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

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Ajmassa

just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
4,244
Reaction score
4,612
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
My Son-In-Law is a wine drinker and we got him his favorite bottle (prisoner cab sauv ~$50). I also gave him a bottle of my cab franc blend and ask that he do a blind tasting. Video link:
wow! that’s gotta be satisfying. congrats on making such an exceptional wine @NorCal 🏆
 

Snafflebit

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2013
Messages
373
Reaction score
307
Location
San Jose, California
Very interesting thread @NorCal and timely for me. I am debating whether to add Cab Franc to a 132 vine vineyard. This vineyard was 100% Cab Sauv but has dead zones. I replanted 22 vines in Merlot and was debating to myself to add 20 vines of Cab Franc. But does Cab Franc add enough difference to a wine blend to offset the trouble of dealing with the little amount of fruit 20 vines produce? I will probably just add to the Merlot, but I thought it worthwhile to get your opinion
 
Last edited:

NorCal

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
3,412
Reaction score
3,978
Location
Sierra Foothills, Nor Cal
Very interesting thread @NorCal and timely for me. I am debating whether to add Cab Franc to a 110 vine vineyard. This vineyard was 100% Cab Sauv but has dead zones. I replanted 22 vines in Merlot and was debating to myself to add 20 vines of Cab Franc. But does Cab Franc add enough difference to a wine blend to offset the trouble of dealing with the little amount of fruit 20 vines produce? I will probably just add to the Merlot, but I thought it worthwhile to get your opinion
I love cab franc and is a wonderful companion to cab sauv. I would totally do it.
 

Snafflebit

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2013
Messages
373
Reaction score
307
Location
San Jose, California
My educated guess on 22 mature VSP trained merlot vines with 12 spurs each is 175 lbs. With 90 lbs per 5 gallons of wine that gets me to almost 2 carboys of merlot. I like merlot, so having more is not a problem for me. I am leaning towards filling the remaining 14 sites with Petit Verdot. It has a lot of bang for the buck as a blender. And if I get the proportions dialed in, maybe I will make a field blend and call it good.
 

winemaker81

wine dabbler
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
2,047
Reaction score
3,584
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
My educated guess on 22 mature VSP trained merlot vines with 12 spurs each is 175 lbs. With 90 lbs per 5 gallons of wine that gets me to almost 2 carboys of merlot. I like merlot, so having more is not a problem for me. I am leaning towards filling the remaining 14 sites with Petit Verdot. It has a lot of bang for the buck as a blender. And if I get the proportions dialed in, maybe I will make a field blend and call it good.
My wines from last fall include a batch that is one 36 lb lug each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. Most of this was used in 2 field blends, one with Merlot, one with Merlot & Zinfandel. I reserved a gallon of the blend for comparison, and on its own, it's delightful. [My reds are field blends as I do not have the capacity to do what I'd really like to do, although I'm very happy with my results.]

Food for thought: Use your open capacity to plant a variety of reds, and ferment them as a field blend -- for blending into your Merlot and/or Cabernet Sauvignon, as needed. Bottle whatever's left as a single wine (should be interesting) or keep a carboy for use with the next year's wine.
 

AaronSC

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
75
Reaction score
123
Very interesting thread @NorCal and timely for me. I am debating whether to add Cab Franc to a 132 vine vineyard. This vineyard was 100% Cab Sauv but has dead zones. I replanted 22 vines in Merlot and was debating to myself to add 20 vines of Cab Franc. But does Cab Franc add enough difference to a wine blend to offset the trouble of dealing with the little amount of fruit 20 vines produce? I will probably just add to the Merlot, but I thought it worthwhile to get your opinion
I'm a big advocate of Franc in California. In the Foothills at least it produces much better wine than either C. Sauvignon or Merlot, for reasons I can't quite understand (it's considered the more cold hardy of the three, so I assumed it would hate California). It has a lot of varietal character here, more so than in France or New York from my experience. I made about 36 gallons of Franc this year from grapes grown in Fiddletown (Amador County). It had so much Franc character that it really needed to be blended. This wa something I had read about in Bordeaux, where a little Franc goes a long way, but I had never experienced this with the grapes I made wine from. It's not fruity at all -it has a very pronounced "cedar" smell. I noted this both here in Amador and also in Sonoma County Francs, so I think it's a California thing. I ended up blending my Francs with Mourvedre and Malbec -it's going to be a super wine, I think.
 

Snafflebit

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2013
Messages
373
Reaction score
307
Location
San Jose, California
I bought a bottle each of Cab Franc and Petit Verdot varietal wine from Cuda Ridge winery in Livermore CA, which resembles the microclimate where I am growing grapes, so that I can do a taste test with a few people. Then I threw in some rosés of Cab Sauv, Merlot and Malbec to determine how I feel about doing a saignée with these. I am accustomed to the Pinot and Gamay style of rosé. It will be a fun week! And my apologies to @NorCal for stealing your thread! I will start a new one.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top