plum, and even pencil lead.

New World Cabernet Sauvignon such as our Catbird Seat Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon and Wilson Gunn Bellum blend, have more decadent fruit flavours, combining a robust black cherry with liquorice, vanilla and black pepper.

Food pairings

Wines created from high-tannic grapes can handle rich and fatty red meat, making Cabernet Sauvignons the ideal pairing for a juicy steak dish.

Cabernet Sauvignon wines are great paired with grilled meat such as lamb chops and prime rib, and they pair well with burgers, too.

For vegetarians, aubergine and mushrooms on the barbie will also be a good pairing for these wines.

Cheese is another perfect match, so try a cheese board of herby cheeses, blue cheeses and creamy cheeses.

How to serve Cabernet Sauvignon

Red wine is often served far too warm, which dulls the flavours and stops the intensity. For Cabernet Sauvignon wines, chilling the wine in the fridge for about ten minutes should cool it enough to then be served just below room temperature.

A large glass with a wider rim is ideal to serve Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The wide rim allows the wine to aerate, allowing the delicate flavours to develop and the aromas to fill the glass.