Cabernet Sauvignon is arguably one of the most famous wines in the world. Cabernet Sauvignon is a native French grape that cultivates easily and now grows in wine regions throughout the world. The California wine industry certainly took the wine to mass-appeal in the American wine market.
Whether you’re Italian-American who wants to reconnect with the homeland, or you have some other connection with Italy, you want to know which Italian wine is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon. Well, it depends.
If you’re drinking California Cabernet, we’re talking about an enormously full bodied wine with a massive amount ripe fruit notes. This is achieved with high sugar levels in the wine. Old World wine enthusiasts, people who drink wines mainly from France and Italy, would argue there is too much sugar in those “Cali-Cabs.”
If you drink Cabernet Sauvignon from France, we are talking about a style of wine much different from that of California.
California Cabernet Sauvginon
If you find yourself drinking Califronia Cabs and you can’t seem to find something similar in Italy, the problem is probably that you are so used to drinking “sugary” or overly-oaked wines. If that’s the case, your best bet is to try a Primitivo from the Puglia region in Italy. Primitivo is one of the most generous fruit-forward and full bodied wines in Italy. It makes an excellent transition wine if you want cross over to Italian wine. You can learn more about Primitivo in my book Hidden Gems of Italy. There are many reasons for exploring Primitivo
French Cabernet Sauvignon
If you’re coming from a more traditional style of Cabernet Sauvignon from France, we’re talking about a full bodied wine with sour black berry notes and a dry and earthy finish. If that’s the case, I’d go with a five to 10 year-old Taurasi from Campania. Taurasi is made with 100% Aglianico grapes and makes a great age-worthy wine. Aglianico is not generous on the fruit side of the flavor profile, but it does exhibit dark fruits. It’s full bodied with leather tannins and notes of tar and earth on the finish. Don’t go from California Cabs to this wine. Save it for later!
Other Italian Wines Similar To Cabernet Sauvignon
Looking for an Italian wine that is similar to a well-known wine is a great way to explore the world of Italian wines. You should get yourself a copy of Hidden Gems of Italy because there are two charts full of known wines like Cabernet Sauvignon that are similar to Italian wines.