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2. Cabernets and Sauvignons

Cabernets & Sauvignons

This month we're going to be exploring 3 grapes you've probably heard of before, and despite the fact that they're related they actually produce wildly different wines. Once you have a couple of glasses, and your white wines are chilled, hit play on the video to find out more about how these wines end up tasting so different from one another.

One more thing - for today's lesson - you might want to have some snacks ready. Some charcuterie, cheese or crisps, nuts or olives. You'll see why once you get started.

You can find more info on this month's wines below - as well as information on where to buy them and a couple of alternatives. If you want to rate each of the wines so we can start feeding that information into a personal tasting profile for you - you can do that here. 

Featured Wines

No. One

Sancerre

Country: France
Region: Loire Valley
Sub-Region: Sancerre
Producer: Francois Crochet
Year: 2019
ABV: 13%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

This classic Sancerre from Francois Crochet is perfect if you're looking for a crisp, light and dry wine with floral aromas. If you like this style and are looking for something you can enjoy every day try Menetou Salon or Quincy

No. Two

New Zealand

Country: New Zealand
Region: Marlborough
Sub-Region: Awatere
Producer: Yealands
Year: 2018
ABV: 12.5%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Despite being dry and fresh, New Zealand sauvignon blancs often have intense tropical aromas. This is the best wine from the estate, but Yealands also make a variety of wines at different price points that you can find here

No. Three

Bordeaux Sauvignon / Semillon

Country: France
Region: Bordeaux
Sub-Region: Pessac-Leognan
Producer:Château Lamothe-Bouscaut 
Year: 2018
ABV: 13.5%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Bordeaux whites are typically a blend of Sauvignon and Semillon and the addition of Semillon makes them stand up to ageing. Pessac Leognan is the most prestigious region but the area of Entre-Deux-Mers can make some great wines that are more affordable. 

No. Four

Left Bank Bordeaux

Country: France
Region: Bordeaux
Sub-Region:Saint-Estèphe
Producer:Château Graves de Pez
Year: 2016
ABV: 13.5%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Wines from the left bank of Bordeaux are Cabernet Sauvignon heavy and go big on the tannins. If you like this no-holds-barred style then check out some of the cabernet sauvignons from the Napa Valley in California like this from Stag's Leap Cellars. 

No. Five

Right Bank Bordeaux

Country: France
Region: Bordeaux
Sub-Region:Saint-Émilion
Producer:Château Hautes-Segottes
Year: 2014
ABV: 13%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Merlot is the main grape in right bank Bordeaux wines, making them softer and bringing some ripe red fruit flavours. The most premium wines can go for thousands - and age for years, but you can also find some great value wines for drinking now like this from the Pomerol sub-region.

No. Six

Cabernet Franc

Country: France
Region: Loire Valley
Sub-Region:Bourgueil
Producer: Bertrand Galbrun
Year: 2016
ABV: 12.5%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Cabernet Franc is often put into blends but they make some great single varietal wines too. The Loire is the best region for these and can be great value, but if you're after something a bit more premium check out this from South Africa, made in the Loire style. 

No. One

Vinho Verde Loureiro

Country: Portugal
Region: Vinho Verde
Sub-Region: n/a
Producer: Pequenos Rebentos
Year: 2021
ABV: 12%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Our first pick from James is this delightful Vinho Verde. A little on the richer side than usual thanks to some lees ageing (where the wine is aged on the yeast). This gives it a little more richness, but it still has the characteristic vinho verde salinity, and rich stone fruit flavours. 

No. Two

Vinho Verde Loureiro

Country: Portugal
Region: Vinho Verde
Sub-Region: n/a
Producer: Quinta de San Joanne
Year: 2020
ABV: 12.5%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Another Vinho Verde but this time more of a classic option. You should get more citrus peel from this one, and a nice brininess too. It's a little bit lighter and doesn't have the slight spritz you get with some vinho verdes. This used to be naturally occurring but these days it's added, so this producer avoids it to keep the wine as low-intervention as possible.

No. Three

Esoterico Orange Wine

Country: Australia
Region: South Australia
Sub-Region: Riverland
Producer: Unico Zelo
Year: 2020
ABV: 12.5%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Riverland in Australia used to be home to only mass-produced, low-quality wines. But now a handful of small producers are proving that with the right grapes some fantastic wines can be made. This orange wine has very low tannins so is a great starting point for anyone who isn't sure about orange wine.

No. Four

Catavela Orange Wine

Country: Italy
Region: Emilia Romagna
Sub-Region: n/a
Producer: Denavolo
Year: 2020
ABV: 10%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

A touch lighter in colour than the last orange, and slightly more tannins but still very accesible to orange wine beginners. This one is floral in a fresh-meadow kind of way. A great easy drinking wine for a spring day or to have with slightly funky fermented foods. 

No. Five

Blaufränkisch

Country: Austria
Region: Burgenland
Sub-Region: n/a
Producer: Clause Preisinger
Year: 2020
ABV: 12.5%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

A big bright red. Blueberry jam and other berries are the star of the show here. A great natural wine from Austria, but really clean and precise without any hint of farmyard. This wine is light and can be served slightly chilled - it's also pretty low in alcohol despite the big flavours - great for drinking all afternoon on a summer's day.

No. Six

Blaufränkisch

Country: France
Region: Jura
Sub-Region: Arbois
Producer: Domaine Villet
Year: 2020
ABV: 13%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Another bright fruity red but with a bit more complexity here. The Jura region is a favourite of wine-nerds and sommeliers because of the unusual, interesting and complex wines that come from here. This is light enough to drink chilled, but with a good amount of Autumn fruit complexity and high enough on the tannins that it would go perfectly with food.