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The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is distinctively small and strikingly dark, in fact,  an inky almost bluish purple, with a skin thicker than that found on most other grape varieties. Hence, there is a high ratio of skin to flesh so this grape is never short on tannin - the reason it so capably produces long lived wines.These wines are in fact downright undrinkable in their youth, because of abundant tannin and many require longer than usual aging before they are even approachable.

This grape grows in rather tight clusters and is a late ripening variety, with pronounced notes of blackcurrants and notable acidity. In cooler climates, it produces wines that tend to be austere and lean with more acidity, while warmer climates result in wines that are fruitier, fuller bodied, some may say "jammy", "syrupy" or "viscous".

As this is a relatively hardy variety, it can grow in a wide range of climates and consequently produces an almost wildly diverse range of wine styles, though always with the same key notes of dark currants, very generous tannins and deep colour.

Cabernet Sauvignon is still widely considered king of all red grape varieties largely because of its unrivalled aging potential and its ability to grow just about anywhere and still produce outstanding wine.

It is the star grape of Bordeaux  though it is far from the region's most planted variety and has brought wine fame to Chile, California and South Africa, thanks to some of the stellar specimens these countries have been consistently producing in the last few decades.