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Top 12 Cabernet Sauvignons of 2022

Having completed the judging for our Global Cabernet Sauvignon Masters earlier this year, we have selected a top 12 bottles from the competition, taking in a range of prices – from £12 to £450 – and source areas, including the mountains of Turkey and old vines of Tuscany and Chile.


  • Producer: Concha y Toro
  • Region: Maipo Valley
  • Country: Chile
  • Approx. UK retail price: £12

As the least expensive Gold-medal-winning wine in the 2022 competition, Casillero del Diablo’s Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvignon is this year’s best-value pick. Using fruit from Chile’s top Cabernet-growing region, the Maipo Valley, it is a benchmark expression for under £20, with delicious characters of blackcurrant, cedar and sweet tobacco, a subtle hint of dried mint, then some creamy vanilla, before the wine finishes with a note of cracked pepper and lingering, fine tannins to gently dry the palate. In short, a fully ripe, layered style of red that’s juicy but not heavy or sweet in style. (Patrick Schmitt MW)


  • Producer: Chamlija
  • Region: Strandja Mountains
  • Country: Turkey
  • Approx. UK retail price: £35

Made by Turkey’s first-rate wine producer Chamlija, which manages to yield great results with native Eastern Mediterranean grapes and a wide array of international varieties too, this is a wonderful and distinctive Cabernet from the verdant Strandja Mountains. There’s plenty of soft, ripe raspberry and blackcurrant fruit, some creamy vanilla from the oak barriques used in the winemaking process, along with notes of dark chocolate and black pepper, and a hint of nettle. It’s a generous, and fleshy style of Cabernet, but with a pleasantly chewy, tannic edge to bring a dry finish after the initial hit of juicy fruit and chocolate flavours. (Patrick Schmitt MW)


  • Producer: Wakefield Taylors Wines
  • Region: Clare Valley
  • Country: Australia
  • Approx. UK retail price: £30

On the basis that, ‘the finest wines are made with dedication and care’, Taylors Wines ‘respects the fruit’ grown on its estates in South Australia’s Clare Valley near the Wakefield River. A masterstroke indeed, this wine delivers black and red sweet fruits with notes of violets, fresh herbs and tobacco. Ripe with lively acidity and silky tannins, the finish is long and complex. A relatively linear style, this would be an excellent choice with poussin stuffed with wild-and-white rice in a redcurrant-red wine sauce. (Patricia Stefanowicz MW)


  • Producer: Mazzei, Castello di Fonterutoli
  • Region: Tuscany
  • Country: Italy
  • Approx. UK retail price: £45

Named in honour of the famous 17th-century Mazzei ancestor, Philip is produced from Fonterutoli and Belguardo old vine grapes grown on limestone and sandstone soils on those two estates in Tuscany. The wine shows masses of ripe bramble and blackberry fruit and smoky and hedgerow accents. Rich and quite full-bodied, there is brisk acidity and velvet-textured though plentiful tannins supporting the intense flavours. A long, savoury finish completes the wine. Venison or wild boar as a good food match, perhaps? (Patricia Stefanowicz MW)


  • Producer: Trefethen Family Vineyards
  • Region: Oak Knoll, Napa Valley, California
  • Country: USA
  • Approx. UK retail price: £40

Sustainably farmed vineyards surround the locally-sourced redwood winery in the Oak Knoll sub-zone of iconic Napa Valley. Trefethen has been awarded the California Green Medal Environment Award 2022, which highlights the estate-grown approach to wine production and the biodiversiy and resiliency built into the entire operation. This vibrant ultra-full and rich wine style is packed with dark berries, morello cherries and Victoria plums, bolstered by brisk acidity and silky-though-prominent-tannins to support the fruit and cedar-wood flavours. Textured, layered and complex, the wine has years ahead, but would be fine even now, with rich game or rare steak. (Patricia Stefanowicz MW)


  • Producer: Santa Rita Estates
  • Region: Maipo Andes, Maipo Valley
  • Country: Chile
  • Approx. UK retail price: £90

Carmen Gold is the flagship expression from Chile’s oldest winery, Viña Carmen, employing Cabernet Sauvignon – and a pinch of Cabernet Franc – from the producer’s best vineyards in the Maipo Andes. It’s an intense wine, with concentrated fruit, from blackcurrant to cherry and a touch of raspberry, complemented by layers of further flavours, from dark chocolate to toast, before revealing a dry tannic structure as the wine slowly fades, leaving a final mouth-watering taste of fresh plums and cedar. (Patrick Schmitt MW)


  • Producer: Luigi Bosca
  • Region: Mendoza
  • Country: Argentina
  • Approx. UK retail price: £65

This is a powerful wine with rich blackberry fruit and liquorice spice lifted by fresher notes of lavender, capsicum and tobacco leaf from the Cabernet Bouchet (an old clone of Cabernet Franc). Its deep colour is reflected in its intense nose and complex palate. It has grippy yet elegant tannins, and a mineral, almost saline quality, giving it an understated freshness that is surprising in such a big wine. Really long, it develops beautifully in the mouth. Would pair wonderfully with hoisin duck or lamb with a Chinese Five Spice rub. (Siobhan Turner MW)


  • Producer: Distell Ltd.
  • Region: Western Cape
  • Country: South Africa
  • Approx. UK retail price: £30

Nederburg was established in 1791 by German immigrant Philippus Wolvaart. The impressive thatched and gabled Cape Dutch manor house was completed in 1800, and is now a national monument. This wine is just as gorgeous as the house. Deep ruby-hued, the wine is full and rich, packed with bramble and smoked meat flavours. Fresh acidity and dense tannins balance the generous alcohol, and hints of dark chocolate and vanilla bean accent the long finish. This is one for the braai. (Patricia Stefanowicz MW)


  • Producer: Chateau Ste. Michelle
  • Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State
  • Country: USA
  • Approx. UK retail price: £35

Using fruit from one of Washington State’s most celebrated sites, the 50 year-old Cold Creek Vineyard, this Columbia Valley Cabernet is a generous, structured, complex and beautifully balanced glass of red. There’s plenty of barrel-influenced characters, from toast to roasted coffee, vanilla and caramel, which complement the fleshy, ripe blackcurrant fruit, and supporting frame of fine-grained dry tannin, which lingers after you’ve swallowed this luscious Cabernet, helping to refresh the mouth in preparation for another sip. (Patrick Schmitt MW)



  • Producer: Santa Rita Estates
  • Region: Alto Jahuel, Maipo Andes
  • Country: Chile
  • Approx. UK retail price: £90

Made using Cabernet Sauvignon from an almost 60 year-old vineyard in one of the highest parts of the Maipo Valley, an area called Alto Jahuel, this is a wine of intensity and freshness. Indeed, it is a beautifully balanced red that benefits from the free-draining soils of an ancient alluvial terrace of the Maipo River and the cool night-time air from the Andean mountains above. In terms of flavours, this Casa Real from 2019, the 30th vintage since its launch with the 1989 harvest, is loaded with ripe and juicy blackcurrant and dark cherry fruit, then tobacco leaf and cedar notes, complemented by flavours of cocoa powder and toast, with a lovely, dry, fresh edge to the wine that leaves one salivating and will ensure that this release, like the others before it, will age wonderfully if properly cellared. (Patrick Schmitt MW)

MT. BRAVE, 2018

  • Producer: Mt. Brave Wines
  • Region: Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California
  • Country: USA
  • Vintage: 2018
  • Approx. UK retail price: £75

From grapes grown on the rocky red slopes of Mount Veeder, this is mountain Cabernet Sauvignon at its very best. With an extremely deep purple-black colour, the wine shows dense black fruits backed by toasty, almost ‘tar-like’ accents and delicate rose-petal and baking spices overlay. Rich, full-bodied, layered and complex with great definition and length. Compelling now, with roast venison, for example, but one can only imagine how well it will age. (Patricia Stefanowicz MW)

PENFOLDS BIN 707, 2019

  • Producer: Penfolds
  • Region: McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Barossa Valley, Padthaway
  • Country: Australia
  • Approx. UK retail price: £450

The top-scoring wine of the competition, this flagship pure Cabernet from Penfolds is an outstanding expression of the grape, and a beacon of brilliance from Australia. Hailing from the 2019 vintage, this is an early taste of a powerful, fine wine with a long life ahead of it, but that does not prevent it from being a delicious drop now. It starts with notes of fresh fruit, from dark cherry to fresh currants, followed by fleshy red, blue and black berries, before the flavours progress to notes of creamy vanilla, then cocoa powder, and coconut shavings, before the appealing characters gradually subside to leave a fine-sandy-textured finish – there are plenty of dry tannins to refresh the mouth. (Patrick Schmitt MW)

About the competition

With high-quality judges and a unique sampling process, The Global Cabernet Sauvignon Masters provides a chance for your wines to star, whether they hail from a famous region for the grape or a lesser-known winemaking area of the world.

The top wines are awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stand out as being outstanding in their field receive the ultimate accolade – the title of Cabernet Sauvignon Master.

Please visit The Global Masters website for more information, or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call: +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at:

The wines for this year’s Global Cabernet Masters were judged on 17 June by the following members of the trade:

  • Patrick Schmitt MW
  • Andrea Briccarello
  • Siobhan Turner MW
  • Tim Tiptree MW
  • Jonathan Pedley MW
  • Patricia Stefanowicz MW
  • Matthew Stubbs MW
  • Miles Corish MW
  • Matthieu Longuère MS

Read more

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