Local wine industry insiders reveal the secrets of this classic grape variety.
The wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Originating in 17th-century France and synonymous with Bordeaux, cabernet sauvignon has found a home in many of the world’s greatest wine regions. The small-berried grapes produce a full-bodied red wine, rich and savoury, with excellent ageing potential.
John Darling, Darling Estate
It’s a delight to grow! I use a t-trellis, which creates a beautiful dappled light to steadily ripen the berries.
The cool nights we get in the valley also means that it ripens slowly. We get small berries and therefore a good skin-to-juice ratio and the result is a rich-bodied wine but one with great finesse and balance.
Luis Simian, Politini Wines
Cabernet is one of the last-ripening reds in the valley. We use careful vineyard management to give the grapes the best chance of ripening and maximise the fruit flavours. Once the grapes are in the winery they spend 16 months in French oak and micro-oxygenation helps to balance any herbaceousness. Politini cabernets are quite earthy and spicy, with rosemary flavours. The tannins are evident but not grippy.
Katherine Brown, Brown Brothers
The Brown family has been growing cabernet in the King Valley for more than 50 years and the grape quality and intensity of flavour always surprises me. Due to the cooler climate of the King Valley we get longer hang time, the grapes are picked later and you get beautiful berry intensity from that. For the Brown Brothers Patricia Cabernet Sauvignon, we select the best parcels of cabernet fruit, a number of which come from King Valley growers. The quality of this cabernet sauvignon has been honoured over the past number of years with this wine winning gold medals at many of the national wine shows.
We often serve it at the end of a meal with a strong cheddar, something with a bit of bite, or we match it with some lamb and fresh local rosemary, which really brings out the savoury character of the wine.