I previously posted a tasting guide for the flavors of Zinfandel, and here's one for fans of the famous grape from Bordeaux, the king of reds, Cabernet Sauvignon. Use it as a tool to help you appreciate the flavors and aromas the next time you enjoy one of the world's most popular reds. Preferably a Collier Falls Cabernet from Dry Creek Valley of course! The most commonly encountered flavors are in bold.
Fruit may be further segmented into: fresh, juice, soft drink, peel, dried, jelly/jam, syrup, concentrate, baked, canned, candy/candied, artificial, kernel, distilled (eau-de-vie, fruit brandy), liqueur, and specific varieties/types of each fruit.
Currant (Black, Red)
Cassis (Black Currant Syrup)
Red Table Grape
May be fresh, dried, ground or extract.
Pepper (Black Peppercorn)
Aniseed, Fennel Seed
Wood Smoke (smoky)
Pine (Pine Needle)
FLOWER (floral, flowery)
May be fresh/raw, roasted or toasted.
VEGETABLE (vegetative, vegetal)
May be fresh, cooked, canned or dried.
Potato (baked, roasted)
HERB (herbal, herbaceous)
May be fresh or dried.
Bay Leaf (Laurel)
Wood Aged Brandy
Lots to keep your mind and palate occupied here! It's interesting to notice how a vintage changes in the cellar over the course of a year, or even a few months. For our 2006 Collier Falls Cabernet, I was picking up some definite mint characteristics a few months ago, but recent tastings show less mint and more tobacco. As always, no right or wrong answers here, just a continuing education and appreciation for the fruit of the vine!