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Cabernet Franc Cabernet Franc is one of the major red grape varieties worldwide. Principally grown for blending with Cabernet and Merlot, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire's Chinon Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine and contributing finesse and a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on growing region and style of wine, aromas can include tobacco and raspberry, and cassis, sometimes even violets Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century; it was planted in Loire long before that. Cabernet Franc parents with Sauvignon Blanc to produce Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Franc Wine style: Cabernet franc with dark fruit flavors black cherry, blackberry and plum and aromas of black pepper, cassis, cocoa, and fresh herbs. Dark violet red color, with soft but vibrant entry, full and velvety mid-palate, and long, layered finish by rack and return. Sultry and sassy – we’ll schedule a split harvest for a bitter finish on early harvest and herbs, second harvest taking advantage of longer hang time and more robust juice and plan on a saignee process as our signature style of Cabernet Franc!
Cabernet Franc Equipment: Gallons to produce: 175 gallons Barrels required: 2 new French oak Bottles required: 150 bottles Cases produced: 12.5 cases Bottles, corks and labels required: 175 Pallets required: 1 Fork lift/driver, corking machine, crushing services by local vendors
Cabernet Franc Grape maturity Sugar: 24-25 brix Flavors: Dark fruits – black cherry, blackberry, plum Analysis: brix measurement with refractometer, tasting grapes and seeds Why: Maturity to at least 24 brix is important since we want to minimize herbaceous quality of Cabernet franc; focus on picking when dark fruit flavors develop and seeds are brown to avoid tartness and bitterness; seed flavor will be important since we hope to use for tannin extraction.
Cabernet Franc Harvesting and receiving Harvest: hire local harvesters to handpick with clippers vs. knives, less damage to berries Receive: macrobins Why: Because we do not want to pick ourselves; small volume allows for hand-picked care and berry TLC.
Cabernet Franc Pre-fermentation processing Crush and destem: Hand destemmer and shaker table Juice analysis: Adjust TA and sugar level as required. SO2 addition: At 0.6 ppm to kill microbes and absorb oxygen Cold soak: At 40º F for two weeks (minimum) in stainless steel tank with glycol jacket; goal is to reach optimum color extraction; punch down three times per day. Why: Lighter pigments of Cabernet franc require extracting as much color as possible.
Cabernet Franc Phenolics Tannin extraction: from new French oak barrels (with different toast levels) during aging and extended maceration Why: Complexity and layers of different toast levels on barrels; extraction of tannins from seeds and skins to build up mouthfeel and finish.
Cabernet Franc Primary fermentation Yeast inoculation: Pitch two different cultured dry active yeasts; add rate = 0.25 g/L. One that enhances floral aromas (Lot A will be aged in lighter toasted barrel) and another that assists with color extraction and spicy aromas (Lot B will be aged in heavier toasted barrel). Nutrient additions: check YAN levels and add DAP if required. Equipment: remains in stainless steel tank. Temperature: under 80º F to preserve aromas. Process goal: Ferment until dryness (0.1 gm/L of residual sugar). Use hydrometer to track RS level. Send to laboratory for final analysis. Why: Develop layers with two different yeasts, maintaining lower temperature to preserve aroma compounds.
Cabernet Franc Malolactic fermentation MLF inoculation: Pitch with bacteria (type?) once primary fermentation is completed, along with extended maceration. Flavor development: MLF to develop velvety mouthfeel; post-MLF, we want to be around 0.55 TA and 3.6 pH to maintain acid balance. Process goal: Ferment until MLF dryness (30 mg/100 mL).
Cabernet Franc Aging Press: Press with bladder press before barreling down. Excess wine to be aged in carboys for topping. Tail end of hard press aged in separate carboy lot for blending option. Barrels: two French oak barrels (Bordeaux style; 225 L/60 gallons) – one with medium toast for lighter barrel influence (Lot A) and one with heavy toast for spice and cocoa aromas (Lot B). Hope to develop different layers from the two lots. Length: 24 months Process goal: Topping off and checking VA levels once every 3 to 4 weeks. Aging in oak to develop aroma and tannins.
Cabernet Franc Blending Process goal: Aiming for 90% Cabernet franc, with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon to add color and structure. We want to maintain the distinct aromatics of Cabernet franc.
Cabernet Franc Bottle preparation Filter: Use 0.45 micron membrane cartridge for stabilization. Bottling method: Hand bottling (with delivered pre-sterilized bottles) and hand corking with monogrammed corks by a Ferarri corker. Hand labeling with custom-designed labels.
Cabernet F ranc Resources: Steltzner Winery Stags Leap District Owner: Dick Steltzner established 1965 Winemaker:Tim http://www.nass.usda.gov http://www.jancisrobinson.com Discount code: STU2210 Oxford Companion to Wine World Atlas of Wine maps Itunes: Wine podcasts Napa Valley Wine Education