Harvest seems a little early this year, but the entire season was early so we’re tasting great flavors in the fruit. Napa has been enjoying 70-degree weather without a hint of environmental stress –no rain, storms, wind, disease –a reward for all Napa Valley winemakers and growers who survived the past two vintages. OK, it is heating up to high-90′s this weekend, which is why we brought in the first Franc for Rose’ along with the first block of Carneros merlot.
Back at the winery, we macerated the Cabernet Franc on the skins for about 24 hours; here’s the must, tasting delicious and ready to press. We added a wee bit of juice released from processing the Carneros merlot lot yesterday. Gave the maceration a boost. The Merlot was about 24 brix. Combination was about 22, perfect.
Color looks dark in the photo but it’s stunning spun down to pull out all the suspended particles that will settle out in next few days and throughout fermentation.
Our lot is so small, and we’re working in a big winery, so we pressed this lot against dry chardonnay skins for some extra resistance. Can’t wait until it’s settled to taste it!
Hopefully, some more CabFranc will come available shortly so I can snag it to increase production again this year… We augmented the Fenceline Franc last vintage with 2T from an Oak Knoll grower. Fingers crossed he’s got more for me…