Shiraz Vs Cabernet Sauvignon

Shiraz Vs Cabernet Sauvignon - What is the difference?

Angelica Nohra
Wine Importer | Wine List Consultant | Speaker

Surprisingly, I get asked this question a LOT. Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, which one is bolder? What are the differences? What are the best brands to buy etc etc. 

Firstly, in case it needs to be said.... the biggest difference is they are two different grapes. One displays characters of red berries, where as the other is famous for black fruit characters. One is famous for having pepper spice and the other is famous for a green, herbaceous character. Do you know which is which? No? Well, thats what I'm here for.

What I love about both of these varietals is they are food friendly. Particularly when it comes to red meats and spicy food. 

Typical Characters: Red Fruit, Black Pepper, Oak, `
The best regions to find big juicy shiraz is Barossa Valley, Cape Town South Africa
The best regions to find subtle, softer and more elegant shiraz is Southern Rhone, Hunter Valley and cool climate regions like southern NSW.
Did you know: Australia has some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world? Shiraz can also grow in almost every wine making region of the world. 

Cabernet Sauvignon
Typical characters; Black fruit, blackcurrant, herbs, black olives. Higher tannins than shiraz.
The best regions to find big oak driven Cabernet Sauvignon is Napa Valley, USA, Chilé's Maule Valley, 
The best regions for greener, softer styles of Cabernet Sauvignon are Bordeaux, Tuscan coast town of Bolgheri (usually blended with Merlot like Bordeaux) and again, cool climate regions around Australia. 

Did you know: Cabernet Sauvignon is the child of sauvignon blanc and cabernet franc?

Whereas most countries will blend shiraz with grenache and mouvedre and blend cabernets with merlot, the interesting thing is it's a very famous Australian blend to do a Shiraz/Cabernet. 

You must try these! 

Andrew Seppelt 2013 Barossa Valley Shiraz

Grown in the ancient soils of the Barossa Valley, this limited release Shiraz bears the hallmarks of a classic wine. Layers of history and craftsmanship combine to offer a seriously delicious drop.

Terra Noble Classic Cabernet Sauvignon

Voted Number 1 Winery of Chilé 2 years running!

2012 Robert Bowen Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon

"My (Robert Brown) objective with this wine was to demonstrate in my own style the potential of Cabernet Sauvignon from the northern vineyards of the Margaret River wine region. This wine represents the culmination of 39 vintages working with this variety in Western Australia. Making this wine was very rewarding and I am very happy with the result.”

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