The King of Napa Valley: All About Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the resounding favorites when it comes to wine enthusiasts across the globe. At one point, the grapes that craft this wine was the most widely planted in the entire world.  

It’s not difficult to understand why people love this wine – it has a robust, brooding base that has versatile options for flavor profiles, and it ages perfectly. 

If you’re a fan of this delectable wine, this article is for you. This is a short guide on Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the staples of Napa Valley.


This wine has origins in France that date back to the 1600s. It was actually a product of an accident. A red Cabernet grape plant was accidentally bred with a Sauvignon Blanc grape plant, Cabernet Sauvignon was born from this accident, and the rest is history. 

The Cabernet Sauvignon Grape

The grape that goes into this wine has thick skin and lots of pips. The standard cabernet sauvignon is tannic and rich in color – almost blue due to its depth. Because of the simplicity when it comes to growing this vine, there are multiple places where these grapes are produced. 

It thrives in the following locations: 

  • France
  • Chile
  • Romania
  • Australia
  • Italy
  • South Africa
  • Argentina 
  • Eastern Washington
  • North-Central California

Tasting for Beginners

The following section contains highlights of the taste of this wine. 


Cabernet Sauvignon is a robust wine. It’s balanced with a variety of aromas, nuanced layers, and you’ll find incredible complexity in the flavors. 

Tastes range from black currants, cedar, cherries, and even mint. The versatility of this wine has been noted, but it does best when it takes on leather, dried herbs, and tobacco. 

It also goes well with oak. The woody flavor that happens during fermentation or aging compliments the sweeter elements of vanilla or spice. 

You may not be aware, but this wine takes on green bell peppers perfectly. This is because of compounds present in under-ripened grapes. 


This wine is often blended. Normally it’s sold as a pure varietal wine; up to 25% of a bottle may be blended with additional varieties of grapes. Normally, these would be Merlot or Cabernet Franc. 

Food Pairings

Because of the high level of tannin, this wine screams for protein and fatty foods. Red meat is a classic companion – things like prime rib, steaks, and sausages will make a meal paired with this wine. 

Even a medium-rare burger sits well with this rich wine. This is the perfect selection for days on the patio while you’re grilling. 

A Timeless Classic

Cabernet Sauvignon is a timeless variety of wine that never seems to lose its luster. Even people who aren’t normally partial to wine find comfort in a glass of Cabernet. There’s just something warm and enriching about it that makes you yearn for more. If you’re not a wine fan, simply taste a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. This might be the variety that changes your mind completely. 

ELLMAN, led by the winemaker Andy Erickson, is a Napa family vineyard and Family Winery in Napa that specializes in creating and sharing fine wines that honor their family name. Andy Erickson leads the way with his vast experience, as this is becoming one of the top wineries in Napa. Ellman Family Vineyards also holds private tastings at their own Downtown Napa tasting room. This family-owned winery in Napa really does offer it all. You can learn more about the Ellman's on their website here, or check out their full list of wines on this page to get started. Give us a call if you are interested in taking part in one of our tastings in our very own Napa tasting room. 

To learn more about the Napa Valley Cabernet, check out these resources:
Resource 1 | Resource 2 | Resource 3