Cab Franc Off

Discussion in 'Wine Making from Grapes' started by NorCal, Jun 18, 2019.

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  1. Jun 18, 2019 #1

    NorCal

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    @4score and I made a lot of Cab Franc last year. Three different ferments, resulting in 4 different wines. We may be doing Cab Franc again this year, so we are going to do a blind tasting of the different wines, to see if we gain any knowledge to improve our wines this upcoming season. Here are the details of the 4 wines, all of which are still in the barrel that we will be comparing:

    upload_2019-6-18_14-59-11.png
     
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  2. Jun 19, 2019 #2

    Boatboy24

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    Based on the notes, I'll take number 1.
     
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  3. Jun 19, 2019 #3

    NorCal

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    Curious to know why?
     
  4. Jun 19, 2019 #4

    CDrew

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    I'm guessing the Petite Sirah in the blend.

    I'd try all of them and curious about the Prelude.

    Looking forward to the tasting notes.

    The yeast I think is either "Andante" or it's rename "Avante" but not Adante. Even the Renaissance website is confused right now. But I think Avante is the current name.

    https://www.lodiwinelabs.com/products/andante-yeast
     
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  5. Jun 19, 2019 #5

    balatonwine

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    Till it is in a glass, under my nose, and then over my palate, such things don't matter.

    P.S. If you blended ... IMHO, it ain't a Cab Franc anymore. It is a blend. So would scratch it off any Cab Franc list myself. Varietals should be pure. Again, IMHO.
     
  6. Jun 19, 2019 #6

    stickman

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    I think it is nice having the data, as much data as possible including the one with Petite Sirah, that way once the comments are added, you'll have information to make any possible connections. @NorCal I'm anxious to see the comments.
     
  7. Jun 19, 2019 #7

    cmason1957

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    Then there might be just a handful of wines you would call Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. I haven't done an exhaustive search for certain, but when you can get the information from the winery nearly all the wines have some extra blended into them. The TTB only requires it to 75% of the primary grape to call it single varietal. 7% Petite Sryah it's still Cab Franc. And for what it is worth, that is my bet as to the winner as well. The added complexity is what I look for.
     
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  8. Jun 19, 2019 #8

    NorCal

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    In the US it is common knowledge that the bottles labeled as a varietal can contain up to 25% other varieties of grapes. It does make things more confusing, because wine labeled the same can taste very different, so I can see your point. However, I'd say you opinion is in the minority in the US, because that is what we are use to.

    Having a wine that has been blended does add another element to our comparison for sure. This PS from this vineyard with this CF from this vineyard is a known combination that works together (commercial double gold winner at SF Chronicle competition), which is why I wasn't shy about adding this amount up front, instead of through taste trials. I still may add more, or throw in a little petit verdot.
     
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  9. Jun 19, 2019 #9

    mainshipfred

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    It has always been my understanding old world wines have always been predominately blends. It was the new world, primarily California, that initially favored single varietals. Personally, although I will still bottle some at 100%, the bulk of my wines will be blended in some form (percentage) or another.
     
  10. Jun 19, 2019 #10

    sour_grapes

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    What you say is true. However, in the Old World, they don't label it "Merlot" if it is a blend, they label it "Pomerol" or "Saint-Émilion" (or whatever).
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  11. Jun 19, 2019 #11

    ceeaton

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    Having met Jim a few times I'd guess it is a combination of the Petite Sirah addition and the 11 oak spirals. Just a guess. I could also give you my thoughts on who will win the Superbowl, but this isn't the thread for it...
     
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  12. Jun 19, 2019 #12

    Boatboy24

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    @CDrew is right and @ceeaton nailed it - the PS, plus a little heavier on the oak.
     
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  13. Jun 21, 2019 #13

    4score

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    Interesting thread!

    I wasn't aware this was a competition! :)

    Really, we are trying to compare these CFs to note anything standing out from blind tastings, then revealing and trying to tie back to components used (or not used). I have two barrels of CF from the same vineyard - 1 with Prelude and 1 w/o Prelude. NorCal's does have a little PS, but he also has no Prelude. Also, note my Prelude CF is also in a new American Oak barrel, so there should be big oak there. My third barrel of CF is from another vineyard but also with Prelude. I have a 4th barrel of Petite Syrah that is off-the-charts great. I'm holding this for probable blending with one or all of my CFs.

    One note about the use of Prelude. It definitely made the wine different from the control sample. I think a bit more expressive and different mouthfeel....but we'll see. It's easy to convince yourself of sensory results when you know the wine barrel the sample came from, so a blind tasting with be interesting. Also with the Prelude, I only let it go 3.5 Brix before finishing it off with Avante. I later sent in the two samples (with and without Prelude) for lab testing. I wanted to see any alcohol difference. It was minimal (I think one was 14.1 and the Prelude wnewas 13.99), so with this year's CF, I may try going "deeper" with Prelude and seeing what that does. Fun stuff.
     
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  14. Jun 21, 2019 #14

    balatonwine

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    Yeah. I know. As I have had to clarify more than once here: I was born, raised and grew up in CA. Lived in the North Coast and then Sacramento for years. Often went to Napa for wine tasting. I am an American who just happens to live in Europe now, and I have vineyards here.

    Still... What I said was an opinion. And it was my opinion when I lived in CA, and it is still my opinion. Could not care less about "common knowledge, what people think, expect, is "legal", allowed, or are ignorant about" in one place or another. That was not my point. :)

    And so, as a purist, I again still say putting a blend against all others which are pure varietals is not really a real comparison of the true grape or the true wine it can produce.

    Or, in other words, you are entering a blend: Do you think your pure varietal as not good enough to be competitive? If so, does that not already say something? I would say: enter your pure varietal. You may not "win", but you may learn a lot more that way about Cab Franc wine making, and that is more valuable than "winning".

    Then challenge the same group to a blending competition. They may learn something from you about blending. :h

    So, this is not a US versus Europe thing. So everyone can stop that wrong train of thought now. This is just my opinion/interpretation. As a vigneron.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  15. Jun 21, 2019 #15

    NorCal

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    @balatonwine, I can respect what you are saying. Read my first post, this is not a competition, rather a tasting to try to dissect what we have done different to the wine and the resulting change in the wine. I’ve made 5 vintages of Cab Franc from these grapes and I know that it needs some blending to improve the wine and make it what I want.
     
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  16. Jun 21, 2019 #16

    Johnd

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    I like the "Cab Franc Off" that @NorCal posted about, a simple evaluation of the effects of different treatments for the same batch of grapes. Hope it provides insight to his group and to us as observers about the effects of the different treatments on the ultimate outcome of the wine. Controlling a few variables in an otherwise highly variable process should give some good insight, and I look forward to hearing the results.

    My opinion of the conversation that @balatonwine brought up about the nomenclature of varietals is valid, and my opinion is in the same vein as his. Personally, I feel that if you give someone a bottle of wine and tell them that it's Cabernet Sauvignon, that it should be just that, Cabernet Sauvignon, period, nothing else, and I choose to label my wines as such. Something about the purity of it excites me, and I make, collect and enjoy a lot of wines in my cellar that are pure varietals.

    Nonetheless, nomenclature and rules in winemaking have been given a place in society in an attempt to try to create some consistency and order, and as long as you understand what you're dealing with, to me, it's immaterial. Were I king for a day, there would be another category in wine judging, including one for pure varietals with no other grapes blended in. I might even rule that if it's a pure Cab, you can call it Cabernet Sauvignon, if it's 75% + Cab that you can only call it a Cabernet Sauvignon Blend. But that's just my opinion.

    That said, if one can increase the aroma, mouthfeel, body, complexity and enjoyment of a Cab by blending it with Petite Verdot and Merlot, I'm all about that too, and understand that if it's 75% + Cabernet Sauvignon, that it's still ok (by nomenclature standards) to call it a Cabernet Sauvignon. I'd prefer to drink the wine that tastes better, even if it's a blend. I have no problems at all collecting and enjoying wines that are called by a varietal name, yet have some other minor component varietals blended into them, and accept / understand what components are present when I make or buy them.
     
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  17. Jun 21, 2019 #17

    balatonwine

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    And I respect your views as well.

    I did not say it was a competition. I put "win" in quotes for that reason. Because even a friendly comparison comes with "ego points" for the person who is said to make the best wine. Don't say it won't. That is what I meant. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  18. Jun 22, 2019 #18

    NorCal

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    We can agree to disagree. I’m thrilled with the great results @4score has achieved with his wines, no ego points needed. I think the comparisons will not be better or worse, but differences and preferences. Hopefully we can get together next week and drink some wine.
     
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  19. Jun 22, 2019 #19

    George Burgin

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    When do I get to meet you guys?
     
  20. Jun 22, 2019 #20

    NorCal

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    I’m hosting a home winemaking contest for the Sacramento Home Winemaking Club on July 13th. If you are in the Placer County area, you are welcome to attend. I’m hoping @4score will be there as well. PM if you (or anyone else) would like to attend. Last year we judged 19 wines.
     

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