Cabernet Sauvignon is a very small and thick-skinned grape, creating a high 1:12 ratio of seed (pip) to fruit (pulp). Its parents are Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Generally, Cabernet Sauvignon produces a medium to full body wine with moderate acidity and tannin. Dark fruit flavours with leather, bell pepper and baking spice notes.
Used as one of the main blending components in Bordeaux wines, Cabernet Sauvignon possesses very dark fruits, like blackcurrant, black cherries, and blackberries, and you can always smell a dark cherry and earthy aroma, a very pleasing and recognizable Bordeaux feature. Cedar, tobacco, licorice, and vanilla are also common. One interesting feature of Cabernet Sauvignon is the “green bell pepper” aroma that is very common, especially cooler climate Cab Sauv’s. The hotter the climate, the jammier fruit characteristics are present. These tend to be the “new world” wines from Australia and Chile. Interestingly, Coonawarra (Australia) wines have a particularly minty, eucalyptus profile.
The "Bordeaux blend" of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet franc, with potentially some Malbec, Petit Verdot or Carménère, is the classic example of blended Cabernet Sauvignon.
But Cabernet Sauvignon can be blended with a variety of grapes such as Shiraz, Tempranillo and Sangiovese.