Bottle of The Week- Garduno Vino de la Tierra de Castilla Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the world’s most popular grapes, grown in virtually every wine producing region, from its original France to New Zealand and South Africa. The grape was created by a cross between the Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century. It is apparently a fairly easy grape to cultivate, I wouldn’t personally know because I’ve never actually cultivated grapes, which is the key attribute for its popularity and relative affordability. Your classic Cabernet Sauvignon will be full bodied, with high tannins and and acidity, which make it a great possibility for aging. Depending on the climate in which the grape is grown it can be anywhere from dry and spicy to slightly sweeter and fruity.

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Now to talk specifically about Spanish Cabs, like Italian Chiantis would have a DOC or DOCG, Spanish wines also have specific regulations and classifications. This particular bottle is Vino de la Tierra , which is a step below the DO (Denominación de Origen), which is the highest designation. Vino de la Tierra represents a higher-than-table-quality wine. Like with other classification systems, this label carries with it an expectation of quality and certain characteristics of a higher quality Spanish wine.

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The Garduno Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 is a pretty typical representation of that level. It has a clean and crisp taste. It is particularly dry for a Cab, with some stone and earthy flavors which are complimented nicely by the cedar and oaky notes on the finish. IMG_6821The typical black currant flavor is present here along with peppery flavors. One of the things I picked up int eh wine were some notes of green peppers, which is generally more prevalent in grapes that are not quite ripe enough. This comes from the pyrazine levels in the wine, which is a compound found in all Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that is gradually destroyed by sunlight. The riper the grape is when it is harvested the less of green pepper taste the wine will have. The green pepper flavor is not always a bad thing if there are just hints of it and it’s balanced well with other flavors. I felt like it was a bit too strong in this wine, I would have liked it to be slightly less. So, I give it an 8.7.

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