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What to Blend with Cab Franc?

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Boatboy24

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Thinking of trying a Cab Franc this fall and wondering what it might be blended with to bring out its best. I'm also almost certain I'll be doing a Pinot Noir. My preferred source (Lanza Vineyards) in Suisun Valley didn't ship any PN to my vendor last year and I assume they won't this year. As a result, I'll be looking at Sierra Foothills grapes - specifically Amador Gold. If you would add anything to the Pinot, I'd love to hear that as well - especially if I can also use it with the CF.

I'm looking to do three batches, total; but maybe four, so I could blend the PN and CF with something different.
 

Floandgary

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Given it's role as a backer, it shines well with just about any of the heartier/robust red grapes. I just bottled a batch from 2016 Chilean juice. Will undoubtedly mix some with Merlot, Carmenere, Petit Syrah. Who knows what to expect, but I can tell ya that none will be dumped!!!:HB
 

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If you would add anything to the Pinot, I'd love to hear that as well - especially if I can also use it with the CF.
That shaking you just felt was the concerted shuddering of everyone in Burgundy and Bordeaux... :)

But why not? It is your wine. You may get a nice, spicy wine out of it, like a Pinot Nero (Italian PN).

My choice would be either a Merlot or Carmenere for the Cab Franc, and either leave the PN as is, or try a blend with the other two.
 

stickman

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I've only made one Pinot Noir, so I'm no expert, but I have been doing a lot of research. Apparently Syrah has been a common blending component of Pinot from as far back as the 1920's. Throughout the years, Australia, California, and yes, even Burgundy, is guilty of blending. Burgundy may not be blending these days, but California and Australia certainly are; California can legally use up to 25% Syrah and still call it Pinot. Many of the wineries blend Syrah with Pinot to add color and tannin, which is typically deficient (though not always, depending on where it is grown) with Pinot. With my Pinot I decided to leave it 100%, so that I would have some reference point for comparison. There is nothing wrong with blending to make a good wine, as Sour said, it is your wine, so make it how you like it.
 

ibglowin

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Dreaming about Fall in March? LOL :d

I have had several excellent bottles from J. Bookwalter that were CF and Merlot.

Thinking of trying a Cab Franc this fall and wondering what it might be blended with to bring out its best. I'm also almost certain I'll be doing a Pinot Noir. My preferred source (Lanza Vineyards) in Suisun Valley didn't ship any PN to my vendor last year and I assume they won't this year. As a result, I'll be looking at Sierra Foothills grapes - specifically Amador Gold. If you would add anything to the Pinot, I'd love to hear that as well - especially if I can also use it with the CF.

I'm looking to do three batches, total; but maybe four, so I could blend the PN and CF with something different.
 
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Boatboy24

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Dreaming about Fall in March? LOL :d
Guilty. Hey, when your carboys are full and will be for some time, its about the best you can do, right?

That shaking you just felt was the concerted shuddering of everyone in Burgundy and Bordeaux... :)
LOL! My desire would be to not blend the Pinot Noir. But I've been so disappointed by so many, that I'm inclined to think my taste would long for a blend. Hopefully, I surprise myself and it turns out just fine on its own.

Thanks for the ideas all! I appreciate your input.
 

ceeaton

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Jim, I can skim off a bottle of my CF from the Fall if you want to do some blends with what you already have just for fun. It is a rather light CF 'cause I used a quick yeast and it didn't get much skin time, but it does have a nice spicy flavor, if I remember correctly (twas so long ago I last tasted it). I have eight gallons of it, was planning to make a blend with part of my Dornfelder batch from the year before, since both grapes were grown in the same Vineyard local to me.
 

sour_grapes

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ibglowin

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JohnT

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My plan is to do a cab franc / merlot blend (85:15) for the Chilean crush this year. I have done this blend in the past and really liked the results.
 

ibglowin

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Would you believe my price is only $7.50 a bottle on that! Membership does have its privileges I guess. That is a good one also. Really floral and wonderful acidity.

I usually jump on the "Subplot" now renamed "Readers" case sale when they have it. for 50% off ($14) and free shipping! :db



Off topic, but I just saw that their Notebook Riesling is $15 - 50% off of you buy a case!
 

NorCal

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I've done CF from grapes in 2013, 2014, 2016. A local winery won double gold from these same grapes at SF Chronicle with their CF, blended with Petite Sirah. @4Score and I are going to replicate that this year, with 1.5 tons of CF and a .5 tons of PS. I may have to do a carboy of Petit Verdot to round off the finish, but we already have a pretty full plate with Chardonnay from Lodi and a ton of local Tempranillo.


 
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Boatboy24

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Thanks @NorCal . I'm always a fan of Petite Sirah on its own and for what a bit of it brings to a blend, so good to know it will work with CF.

I'll be getting grapes from Amador, which I think isn't far from you - hopefully I have something in the same ballpark as yours WRT quality.

I'm thinking its time for me to do a Merlot, and I'll likely make a 'batch' of that as well both for blending and on its own (also, perhaps w/ a little PS). Maybe a CF/Merlot with a touch of PS will hit the sweet spot.
 
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sour_grapes

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Okay, let me clarify my post. I have to admit that I was a bit soused when I posted that last night, so my meaning was not so clear. Sorry 'bout that.

Pictures or it didn't happen!
Here, I was just tweaking you for always saying that to me. I would post more pix than I do, but it's kind of a pain for me.

Few recent offerings, at the least, cross the traditional divide. I didn't see where CF was an exception: https://www.bookwalterwines.com/Wines/Red-Wines
This was a different thought, expressed in a muddled fashion. I could have sworn you said "Syrah" in your post #5, but maybe that was all the Vino Nobilo di Montepulciano that I swallowed talking. :dg :)
Merlot + CF is my #1 recommendation (and, of course, is NOT crossing the traditional divide). I like CF a lot, and I like that blend even more.

Take a look at the 14 Suspense. The Antithesis back in 2009 was a 50/50 blend of Syrah and CF. Might have a pic of it somewhere.
I thought Antithesis was CF + Merlot: https://www.vivino.com/wineries/us-j-bookwalter/wines/antithesis-cabernet-franc-merlot-2009 :?
 

ceeaton

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...I have to admit that I was a bit soused when I posted that last night, so my meaning was not so clear...
Well, at least I don't have to worry about that happening for a while longer. I like that Merlot + CF idea. I could get a Merlot bucket and do a 50/50 (or whatever tastes good) blend with my Fall CF batch, or at least part of it. I think I have 10 lbs or so of frozen used skins my wife would love me to get out of the freezer, I'm guessing they are Lanza Zinfandel. Thanks Paul!

Edit: Better yet, they are Dornfelder, but only 6 lbs. They should darken up about any wine.
 
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Boatboy24

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OK, closing the loop on this. I talked with my partner (aka: Dad). He definitely wants do try a Pinot, and likes the CF/Merlot idea - especially if we can do some single varietal bottling. We'll see how we feel about them on their own after trying the blend(s). He also mentioned trying a Malbec (which kinda surprised me, coming from him), so what the heck. We'll do some of that too! While many are happily fermenting their Chileans away, I'll be dreaming of September.

Initially thinking two CF/Merlot blends at 25/75 and 75/25. I reserve the right to throw some of my 2016 Petite Sirah in there if I feel so inclined.
 

NorCal

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CF, Merlot, Malbec, PS is like having a blank canvas. You can make so many great, complementary combinations! Let us know what you go with.
 

4score

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I did a Cab Franc + Syrah. They really didn't blend well. I was thinking it was a big FAIL and just left it alone. Then a couple of us tried it again after 6 months in the bottle. It's now one of our GREAT wines and everyone loves it and thinks it's now "integrated" and more complex.

As @NorCal said, this year we're trying a 20% blend with Petite Syrah where we also have some history of a great combo.
 
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