Replicating a 100 point wine...this season’s plan

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NorCal

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I’ve struggled with what to make this season. I need to tap the brakes on the volume of wine I make this year, which I’m sticking to. I just finished bottling a 2018 barrel of Cabernet Franc and a barrel of 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon that was loaded with Cab Franc, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot to the point where it was only 66% Cab Sauv.

The second one, which I call the Bordeaux Blend, is now my second favorite wine I’ve ever made. It really stands out in its nose, dark flavors and now softening tannins. So, I’ve decided to do another blend this year.

The wine I’m doing is to replicate (simulate?) the blend of a 100 point wine.

2012 Verite le Desir, 100 point wine (Robert Parker).

Le Désir—predominantly Cabernet Franc supported by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot — shows layers of concentrated fruit, exotic spice, opulent aromatics and a plush suede texture.

Cab Franc 64%. 39 gallons
Merlo 24%. 14 gallons
Cab Sav 8%. 4.5 gallons
Petite Verdot 4%. 2.5 gallons

I’ll pre blend and age everything in a 60 gallon barrel, which will be a little tricky given that not everything will be ready at the same time, but I think I can swing it with the other containers I have at my dispose.

I’m going to be getting the Merlot grapes from a local vineyard next week to kick off the season. I have access to Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and the little Cab Sauv that I need, so unless I find an easier path, it will all be from 2019 grapes, all made this season.

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4score

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I predict this to be you best wine ever made!
 

ibglowin

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Looks good! Were you actually able to find the varietals and percentages of each (on the 100 point wine)?
 

mainshipfred

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Norcal, I get your concept but as I'm sure you know replicating those percentages isn't necessarily going to replicate the same wine. My 2018 Meritage I just bottled is fairly equals portions of CS, Merlot and PV with smaller percentages of Malbec, Carmenere and Cab Franc and I think one of my best 3 wines to date.
 

NorCal

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Norcal, I get your concept but as I'm sure you know replicating those percentages isn't necessarily going to replicate the same wine. My 2018 Meritage I just bottled is fairly equals portions of CS, Merlot and PV with smaller percentages of Malbec, Carmenere and Cab Franc and I think one of my best 3 wines to date.
Point taken. When @4score found this 100 point wine, he got the percentages, which were published. We decided to replicate a carboy using Cab Franc and Petit Verdot we made and commercial Merlot and Cab a few years ago. It was wonderful and my case went quite quickly.

I found that I enjoy making and sharing the wine if there is a story or a purpose behind it. Replicating the 100 will be it’s story.
 

Boatboy24

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I did a blend with 2017 wines that 'replicates' The Prisoner (before they sold out and made it sweet). I didn't have all the wines that went into The Prisoner, but I think it was 4 out of 6 and the 2 that were missing were both 2 or 3 percent. Anyway, I didn't use the exact percentages, but they were my starting point for bench trials (rounded to the nearest 5%). We liked where we started and tweaked from there.
 

NorCal

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Busy day. I got 400 pound of Merlot and split the batch. Enough to make the 14 gallons I need and a couple carboys of stand-alone merlot. I then went to the Petite Verdot vineyard and picked 40 pounds of grapes, crushed, destemmed and tossed it in with the 14 gallons worth of Merlot. So two out of the four ferments going. I’ll either toss the Cab Sauv in with the Cab Franc or start it on the Merlot/PV pressings.
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crushday

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I, like many others, applaud your efforts. I'm likely driving down the coast from Seattle to LA for Thanksgiving. Are you around that week?
 

mainshipfred

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Busy day. I got 400 pound of Merlot and split the batch. Enough to make the 14 gallons I need and a couple carboys of stand-alone merlot. I then went to the Petite Verdot vineyard and picked 40 pounds of grapes, crushed, destemmed and tossed it in with the 14 gallons worth of Merlot. So two out of the four ferments going. I’ll either toss the Cab Sauv in with the Cab Franc or start it on the Merlot/PV pressings.
View attachment 56245 View attachment 56246
Are Merlot or PV typically harvested this early?
 

NorCal

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Are Merlot or PV typically harvested this early?
I can't say for the Merlot, this is my first time with it. The PV was taken from a separate vineyard that we usually don't harvest. These specific vines (maybe 60) become ripe, well before the other vineyards and is typically dehydrated and gone before the majority of the other PV is ready. It was beautiful fruit and a full 26 brix, (the other PV vineyards are around 22) so these vines had nothing more to give and would have only dehydrated going forward.
 

mainshipfred

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I can't say for the Merlot, this is my first time with it. The PV was taken from a separate vineyard that we usually don't harvest. These specific vines (maybe 60) become ripe, well before the other vineyards and is typically dehydrated and gone before the majority of the other PV is ready. It was beautiful fruit and a full 26 brix, (the other PV vineyards are around 22) so these vines had nothing more to give and would have only dehydrated going forward.
Where are you in relation to Lanza? Last year I got some super quality PV from them, shipped to Pennsylvania.

Forgot to mention I received them in November
 
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NorCal

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Looks good! Were you actually able to find the varietals and percentages of each (on the 100 point wine)?
Hey @ibglowin, I skipped over your post. Yes, between my community's fruit and another private vineyard less than 10 miles away I was able to get Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Merlot and Petit Verdot. I do realize how fortunate I am to be able to have access to the fruit.
 

NorCal

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The Merlot Verdot went from 24-25 to 0 brix in 72 hours. Not really the plan, nor what I’d like, but I didn’t have room in my wine box to put the ferment and that Avante yeast is a beast. The fruit was good and it’s a blender, so I’ll put it under airlock and hopefully get more extraction and not too much tannin before I press in 36 hours.
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4score

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That Avante sure has some teeth! I'm letting Prelude do it's job for the 1st 6 Brix or so then I'll add my Avante to finish the job on my Merlot.
 
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