Cabernet sauvignon is celebrated as the finest grape variety in the world. It is an important variety on the international stage and renowned for magnificent, long lived wines from the French region of Bordeaux. It is grown successfully in the USA’s Napa Valley, Italy’s Bolgheri, Chile’s Maipo Valley, Stellenbosch in South Africa and Argentina. While the variety is widely planted throughout Australia, the regions of Coonawarra and Margaret River are renowned as great cabernet sauvignon areas. Modern cabernet styles are deeply flavoured, ripe and complex and the best examples will cellar for many decades. Wines typically express cassis, violet, cedar and spicy tones. Cooler sites and vintages bring out varietal leafiness, mint and herbal elements. A thick skinned grape with high tannin, it is often blended with merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot in a traditional Bordeaux blend. A uniquely Australian approach sees cabernet sauvignon blended with shiraz to make a popular local style.