BACKGROUND: The objective of this work was to study the effect of two Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains with different capabilities of polysaccharide liberation during alcoholic fermentation in addition to subsequent aging on lees with or without oak wood chips as well as aging with commercial inactive dry yeast on the physical, chemical and sensorial characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon red wines. RESULTS: The HPS (high levels of polysaccharides) yeast strain released higher amounts of polysaccharides (429 g L-1) than EC1118 (390 g L-1) during alcoholic fermentation, but the concentration equalized during the aging period (424 and 417 g L-1 respectively). All aging techniques increased the polysaccharide concentration, but the increase was dependent on the technique applied. A higher liberation of polysaccharides reduced the concentration of most of the phenolic families analyzed. Moreover, no clear effect of the different aging techniques used in this study on color stabilization was found. The HPS wines were better valued than the EC1118 wines by the panel of tasters after alcoholic fermentation. CONCLUSION: In general, the HPS wines showed better physicochemical and sensorial characteristics than the EC1118 wines. According to the results obtained during the aging period, all aging techniques contributed to improve wine quality, but it was difficult to establish the technique that allowed the best wine to be obtained, because it depended on the aging technique used and the period of aging.