Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherglen

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most famous and widely planted red grape varieties in the world. It is immensely popular in Australia, where world-class wines are made in Coonawarra, Margaret River and the Yarra Valley. Each region has a distinctive character, but all tend to be more fruit-forward than those from France. Coonawarra has a distinct mint or Eucalypt aroma, Margaret River has a more tomato leaf character, while Yarra Valley is more elegant in style.

Its original home is Bordeaux, where it is the dominant grape on the left bank, Medoc and Graves. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and with small amounts of Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the New World, it is both blended and made as a straight varietal. Excellent wines are also produced in the Napa Valley and Chile's Maipo Valley. The grapes are thick-skinned providing the characteristic high tannins and deep colour. The Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to show fragrant cassis, herbaceous, full-bodied with high acid.
Located within the North East Victoria zone in Victoria, Rutherglen is a wine region situated to the north of Beechworth and to the east of Glenrowan. This wine region is considered the most important fortified wine production area in Australia, producing Muscats and Tokays which are internationally renowned for their exceptional quality and style. Most of the vineyards are located within the northern half of the area, where it is separated by the Murray River from New South Wales. The first vines in Rutherglen were planted during the gold rush era in 1851 and boasts of some of the oldest wineries in the country. Combining old traditions and new technology, Rutherglen has come a long way from its beginnings. The area received official recognition in 1997 when it was accorded GI (Geographical Indication) status.

Today, the wine region uses a variety of grapes for their wines including their famous Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains and Tokay which is used to make the famous fortified wines that Rutherglen is known for. The wines made from Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains are incomparable in depth and complexity. The wine is made by a particular winemaking process which involves a slow and oxidate barrel-ageing procedure that gives out a wide range of flavours including butterscotch, toffee, caramel, sweet spices and tea liquor.
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