California Cabernet | Wine Spectator School | Wine Spectator
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Wine Spectator School

Class 1: Cabernet and California

The main concepts covered in Class 1 include the following:


Growing Cab

  • Grows in many climates
    Hard wood vine survives spring frosts
    In warm but not hot climates, yields rich, dep, intense, concentrated and structured wine
    Wrong climate or overproduction can lead to pronounced vegetal flavors
  • Hearty, durable grape less susceptible to bunch rot after rain
    Small, thick-skinned berry
    Hangs in a loose cluster
    Easy to harvest
    Ripens late, so can be a problem in very rainy years

    Making Cab

  • Fermentation Temperature
    Average temps 75-90 degrees F
    Too high can kill the yeasts and make fruit flavors stewed or dull
    Cooler temps maintain the freshness of the fruit.
    Warmer temps increase release of colors and tannins from skins
    Warmth can add richer, rounder mouthfeel
  • Blending
    Vineyard Identity
  • Barrel...

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