Cabernet Sauvignon Ages Well and Goes with Everything

Cabernet Sauvignon a famous California wine

Cabernet Sauvignon in St. Helena, CA

It’s that time of year again. Throughout Napa Valley, the grapes are being harvested for Cabernet Sauvignons that won’t be sold for a few years yet. It’s been a dry year in California, but the Cab grape is famous for enduring the elements while retaining its quality. Its tannins mean that it lasts a long time in the barrel, and interacts with the oak to bring out new flavors as it ages. This results in the famous nose and palate of the California Cab, which includes such elements as cassis (blackcurrant), black cherry and blackberry, and often hints of black pepper, tobacco, licorice, vanilla and violets.

With a California Cabernet Sauvignon, the better the meal, the better the wine suits it. This wine is most often paired with foods that have rich and hearty flavors of their own. Roast or grilled red meats — especially venison, lamb or rich beef — are favored dishes to pair it with. Try serving the wine at 14 to 16 degrees centigrade (57 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) to get the full flavor.

Wine clubs offer Cabernet collections

Once it’s been harvested, Cabernet Sauvignon usually matures nine to eighteen months in French, American or Hungarian oak. Some of the most famous Cabs come from many different rootstocks and vineyards, combining in vats of French oak to achieve just the right balance. Many wine clubs in the Napa Valley area offer collections of Cabernets from various wineries.

Some very good Cabs near St. Helena, CA

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards in Napa Valley, a short drive from downtown St. Helena, produces world-class wines at affordable prices, including a famous Cabernet Sauvignon. The Conn Valley Cabernet has been rated one of the top Cabernets in the world since the inaugural vintage of 1987. The fruit is more similar to mountain fruit, and the style is more Bordeaux than the average Napa Cabernet, with more dark fruit. Its finish has a bright and refreshing acidity that makes it perfect for food pairing, which is why people call it a “chef-style” wine. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate praises the 2012 vintage for its “crème de cassis, graphite and spice box notes” and its “terrific purity, plenty of depth and ripeness, and a full-bodied mouthfeel” and describes the 2010 Cab as “an elegant, finesse-styled effort to enjoy over the next decade.”

The 2013 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and silky, with hints of white pepper and orange peel. The finish is very powerful, with notes of lavender, black cherries, cloves, menthol, orange peel and dark spices. Wine club members save $10 buying the ‘13 Estate Reserve Cab. If you’re looking for a good wine to serve at a special occasion, order a bottle today.