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Review: Best Cabernet Sauvignons

A relatively new grape varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon was first made in Bordeaux, France in the 1600s, after Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc cross pollinated to make this new type of grape. It quickly gained popularity and, since it's hardy and resistant to diseases, it's often one of the first types of grapes grown in new vineyards.

Cabernet Sauvignon is grown all over the world and it's not hard to find excellent examples of this wine made in North and South America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as in France, Italy, and Spain. Since it's often used as a blending grape, however, some of these regions, notably France, don't often make wines primarily out of Cabernet Sauvignon. The 50/50 blends with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Syrah are very common.

Structurally, Cabernet Sauvignon is well-known for its intense tannins. Cabernet can be cellared for many years, and there are quite a few excellent Cabernets that are over 100 years old, though they come with outrageously high price tags. Young Cabernets are often too tight to drink for at least a few years. If you're hoping to build a wine collection, however, focusing on recent vintages and then storing them on your own will save you a great deal of money. We've compiled the best Carbenet Sauvignon in 2021.

The Best Cabernet Sauvignons Models of 2021 in Detail

best honig cabernet sauvignon

Honig Cabernet Sauvignon

One of the 2013 winners at the San Francisco Chronical Wine Competition, Honig Cabernet Sauvignon is our top choice. This Cab is medium-bodied and well-balanced by tannins that provide a lot of support without overwhelming the wine. The nose shows off aromas of plum and cherry that are complemented by earthier notes of dried herbs, pepper, tea, and licorice. There's lots of fruit on the palate, though also plenty of spice so this wine doesn't read as sweet at all. Though it's already been aged for 18 months, it would benefit from at least a few more years in the bottle and some time spent in the decanter before serving.

best robert mondavi cabernet sauvignon

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

One of California's biggest names in red wines, Robert Mondavi knows how to make an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. The Reserve has scored in the mid to high 90's with professional wine critics, including a near perfect score of 99 points by The Tasting Panel. It's a beautiful wine now, but it really won't be at its peak for another 25 to 30 years, so this is one you'll want to buy and then put away. An incredibly complex wine, there are notes of violet and blackberry on the nose, and berry, sage, mocha, and clean granite on the palate. The tannins are big and bold, and the finish incredibly long. For extra structure, Robert Mondavi has blended the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with 4 percent Petit Verdot and 2 percent Cabernet Franc.

best robert craig cabernet sauvignon

Robert Craig Cabernet Sauvignon

Terroir is one of the biggest influencers of the flavor of a wine, and the volcanic soil that Robert Craig Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in has given this wine an incredible richness and complexity. This is a big, tannic wine that's ready to drink right away, though it will continue to mature beautifully for the next couple of decades. The time it spent aging in barrels has lent the wine lots of oaky notes, but these are well-balanced against berry, pepper, and wildflower aromas. The flavor of this wine is equally complex, with notes of black cherry, red stone, and more peppery tannins.

best poggio al tufo cabernet sauvignon

Poggio al Tufo Cabernet Sauvignon

France may be the historic home of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, but Italy has been cultivating these grapes for hundreds of years. The Tuscany region, with its warm climate and hot, dry summers, is ideal for Cabernet, leading to wines with lots of flavor and big tannic structure. One of our favorite Italian Cabs is Tommasi Poggio al Tufo. This wine has currant, black cherry, spice, and licorice on the nose, and a slightly acidic taste that dries out the big fruit flavors. The finish is long and dry with lots of tannins. This wine will definitely benefit from at least a few more years in the cellar, though decanting fifteen minutes before you're ready to serve will help to open it up, allowing the fruitier flavors to shine through.

Lamadrid Cabernet Sauvignon.jpg

Lamadrid Cabernet Sauvignon

Lamadrid Cabernet Sauvignon hails from Argentina, a winemaking region known for producing excellent New World Cabernet. This wine is well-structured and tannic, without being overly harsh. It has notes of currant, tobacco, graphite, and sweet tomato and is a little on the sweeter side when compared with other Cabernet Sauvignons. Ready to drink right away, this wine doesn't have the harsh tannins that makes many Cabs unapproachable for decades. Instead, it offers a fruit-forward palate with plenty of the earthy tones that people love Cabernet for. It's also received high marks from wine critics, scoring a 90 with Wine Advocate.

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Benziger Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

Northern California Cabernet Sauvignons can get incredibly expensive but Benziger has made a commitment to crafting high quality wines that remain some of the most affordable around. Their Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon is an incredible wine that shows off all the complexity of a good Cab without burning a hole in your wallet. This wine has flavors of black current, plum, and cherry that remain until the long finish, where they are met by subtle notes of tea and chocolate. The nose has lots of dark fruit and more than a hint of savory black olive. The tannins aren't too peppery or leathery, instead adding a touch of chalk to the finish. All in all, this is an incredible wine that's ready to drink right away, though it will continue to mellow out over the next couple of years.

Buyer's Guide

Out of all the red wine varieties you can find in the market, the cabernet sauvignon is the best. It is the most chosen variety, for any occasion, from elite dinner parties to a family Christmas gathering. Made from the finest grapes, the Cabernet Sauvignon red wine is darker in color, having an alcohol concentration of around 13.5%. However, this value will vary following the origin of the red wine grapes and the process followed for the aging of the wine.

With the increasing popularity of this particular red wine, several brands have been introduced, thereby making the selection quite difficult. Red wine means luxury, poshness, and sheer bliss, which is why knowing the best Cabernet Sauvignons is a must. But knowing the wine brands won't do the work as you need to choose the best out of them. And the task can get pretty overwhelming.

For this reason, we have listed down some of the factors that will affect your choice of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the market.

What Factors Should You Consider To Choose The Best Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine?

Place Of Origin

The first thing you need to know is the location or the place where the red wine grapes are grown and cultivated. As the grapes are native to France, having a Cabernet Sauvignon wine important from any French winery will be best.

But as nowadays a variety of grapes is grown in several other parts of the world, there is no harm in trying wines from other regions. For example, South Australia is famous for Cabernet Sauvignon because of the dry climate and the red soil which boosts the growth of the grapes.

Similarly, Chile has emerged as one of the largest Cabernet wine producers in entire South America, especially the regions of Maipo Valley and Aconcagua. You can also look for the Tuscany Cabernets, which have become world-famous due to their unique flavor profile.

Wine’s Age

Not all aged Cabernet taste the same, and that’s why you need to consider the age of the wine before buying. The main benefit of buying an aged red wine of Cabernet is the smoothness of the liquid, which will pamper your taste buds the moment you take the first sip.

When a Cabernet is aged, the tannins soften, which reduces the acidity. This helps in making the wine a bit sweeter. However, if the aging is not done properly, the wine will taste bitter because the tannins will be concentrated, and its acidity level will be high.

Flavor Profile

The flavor profile is one of the most important features to consider while choosing a Cabernet Sauvignon red wine. Depending on the grape variety and the wine's age, you can have different flavor profiles.

For example, a Cabernet wine aged for years will have earthy tones like leather or tobacco. On the other hand, if you choose a freshly brewed red Cabernet, the most dominating flavors that will create blasts in your palette are blueberries and grapes.

In some wines, you can even find a nutty flavor tone, making the alcohol taste much better.

Color

The older the wine, the darker its color will be. The Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine, so its natural color is dark red. However, the intensity of the red color varies from one brand to the other.

In some cases, you will find the Cabernet having a slightly pale red color, while a few varieties come with a deep red color, which almost resembles blood.

Wine Quality

Cabernet Sauvignon is quite costly. That's why you need to check the quality of the drink before you make the final choice. Make sure the wine tastes silky and smooth with no bitterness.

Sometimes, people usually buy the cheaper Cabernet varieties to avoid paying hundreds of bucks for a single bottle. However, such wines are of poor quality, and you won't be able to enjoy the drink, no matter what the wine's age is.

That’s why you should prioritize the quality factor over the price. After all, the Cabernet Sauvignon is the embodiment of luxuriousness and poshness, which is why the wine needs to be of the best quality.

Alcohol Content


Lastly, it would be best to consider the alcohol level when buying the best Cabernet Sauvignon red wine. If you are planning to savor the taste and enjoy the smoothness of the liquid, go with the products having an alcohol content of around 13% to 14%.

However, if you plan to relish the wine due to its alcoholic nature, the concentration should be above 13.5%. To understand the exact alcohol concentration in the Cabernet Sauvignon, check the label or the manufacturer’s details.

Final Words

As the Cabernet Sauvignon is considered to be in the elite class of wines, choosing the best variety is crucial for every wine lover. But it’s not easy to select the best brand as there are several options in the market. That's why you need to do your homework and consider the points we have discussed above before making your final selection. With this guide, you can shortlist the wine names to only a few so that you can make the most appropriate selection of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cabernet Sauvignon FAQ

Q. Which Cabernet Sauvignon blends are the most popular in the market?

A. One of the best things about the Cabernet Sauvignon is that the wine is present in several blends. The most popular blend is the Bordeaux wine, where the Cabernet grapes are mixed with Merlot. In addition, you can also try the Cabernet Franc blend, where the Sauvignon and Franc grapes are mixed to reduce the tannin concentration and lighten the red color of the final product.

Q. Which are the most suitable foods with which I can pair Cabernet Sauvignon?

A. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most elite red wines in the world, paired with some of the bold flavors and high-class foods like Beef Wellington, aged Cheddar or Brie cheese, Pork tenderloins, and others.

Q. What is the aging process of the Cabernet Sauvignon wine?

A. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes react amazingly with the oak tree barrels. This is why the freshly brewed wine is kept in these barrels only. Over time, the oak helps in lightening the tannins and imparts an earthy flavor note. Leather, chocolate, cedar, and tobacco are the four major flavor notes you can taste in the Cabernet Sauvignon wines aged in oak barrels.

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