A NUMBER of popular wine grape varieties have been given their own day of celebration. World Malbec Day, on April 17, is one that springs to mind and one that I have referenced in this column on more than one occasion.
This is followed by International Sauvignon Blanc day and there’s Chardonnay Day too, on May 23, although I think its name should be Jedward-ised to ChardonDay.
On the face of it, giving grapes their very own day of the year is a pointless activity. But such days are useful dates in the calendar for wine PRs to push their client’s vino and for writers, looking for inspiration for their next column.
Anyway, by the time this goes to print/online I will have missed the 2014 International Cabernet Sauvignon Day by 48 hours. But that isn’t going to stop me recommending three cabernet-based wines for your potential delectation. I have to confess though, that cabernet sauvignon isn’t one of my favourite grapes as a single varietal offering. I think it is a grape that often appeals more when it is part of a blend.
I like the New Worldliness of Wirra Wirra Church Block 2012; it is a blend of cabernet, shiraz and merlot from the McLaren Vale in Oz.
It is juicy but not jammy, with brambles, cassis, liquorice, toasted oak and some firm tannins. You can also find the 2011 vintage on offer, also for £9.99, at The Co-operative until the middle of September.
From the Stellenbosch region of South Africa there is Neethlingshof The Caracal 2011; a Bordeaux blend of cabernet, merlot and malbec. Rich and smooth, it is judiciously oaked and reveals flavours of blackcurrant, plums and cherry, with a supple structure.
Or splash out on a Bordeaux blend that actually comes from Bordeaux, Diane de Belgrave 2009, Haut-Médoc. This classy blend of cabernet, merlot and petit verdot, is velvety textured, fresh and ripe, with cherry, plums, blackcurrant, spice and notes of cedarwood.
Wirra Wirra Church Block 2012, £9.99 down from £13.49 at Waitrose 17/20
Neethlingshof The Caracal 2011, £12.74 (when you buy two at Majestic) 17/20
Diane de Belgrave 2009, Haut-Médoc, £17.50 from oddbins.com 17/20