McGuigan cabernet sauvignon tablescape

A Guide to Cabernet Sauvignon 

Robust, sumptuous and juicy with a savoury edge and lingering finish, it’s easy to see why Cabernet Sauvignon is such a popular and celebrated red.

Cabernet Sauvignon dates way back to the 17th century in France. Legend has it that the Cab Sav we love today was the result of unintentional cross-breeding of red Cabernet Franc grapes and white Sauvignon Blanc grapes. How’s that for a happy accident?!

Today, Cabernet Sauvignon is often referred to as ‘the king of grapes’, and is one of the world’s most widely planted grape varietals. And Australia happens to be the home to some of the oldest vines on earth.

The warm coastal regions of Coonawarra in South Australia and Margaret River in Western Australia are renowned for producing our finest Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Internationally, the Bordeaux region in France is famous for its prized Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mcguigan reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

What does Cabernet Sauvignon taste like?

Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied, intensely flavoured and elegant. It’s known for being wonderfully fruit-forward, but its rich tannic structure gives the wine a dry, almost powdery finish.

The high ratio of pips to pulp from the small, thick-skinned grapes gives the Cabernet Sauvignon its trademark tannins. The tannins add astringency and complexity to the wine and allow it to age and cellar beautifully.

While flavours vary depending on where the grapes have been grown and sourced, most Cabernet Sauvignons will have a rich palate of black fruits like blackcurrant, black cherry and plum, with varietal characters that can include liquorice, chocolate, black pepper and vanilla.



How do you serve Cabernet Sauvignon?

The best temperature for serving Cabernet Sauvignon is 16-18 degrees celsius. While not essential, a Cab Sav benefits from decanting for at least 20 minutes prior to serving, especially if it’s a premium drop. Using a decanter will let the wine aerate and breathe, giving the flavours a chance to smooth out. It also prevents some of the wine’s sediment and tannins from flowing into the glass.

When you’re ready to serve, pour the wine into a red wine glass. Filling the glass halfway leaves plenty of air in the glass, allowing you to truly capture and appreciate the wine’s aroma.


Can you cook with Cabernet Sauvignon?

Cabernet Sauvignon is a fantastic addition to rich and hearty dishes starring lamb or beef. The velvety tannins in the wine will mellow with more cooking time and the high acidity works well to tenderise the meat.

Use Cabernet Sauvignon to braise lamb shanks, flavour a bolognese or ragu, or deglaze your frypan to make a beautiful sticky sauce to pour on top of a juicy steak.

And remember…. a glass for the dish and a glass for you!


What food pairs well with Cabernet Sauvignon?

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the best red wines to pair with meat. Its rich body, astringent tannins, and savoury notes make it an excellent match for grilled, stewed or barbecued red meat, peppery sauces, and dishes with intense umami flavours.

But the ultimate partner for Cabernet Sauvignon is lamb. Think grilled lamb chops, a slow-cooked lamb shoulder, or a traditional lamb roast with all the trimmings. The wine cuts through the rich, fatty flavours of the lamb and creates a heavenly combination on your palate.


What are the top Australian Cabernet Sauvignon regions?

Coonawarra is a small wine region on the Limestone Coast in the south-eastern corner of South Australia. It’s renowned for producing exceptional expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon. Coonawarra is revered for its sacred strip of rich “terra rossa” red dirt. When blessed with dry heat in the summer and freezing winters, the soil creates ideal growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Margaret River region, located in the South West of Western Australia, also produces outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon. Its Mediterranean climate, characterised by long, dry summers and complemented by a cool sea breeze, is critical in the ripening process and keeps the grapes in pristine condition before harvesting.

Mcguigan The Shortlist Cabernet Sauvignon

What are the best McGuigan Cabernet Sauvignon wines to try?

The iconic Cabernet Sauvignon wine perfectly exemplifies the McGuigan family’s dedication to winemaking. Grown in a variety of climates by our expert winemakers, our rich and flavourful Cabernet Sauvignon wine is made to mark big milestones and special occasions.


2017 McGuigan The Shortlist Cabernet Sauvignon

With fruit sourced from Coonawarra, the wine is aged in new and old French Hogshead and American barrels to mature for 16 months before bottling. The savoury characters from the oak balanced with brooding stone fruit and rich dark berry, meld together to deliver a slight earthiness and drying tannins for a long, lingering sensation.

Drink now or enjoy the complex, intense flavours with careful cellaring of 10+ years.


Try it now: 2017 McGuigan The Shortlist Cabernet Sauvignon


2019 McGuigan Personal Reserve Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

The grapes for this very special vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon were grown and harvested in Langhorne Creek on the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia - home to the oldest family-owned Cabernet vines in the world.

This is a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon defined by complex flavours of dark berries and mocha, beautifully integrated with robust tannins and firm acidity.

Immediately drinkable, but will also improve with age with 10+ years cellaring.

Try it now:2019 McGuigan Personal Reserve Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon


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