When buying a good Cabernet Sauvignon wine we feel inevitably tempted to choose a Bordeaux, the weight of tradition, its fame, or rather the experience and extension are forceful reasons. But make no mistake, they are good and they are a lot, but these French are not the only Cabernet Sauvignon that can impress us. Let’s see what else can be found around.
For instance, now Bulgaria has more than eighteen thousand acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, which means nearly as many as the aforementioned Bordeaux, the French region best known for this grape. It is not the only country in Eastern Europe that enjoys the benefits of these small, very dark and thick skin grapes. We can also keep track of Cabernet Sauvignon (as if looking for Carmen Sandiego) in Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary and Greece and of course also in Russia, Georgia, Lebanon, Israel, Cyprus or Turkey.
Even if we have to choose from those mentioned, France takes the cake so far because this grape, which fits almost all conditions, reaches its sublimation in temperate climates which are able to ensure mild autumns as Cabernet Sauvignon’s late maturity requires such special treatment. If the weather is too warm, it will probably succeed but it could get to be too sweet and excessively candied and if the weather is cooler it will tend more to the herbal flavors, but if temperatures drop too low, then we are placed in danger.
For the same climatic (and very logical) reasons, California (Napa Valley) and Chile are other good choices when buying a Cabernet Sauvignon wine. The same applies to Australia and South Africa, where we can find very good examples. However, I would not say so about New Zealand, which unfortunately has had a difficult start with this grape variety.
Many times we can find a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, starring the wine that performs, although it is usually found together with other grapes such as Merlot, who tried to steal its fame, or Cabernet Franc. The latter combination is particularly well known when it comes from another French region, the Loire Valley, which together with Midi and Bergerac, is the part of France out of Bordeaux where this grape can be found.
Cabernet Sauvignon in Italy is more recently grown and that happens also in Spain. Although in these two countries is possible to find older strains, like in the South of Italy or in Rioja, that give us more satisfaction providing us with wines as good as some Bordeaux.