06 Jul, 2020

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular and widely grown red wine grapes. It’s an indulgent dry wine with high-tannin, high acidity and a medium-to-full body.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect accompaniment to a special dinner. Perfect on date night served with a delicious rich steak drizzled with a peppercorn sauce - a winning combination!

What is Cabernet Sauvignon?

New to this wine? Let us set your expectations. The first question you no doubt have: is Cabernet Sauvignon red or white? Well, it is a red wine. Bold, firm and tannins are the three words we believe best describe our Dark Horse Cab.

Cabernet Sauvignon wine can age really well. So although it can be enjoyed right away, you could also save it and bring it out for that special occasion.

Where is Cabernet Sauvignon from?

Cabernet Sauvignon originally comes from the southwest of France, specifically Bordeaux. The grape was actually formed by accident in the 17th century - a happy accident that helped produce the wine we know and love today.

Although originally from France, today this grape is grown in wine regions all around the world including those in California, Australia and Chile.
For Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon we get the first pick of grapes from 400 of California’s premium grape growers, where the climate is perfect for growing and ripening. French and Hungarian oak ageing techniques are then used which makes our Cabernet Sauvignon truly stand out from the crowd.

The Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes

The Cabernet Sauvignon grape comes from a cross between the Sauvignon Blanc grapes - a white grape that forms a white wine of the same name - and the black Cabernet Franc grape. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, which are a deep blue in colour, are known for having a thick skin that is incredibly durable.

This grape does well in warm climates with plenty of sun, helping the grapes ripen and the flavours to develop. However, the mountains of California’s valleys and ocean breezes help shield the grapes from too much sun and harsh temperatures, preventing them from ripening too quickly and becoming too sweet. It buds late and is therefore harvested late, typically around the autumn time.

Cabernet Sauvignon Serving Temperature

Cabernet Sauvignon should be served at 16°C. While this is the ideal serving temperature, it can be served between 15 and 18°C – around room temperature. 

What is the difference between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot?

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are two of the most popular red wines - but what is the difference and how do you decide which one is for you? Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold, indulgent red wine with intense aromas while, in comparison, Merlot is far more delicate with velvety, jammy notes. They are both dry wines but the latter tends to be slightly smoother and has softer tannins and different fruit aromas.

Cabernet Sauvignon Taste

That being said, Cabernet Sauvignon tasting notes can vary depending on where the grape is grown and how it is produced. This can range from fruity to more of a smoky taste.

In Bordeaux, for example, where the grape is best-known for, the tasting notes include the typical blackcurrant alongside plum, anise, tobacco leaf and leather. Meanwhile, Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile is more likely to taste of blackberry, black cherry, spices and peppercorn.
Dark Horse’s Cabernet Sauvignon offers a blend of delicious black cherry, blackcurrant, dark chocolate, espresso and a hint of spiciness. It has a strong tannin structure that creates a great first impression that you’re not going to forget. 

Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairings

Flavourful dishes and rich meats are the perfect accompaniment to the rich tones of this red wine. Fire up the barbecue because this wine is a great match for juicy meat. Think succulent sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce, served with portobello mushrooms covered in butter and garlic. Mushrooms can also be served without the steak to create a suitable vegetarian dish to accompany your wine too.

A burger - especially one topped with cheese and smoky barbecue sauce - is delicious with this wine as is roast lamb. Beef and venison are also good fits - you can even use a splash of the red wine to create a delicious sauce that will simply melt in the mouth with the meat.

Are you planning a wine and cheese night? Then serve up hard, aged cheeses such as gouda and cheddar on your cheeseboard to complement your glass of Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet also pairs perfectly with sweeter desserts like a smooth chocolate fondant.

An award-winning wine

Dark Horse’s 2018 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon won the Mundus Vindi Gold Award in early 2020. The grapes are harvested at peak ripeness, resulting in firm tannins being accompanied by a smooth and velvety texture. Fermentation then takes place with the skins on to extract the colour and tannins. Using only the very best grapes gives the wine its fruity taste and to enhance the various dark fruits. Finally, oak aging delivers the hint of espresso and dark chocolate.

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