#CabernetDay was started by marketing and and twitter guru Rick Bakas back in 2010, and it’s become one of the most celebrated “wine days” ever since.
If you Google it you’ll get a variety of suggested dates, all based around the end of August and start of November. However Rick himself has always maintained that the day falls on the Thursday before the US Labor Day holiday each year, meaning 1st September for 2016.
An alternative is to follow the advice of many others who claim that, well, every day is #CabernetDay. Either way, below are a number of great suggestions to help celebrate, whichever way you celebrate.
WOLF BLASS GOLD LABEL CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Given that Wolf Blass has recently won the IWC’s International Red Winemaker of the Year, with their Gold Label Cabernet Sauvignon winning a Trophy and two Gold Medals at the same awards, it would be remiss of us not to include the famous Australian brand here.
And that’s not to mention the Gold Medal at the 2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition that the Gold Label Cabernet won earlier this year too.
So what best to celebrate #CabernetDay with a multi-award-winning Cab from a multi-award-winning winemaker?!
RSP €24.99 from Molloy’s Off-Licences, Dublin; and other good independent off-licences nationwide
KATNOOK ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Old Vintage Collection: 2003, 2004, 2005
Findlater is proud to bring to the market a flight of old vintage Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignons, available from September in select premium independent off-licences nationwide for only €35 per bottle.
The collection – naturally limited by their very nature – will offer consumers the rare opportunity to sample mature Australian wines from one of the foremost wine estates of the Coonawarra.
Head winemaker Wayne Stehbens has been at the helm of Katnook Estate for over 30 years now, making him one of the longest-serving winemakers in Australia. This also means that Wayne himself presided over these very vintages 11-13 years ago.
Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Old Vintages will be €35 from select premium off-licences come September.
The current release is €26 from Mitchell & Son, Dublin; Ardkeen Stores, Waterford; The Parting Glass, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow; La Touche Wines, Greystones, Co. Wicklow; Redmonds of Ranelagh, Dublin; Sweeneys of Glasnevin, Dublin; Next Door Off Licence, Kildare; Samuel Cope, Athy, Co Kildare; Fine Wines, Limerick; and other good off-licences
TORRES GRAN CORONAS
Spain may not be the first place that springs to mind for Cabernet Sauvignon, but Bodegas Torres was one of the first wineries to plant the variety all the way back in 1966.
Indeed, their single-vineyard Cabernet, Mas La Plana, famously beat some of the best Bordeaux – including Latour – in an international blind tasting in 1979.
Back then that wine was called Gran Coronas Black Label, and so today’s Gran Coronas continues that noble tradition, albeit with a dash of Tempranillo for a touch of Spanish flair.
RSP €18.99 from O’Brien’s nationwide; Martin’s of Fairview, Dublin; Molloy’s Off-Licences, Dublin; Sweeney’s of Glasnevin; Redmonds of Ranelagh; Ardkeen Stores, Waterford; Joyce’s of Galway; WineOnline.ie; and other good independent off-licences nationwide.
KANONKOP CABERNET SAUVIGNON
The world is finally awakening to the quality on offer from South Africa after a number of (undeserved) years in the shade, mostly thanks to the efforts of some really top-class wineries continuing to push the message of quality.
Kanonkop is one such producer. Now in its 4th generation of family ownership, Kanonkop Estate has been described by those in the know as being the South African equivalent of a Premier Cru.
Their Cabernet, sourced from the Simonsberg & Stellenbosch regions, has big but elegant flavours of mocha, cassis and tea leaf, and will put to rights anyone who has claimed the demise today of South African wines.
RSP €33.99 from O’Driscoll’s of Ballinlough, Cork; and Sweeney’s of Glasnevin, Dublin
CHARLES & CHARLES CABERNET / SYRAH
So here’s an unusual one: a Cabernet from Washington State in the US, with 30% Syrah blended in (note: not ‘Shiraz’). Not only that but native yeasts are used for both varieties, while the Syrah is whole-bunch fermented also – craft processes normally not achievable at this scale and price point.
But then Charles & Charles aren’t your regular winemakers. From their edgy labelling to their own personal, um, ‘unique’ sartorial style, perhaps their most off-the-wall characteristic is the insistence on quality at all costs and excellent relationships with growers across Washington.
The result is a deeply concentrated and powerful wine that nevertheless has modest 13.9% alcohol. Definitely a wine to go against the grain.
Charles & Charles is a collaboration founded in 2008 between Food & Wine Magazine 2009 Winemaker of the Year, Charles Smith (K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines) and Charles Bieler (Three Thieves, Bieler Pere et Fils, Sombra Mezcal).
RSP €18.49 from The Parting Glass, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow; Clontarf Wines, Dublin; and other good independents nationwide