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Celebrating International Cabernet Sauvignon Day: 20 to try

An aristocrat of grape varieties, we raise a glass to 20 top-scoring wines from Decanter World Wine Awards.

With a legacy as rich as the soil that nurtures its vines, Cabernet Sauvignon stands an international aristocrat amongst grape varieties, gaining the utmost respect from connoisseurs and wine lovers alike.

The grape variety thrives in a multitude of climates and regions, making it a global ambassador of fine red wines which intertwine history, terroir, and craftsmanship.

From famed Bordeaux to the sun-kissed Napa Valley, its signature notes of blackcurrant, plum, and hints of herbaceousness carry a sense of place with each sip.


Scroll down to see 20 top-scoring Cabernet Sauvignon dominant wines from DWWA 2023


In this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, Australia was the frontrunner for top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon with 10 varietal wines achieving 95+ points.

Margaret River in Western Australia proved the leader with seven Gold medals for its expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon and one Best in Show awarded to Evans & Tate, Redbrook Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2018.

New World Cabernet Sauvignon wines impressed at DWWA 2023 with South Africa second in the top charts – Stellenbosch receiving the majority of medals. Proudly receiving one of the competition’s 50 Best in Show medals, and scoring 97 points, Le Riche Wines, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 from Stellenbosch exhibits a perfect combination of weight, muscle and energy in the mouth with a clean and fresh finish.

When mentioning Cabernet Sauvignon, France is not to be forgotten, and it certainly wasn’t at DWWA 2023 with two outstanding Bordeaux blends from the Left Bank awarded Best in Show and Platinum medals, alongside a handful of Golds.

On the Best in Show winning wine from Pessac-Léognan, Château De Rochemorin 2020, judges commented: ‘No other red-wine appellation in Bordeaux offers blends in which Bordeaux’s two leading varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) find quite such harmony and balance as in Pessac-Léognan.’

Elsewhere, Italy received a prestigious Platinum medal for Gagliole, Balisca, Colli della Toscana Centrale 2019 from Tuscany, described by the experts as a well-defined and firm wine with livening acidity and long minty finish.

Two Gold medals were awarded to China, highlighting the country’s significant efforts and progress in crafting top-quality wines. Both coming from Ningxia, ‘polished tannins’ was a term used to describe both wines.

To celebrate International Cabernet Sauvignon Day, we highlight 20 top-scoring Cabernet Sauvignon dominant wines from DWWA which are well worth looking for. Discover more award-winning wines at awards.decanter.com →

Celebrating International Cabernet Sauvignon Day: 20 to try

Australia 

Evans & Tate, Redbrook Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia 2018

Best in Show, 97 points
The summer warmth is very much apparent in the wine’s aromas: a broad, structured upland of currant, plum, black cherry and bramble fruit with just a little menthol to bring freshness and dimension.  On the palate, the wine is acid-balanced and smooth, once again throwing a spotlight on those long, complex fruits.  It’s amply accessible already, though its fruit qualities will certainly hold for some years yet. Alcohol 14% 

Fermoy, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia 2018 

Gold, 96 points
Perfumed and lifted nose displaying scents of dark rose buds, violets, vanilla spice, cedar and masses of minty cassis and smoked plums. Sumptuous palate, creamy. Alc 14.5% 

Blue Pyrenees Estate, Richardson Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Pyrenees, Victoria 2019 

Gold, 95 points
Nice clove-scented nose with smoky notes and classic aromas of juicy black cherries, mint and liquorice. Very fine grainy tannins, ambitious and complex, luxurious. Alc 14.3% 

Brown Hill Estate, Ivanhoe Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia 2020 

Gold, 95 points
Powerful on the nose, with loads of black currant and dark plummy fruit aromas, framed by well-judged spicy oak notes. Young and firm on the palate. Alc 14% 

Capel Vale, The Scholar Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia 2020 

Gold, 95 points
Briney aromas on the nose, with bright red fruits, camphor and nuances of sea breeze. Silky and fine tannins, with a mineral finish. Alc 14% 

Domaine Naturaliste, Morus Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia 2019

Gold, 95 points
Earthy and savoury nose, displaying aromas of dark brambly fruit, cassis, sweet oak spices and hints of cedar. Big plush tannins on the palate, persistent. Alc 14% 

China

Lansai Winery, Yu Moli Cabernet Sauvignon, Helan Mountain East, Ningxia 2020 

Gold, 96 points
Classic nose displaying elegant aromas of roasted coffee, forest floor, cedar, dried leaves, leather and generous red fruit. Assertive and polished tannins, lovely long finish. Alc 15.5%

Huida Sunshine Ecological Winery, Qianhongyu Cabernet Sauvignon, Helan Mountain East, Ningxia 2019 

Gold, 95 points
Playful aromatic nose with ripe dark berries, violets, jammy dark cherries and prunes framed by leather and tobacco complexity, cedary nuances. Dense and polished tannins. Alc 14.5%

France

Château De Rochemorin, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux 2020

Best in Show, 97 points 
It’s dark in colour and has the very best kind of leafy aroma – never green, but conveying a breeze-fresh impression of fruit grown in sunlight within easy reach of the forest (as so much of Pessac-Léognan is). On the palate, the wine is pure, fresh, graceful, vivacious and curranty, with an innate sobriety and elegance; soft tannins, poised acidity and discreet oak complete the appetising and digestible picture. Alc 14%

Château Les Vimières, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux 2020

Platinum, 97 points 
Enticing aromas of ripe black cherries, dark chocolate and espresso, with hints of roasted meats. An excellent intensity of mouth-filling black fruits, with generous oak displaying vanilla sweetness and a backbone of plush melting tannins. Long and energising. Alc 14%

Château Mongravey, Margaux, Bordeaux 2020

Gold, 96 points
Ripe, lovely fragrant nose of pencil shavings, oyster sauce, and cedar. Very fine palate, and lovely intensity of plums, black cherries, and blackcurrants, with hints of violets, wet stones, and hoisin. Extremely well made, refined, and harmonious. Alc 13.5%

S.C.V., Collection 1933, Pauillac, Bordeaux 2019

Gold, 96 points 
A very enticing nose of coffee, cedar, cloves, and powerful black fruit. The palate further displays rich, dense black fruits, with gorgeous depth and sweetness, that lingers with vanilla oak. Lovely complexity, good aging potential, and long finish. Alc 14%

Italy

Gagliole, Balisca, Colli della Toscana Centrale, Tuscany 2019 

Platinum, 97 points
Bountiful bright fruit, flowers and aromatic herbs bound together in a generous bed of confident tannins. Well-defined and firm with a smattering of livening acidity and a long, minty finish. All the components for a long life. Alc 15%

South Africa

Le Riche Wines, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch 2020

Best in Show, 97 points
It’s dark black-red in the glass, with serenely curranty scents teased to perfect ripeness and lent dimension by oak without any overt woody stamp obtruding on that fruited charm.  The wine exhibits a perfect combination of weight, muscle and energy in the mouth: it’s every inch the athlete.  At the end of the palate, though, that singing, lyrical fruit returns before tapering off in a finish that leaves the mouth clean and fresh yet hoping for more. Spot on. Alc 14.5% 

Daniel Pesat Wine, My Story, Stellenbosch 2019 

Gold, 96 points
Luxuriant black forest gateau, nutty oak and perfumed herbs dazzle and entice and are supported by a polished structure, silky tannins and a long supple finish. Very smart. Alc 14% 

Spier Wines, 21 Gables Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch 2019 

Gold, 96 points
Ink and pencil shavings over dark berry compote, amply leading to the super smooth and supple palate and infusing nicely with the gorgeous herbaceous tannins. Divine. Alc 13.69% 

Jordan Wine Estate, The Long Fuse Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch 2021 

Gold, 95 points
A delightful array of violets, hedgerow and turned earth with perfect blueberries and a cool minty charisma infused into the delicate tannins and cherry perfume finish. Alc 13% 

Le Bonheur Wine Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Stellenbosch 2020 

Gold, 95 points
Smooth, svelte silky seduction in a glass! Perfumed violets, dark fruit, cedar wood and pencil lead; incredibly seamless and plush with a delectably finessed finish. Alc 13.28%

Nederburg, Private Bin Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon, Coastal Region 2019

Gold, 95 points
Forthcoming cassis and aromatic rose bud florals with a touch of polished cedar and vanilla spice pushing through. Sumptuous and engaging with linear tannins and an intense finish. Alc 14%

United States

Newton, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder, California 2018 

Gold, 96 points
Cooling mint infused ripe black fruits on the nose, with hints of tobacco and aromatic herbs, with a charred cedar oak frame and a long perfumed finish. Stunning! Alc 14%


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