Network Books


Claret and Cabs: The Story of Cabernet Sauvignon, by Benjamin Lewin MW

Claret and Cabs: The Story of Cabernet Sauvignon, by Benjamin Lewin MW


Hardback – 260 x 195 mm – 518 pages

With hundreds of colour illustrations and diagrams

Once grown only in Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon has spread internationally to become the world's most important black winegrape. The Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and other varieties has become universal, but is also challenged by varietal wines from the New World consisting exclusively of Cabernet Sauvignon.

What is the true character of Cabernet Sauvignon? Going behind the scenes, this worldwide survey liberally illustrated with maps and photographs examines the changing nature of Cabernet Sauvignon and its blends: how has Cabernet changed from a herbaceous to a fruit-driven wine? Should Cabernet Sauvignon be drinkable on release or require aging? And does Cabernet Sauvignon still need to be blended in the era of global warming?

How do the top wines of Napa Valley differ from the First Growths of Bordeaux? Has Bordeaux lost its way in adopting a riper ‘international’ style? How do its wines compare with Bordeaux blends from Coonawarra or Margaret River? Will global warming eliminate Merlot as a partner for Cabernet Sauvignon? What is the future for blends with Carmenère or Malbec in South America or with Syrah in Australia? Is Bordeaux still the essential reference point or has it been displaced by newer regions?

Reviewing Cabernets from all over the world, Claret & Cabs includes profiles of leading producers with tasting notes from current and past vintages, and vintage assessments.

Benjamin Lewin MW brings a unique combination of qualifications in wine and science to bear on the world of wine. He is a Master of Wine, and was founding editor of the leading scientific journal, Cell.

His previous books, What Price Bordeaux?, Wine Myths and Reality, and In Search of Pinot Noir, received worldwide critical acclaim for their innovative approach and were shortlisted for the prestigious André Simon and Roederer wine book awards. Lewin also writes the myths and realities column in the World of Fine Wine, and contributes to Decanter magazine, Wine & Spirits, and TONG.

He divides his time between the eastern United States and the wine-growing regions of Europe, and is presently working on his next book.

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