California

Cabernet Sauvignon

Study Guides > Varieties > Cabernet Sauvignon

Signature Styles & Characteristics

Although any grape can be interpreted in innovative and at times, outlier styles, the below chart/graphic represents the preponderance of what you will find in California:

  • Dryness/Residual Sugar

    Cabernet Sauvignon: 35 percent on a scale from Dry to of Dryness/Residual Sugar.

  • Acid (potential)

    Cabernet Sauvignon: 55 percent on a scale from Low to High of Acid (potential).

  • Alcohol (potential)

    Cabernet Sauvignon: 85 percent on a scale from Low to High of Alcohol (potential).

  • Body (weight on palate)

    Cabernet Sauvignon: 95 percent on a scale from Low to High of Body (weight on palate).

  • Texture

    Cabernet Sauvignon: 100 percent on a scale from Gritty and Astringent to Round and Smooth of Texture.

  • Tannin

    Cabernet Sauvignon: 85 percent on a scale from Low to High of Tannin.

Aromas/Flavors

Influenced by climate, terroir, clonal selection and winemaking.

    Age
  • Red Fruit

    Fruit

    Blackberry, black raspberry, blackcurrant (cassis), plum, blueberry, black or red cherry
  • Red Floral

    Vegetable

    Bell pepper, black or green olive, fennel, rhubarb, tomato leaf, cola nut, purple beet, beetroot, peppercorn
  • Red Floral

    Herbal/floral

    Eucalyptus, laurel, mint, thyme, sage, rosemary, black tea, sarsaparilla, violet, tobacco
  • Red Wood

    Wood (oak)

    Dill weed, nutmeg, coconut, coffee bean, mocha, chocolate, cocoa, molasses, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, walnut, cinnamon, maple, rum raisin, sawdust or cut wood, char or ash, some toast
  • Red Other

    Other

    Leather, soy, tar, cigar box

Ageability

3-8 years on average, pedigree-dependent; the best bottlings have the potential to age 20-30 years and even longer