Cabernet Blend, Italy

Winemakers often blend Cabernet Sauvignon with other grape varietals (such as Merlot and Shiraz) as it enhances complexity within the wine whilst giving the fruitier varieties a framework and structure to sit within. The addition of other grapes to Cabernet tends to soften out the harsher tannins.

Cabernet blends from Coonawarra, Margaret River and Langhorne Creek are the most commonly known in Australia with Bordeaux and Languedoc the most iconic regions in France for making Cabernet blends.
Italy has some of the oldest wine production methods in the world and almost every part of the country is planted under vine. From the Alps in the north to the very southernmost parts of Sicily where Africa is almost in sight, wine is successfully cultivated. In addition to the latitude covered, Italy's many mountains and hills provide a plethora of altitudes for grape growing in various soils and micro-climates. The extensive coastlines along the peninsula that is Italy provide maritime climates for the coastal wine-growing areas. Over 350 grape varieties are 'authorised' in Italy, though up to 550 varieties are thought to be grown.

The classification system of Italian wines has four classes, with the intention of defining a wine's origin a quality. Two of these classes are table wines, whilst DOC and DOCG fall under the EU quality wine produced in a specific region category. Vino da Tavola (VDT) means that the wine comes from Italy. Most of these wines are generally basic table wines that are consumed domestically. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) denotes a more specific region within Italy, and the resultant will be of higher quality than simple table wines, but won't conform to the rules required for higher certification. Both Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) are regionally more specific than IGT, and have stricter rules regarding the grape varieties grown, yields per hectare, minimum alcohol levels and so on. The major difference between DOC and DOCG is that the latter has to undergo a blind-tasting session to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Italy has 32 DOCG appelations, 311 DOC appelations and 120 IGT zones.

Key regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sicily and Sardinia. Common white varieties grown are Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano and Moscato. The red varieties grown the most are Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Nero d'Avola and Corvina.
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  1. Le Volte Dell' Ornellaia 2017
    Ornellaia has established itself among the iconic wine estates in Italy (and beyond). The estate is dedicated to producing charming and opulent wines, full of Mediterranean character and finesse, reflecting the estate’s unique terroir in Bolgheri on the Tuscan ... Learn More
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    The Wine Advocate
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  2. Tenuta Dell' Ornellaia DOC 2015
    The blackberry and blueberry aromas with fresh sage and bay-leaf character are impressive. Stone, graphite and mineral undertones. Full-bodied and silky and refined tannins. Dusty. Elegance and polish. Shows greatness in strength and refinement. A dialed-in, dialed-back Ornellaia. - James ... Learn More
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    Robert Parker
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  3. Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore 2018
    “Characterized by a lively ruby red colour, Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2018 is a wine of great aromatic complexity, a distinctive feature of this vintage. In the glass, aromas of berries, blackberry, raspberry and red cherry are accompanied by floral ... Learn More
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    Antonio Galloni
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    The Wine Advocate
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  4. Ornellaia Doc 2016
    Ornellaia was founded in 1981 undergoing several changes of ownership until it was taken over by the Frescobaldi family in 2005. Located near Bolgheri with around 192 hectares in total encompassing the vineyards, winery and the adjacent Bellaria property just North of Bolgheri. ... Learn More
    Ornellaia Doc 2016
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