Cabernet Sauvignon is probably one of the best known grape varieties in the world. This is probably because of 2 things; 1, it is a hardy variety which is quite resistant to diseases, so this makes it a desirable grape to plant for many vineyards. 2, it has the characteristics to make a great single varietal wine. It takes oak aging very well and can develop very well with age. Although in many old world wine producing countries it is used in a blend. This is most obvious in the Bordeaux blends where it is blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Here is Portugal it is mainly used in blends to provide wines with a bit more acidity on the finish. With the hot climate in most regions of Portugal, combined with the characteristics of the native grape varieties, the freshness the acidity gives to the wines is very desirable to many producers.
It is very much a New World thing to produce single variety red wines. However there are certainly benefits in making single variety wines. It makes a wine easily recognizable on the shelf at a wine store. The characteristics do vary depending on where it is grown, but generally speaking it retains its “Cabernet Sauvignon-ness”.
Here in Portugal there are very few single variety Cabernet Sauvignon wines. One however, is a common site at my place. The Casa Ermelinda Freitas 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is a very good wine and excellent value at under €10. It has aromas of dark fruit and a bit spice. To taste it is very smooth with the tannins complimenting the wine very well, with a long finish. It is well worth a try if you see it. I am sure you will agree with me that it is a fantastic wine for the price.
Wine a Day visits this winery, so you can try this and their other wines for yourself!