Cabernet Sauvignon is the world's most famous red grape variety, responsible for many of the planet's most well known wines. The traditional home of Cabernet Sauvignon is the Bordeaux region of France, and recent research has shown that its parents are Cabernet Franc and (rather surprisingly) Sauvignon Blanc. Its thick skins and high pip-to-pulp ratio help it to make deeply coloured, tannic and long-lived wines. A great traveller, Cabernet Sauvignon can make full flavoured red wines just about anywhere grapes can be grown.
As a result, it has been enthusiastically planted throughout the wine world. Outside Bordeaux, it is found in other French regions such as Bergerac,the Languedoc and Provence. It is the dominant red grape in California, often excelling itself to make superb wines in Napa and Sonoma counties. In Italy, it has emerged as a key component of the highly sought-after 'Super Tuscan' wines, and Cabernet Sauvignon vies with Shiraz as Australia's most successful red varietal. Chile, Argentina and South Africa also rely on this grape to produce some of their best wines. The characteristic flavour signature is blackcurrant fruit, together with spice, cedar, mint, menthol, chocolate and herbs, depending on the wine's origin and how it was made.