Happy Cabernet Day! A Quiz on the Grape
Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 4:43PM
truthinjuice in Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Paris Tasting

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most popular grapes. It is planted in nearly every major wine growing country, including France, the United States, Italy, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Spain, Canada, and more. In honor of Cabernet Day, we're dedicating TruthInJuice.com's inaugural quiz to examining the history of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, as well as some Cabernet Sauvignon related fun facts.

Get those typing fingers ready, because we're giving the top scorer their choice of a free place in our next panel tasting on September 20th, or a Starbucks gift card. Naturally, that panel tasting will focus on Cabernet Sauvignon. Submit your responses through our general question form with the subject line "Cabernet Day Quiz."

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon, while the most popular of the Cabernet grapes, is not the oldest member of the Cabernet family. What grapes did Cabernet Sauvignon descend from?
  2. In what country did Cabernet Sauvignon originate? (Specify the region of the country for more points.)
  3. In which of the following wine regions would you be least likely to find Cabernet Sauvignon based wines? Napa Valley, Pauillac, Coonawarra, Bekaa Valley, St. Emilion, Maipo Valley, Columbia Valley
  4. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with other grapes. What are the 4 other grapes that can be blended with Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux?
  5. Name the Lebanese winery commonly regarded as one of the world's great wine estates, which is famous for its red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault. 
  6. Name the red wine that won the 1976 Paris Tasting, and catapulted American wines on to the international stage. Also, name the winemaker.
  7. This vineyard's history dates to 1879, and it was regarded by Robert Mondavi, among others, as the most important winery property in Napa Valley. The 1941 Cabernet Sauvignon from this vineyard is regarded as one of the greatest wines ever made in Napa. What is it's name?
  8. This popular California winery became one of the first wineries to use a screw cap on a premium wine, when it bottled half of the production of its 1997 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with a screw cap closure. Name it.
  9. California isn't the only American state famous for great Cabernet Sauvignon. Name the standout Washington State winery that has received 4 perfect scores of 100 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate for its Cabernet Sauvignon.
  10. What DOC region of Italy allows for the use of Cabernet Sauvignon in its wines?
Update on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 1:53PM by Registered Commentertruthinjuice

I'm posting the answers to our Cabernet Day Quiz in advance of our Panel Tasting on Cabernet that is taking place tonight. Unfortunately, no one made an attempt at the quiz, so we don't have a prize to award for this one, but hopefully you'll find the wine trivia contained in the answers enjoyable.

If anyone has suggestions to improve the quizzes, please write in. I'm all ears. Should they be shorter? Multiple choice? Eliminated entirely? Your comments are very much appreciated.

And without further ado, here are the answers to the Cabernet Day Quiz.

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon is the product of an accidental crossing between Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. 
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon's home is generally considered to be Bordeaux's Médoc peninsula, in southwestern France.
  3. St. Emilion is an appellation located on Bordeaux's left bank, and while Cabernet Sauvignon can be found there, the wines of St. Emilion are typically Merlot based. Cabernet Sauvignon is generally used as a blending partner in St. Emilion.
  4. Besides Cabernet Sauvignon, the four other red grapes allowed to be used in the production of red wine in Bordeaux are Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. A sixth grape, Carmenère, is permitted for use, but is now largely extinct in Bordeaux, due to the Phylloxera epidemic that ravaged Bordeaux in the late 1800's. Now prominent in Chile, Carmenère may be Chile's answer to Argentina's Malbec. For more info, check out this great article on Carmenère from Slate.
  5. Chateau Musar was founded by Gaston Hochar, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley in 1930. In 1959, his son, Serge became the winemaker, after studying at the University of Oenology in Bordeaux. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, and Carignan, and is always released 7 years after it is harvested. The wines have a cult following, and singularly unique taste that I often compare to honeyed red fruit, backed by a steely mineral quality. Check on Jay McInerney's article on Chateau Musar from earlier this year.
  6. Although Chateau Montelena gained a good measure of fame in the movie Bottle Shock, which was based on the 1976 Paris Tasting, a major detriment of the movie was that it did not mention the fact that red wines were featured in the 1976 Paris Tasting as well. While Napa Valley Chardonnays were pitted against top white Burgundies, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was pitted against some of the top wines from Bordeaux. After Chateau Montelena was announced as the top white in the tasting, the judges evaluated the reds, and declared the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon the winner. Much to the chagrin of the French judges, it gave the American wines a sweep of the event, and opened the door for the globalization of the wine trade. The 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon was made by Warren Winiarski, from young vines that were only 3 years old. The details of the event, and the significance of the American victory are captured in the outstanding book Judgment of Paris, by George Taber.
  7. Inglenook is the name of the vineyard, which has been sold several times since the 1960s, and is currently under the ownership of Francis Ford Coppola, who is working to restore the vineyard, and reacquire its now trademarked name. Here's a great story on the history of the Inglenook property, from the San Francisco Chronicle.
  8. Although it has only been around since 1979, Quilceda Creek is undeniably making some of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignons in the world today. The 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2007 vintages all received perfect scores from The Wine AdvocateFor some reason, Washington is often overlooked when it comes to Cabernet Sauvignon production, but some phenomenal examples can be found in the state.
  9. We can't have a quiz on Cabernet Sauvignon without mentioning Italy, where the grape has often been the source of controversy. It is blended with Sangiovese in Tuscany, to make "Super-Tuscan" wines that receive Indicazione Geografica Tipica status, and is used as a blending grape in many other Italian DOCs. However, it can be used as a dominant part of the blend in the wines of the Bolgheri DOC in Tuscany. Bolgheri is often referred to as the appellation that spawned the "Super-Tuscan" movement.

Article originally appeared on Truth In Juice: Wine Education & Commentary (http://www.truthinjuice.com/).
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