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Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most prominent dark-skinned grape varieties except Merlot in terms of area under vines, but which comprises our largest selection of wines. Grown in just about every wine producing region and climate, Cabernet Sauvignon can express a huge range of aromas, from green peppers in cool climates through to dark jammy fruit in hot regions. Common aromas include blackcurrants, mint, graphite, and forest floor, to name a few. Maturation in small oak barrels can develop a complex range of aromas from cedar wood, cigar box and tobacco to eucalyptus and undergrowth. Cabernet Sauvignon’s success is partly due to its ability to adapt to a range of soils and climates. It is the main constituent of the Bordeaux blend in the revered communes of Pauillac, St. Estephe and St. Julien, and has achieved equal success in California’s Napa Valley. It is grown extensively throughout Southern Australia, with some outstanding examples from the Terra Rossa soil of Coonawarra. Cabernet Sauvignon also plays an increasing role in Tuscany, Italy, where it is blended with native varieties such as Sangiovese to produce the Super Tuscans.
After returning to a democracy and free market economy in the 1980s, it was, as if out of nowhere that Chile re-entered the international wine scene. Its geography protects the viticultural industry with 3,000 miles of coastline to the west, the Andes mountains to the east, the Atacama desert to the north, and the Antarctic to the south. Free from most pests, including Phylloxera (which has ravaged vines throughout the world), most producers have no need to spray any pesticides, making it quite easy to farm organically. A significant amount of production is located within the central valley, which stretches from the Maipo valley, the closest wine region to Santiago, south 155 miles to the Maule Valley. The most popular wines are those made from Cabernet Sauvignon, which prospers in the Mediterranean and accounts for over 50% of the countries dark skinned varietals. Carmenere has now been firmly marketed as the countries signature grape. While its plantings are increasing rapidly, it currently accounts for just under 9000 hectares or 12% of all red grapes. Areas showing potential for growth and diversity are Elqui and Limari to the far north and the two coastal regions of Casablanca and San Antonio, all of which are carving out their niche for cool climate varieties including Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
Chianti is the sub-region of Tuscany located between Florence to the north and Siena to the south. Wine made within the eight historical zones is labelled Chianti Classico and must be made with a minimum 80% Sangiovese and is often topped up with Canaiolo, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as two white grapes, Trebbiano and Malvasia. With its many small, picturesque rolling hills, aspect and soil types vary significantly, even within a single estate. Any wine made by a member of the Consorzio (wine-growers association) is bottled wearing the recognizable black rooster "Gallo Nero" seal around the neck of the bottle.
Red wine is wine made from dark-coloured grape varieties. The color of red differs based on the grapes variety or varieties used.
Interestingly, black grapes yield a juice that is greenish-white. The actual red color comes from anthocyan pigments (also called anthocyanins) from the skin of the grape (exceptions are the relatively uncommon teinturier varieties, which produce a red colored juice). Most of the production centers around the extraction of color and flavor from the grape skin.