Chappellet 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
My friend visited from Norway and stopped by the Plumpjack Wine Store in Noe Valley. I don’t know what posessed him to buy this bottle, but let’s find out what’s inside!
At first glance, it’s not quite as dark and inky in my glass as I expected for a Napa Cab. You can see through it to some degree. It has an interesting royal purple hue.
Franciscan 2005 Stylus Cabernet Sauvignon
I’m a big fan of Franciscan wine. Their $20 cabs are great and you can find them on the shelf pretty-much anywhere.
But I was definitely curious when I found out they make another “big daddy” wine available only at the winery: Stylus Cabernet Sauvignon. My curiosity definitely cost me as this is one of the most expensive bottles I’ve purchased to date. It retails for $100, but thanks to the folks at The Wine Spies, I got a more “palatable” deal.
My equipment is clean, the sugar in the grape must is reading near 0 and I’m ready to press the wine! The process is pretty simple: scoop the must into the basket press, let the free-run wine come out into a pail, and squeeze the leftover skins to get even more wine out of it. But don’t squeeze too much or you’ll start crushing seeds and getting bitter wine.
The one thing my winemaking books didn’t say anything about was what to do with the free-run and pressed wine. I wasn’t about to go over-the-top and do taste tests while blending the two together–I wanted to use all the wine I got! But It became obvious if I wanted a consistent final product, I needed to blend all the wine together–a job that was far to big for the pail the wine was running into. So I improvised, washing my primary fermenter on the fly and mixing all the wine in it before siphoning it off into my glass containers. It worked out fine. Continue reading
I checked in on my must, and was delighted to hear some faint bubbling under the cap. Success, the yeast are getting to work! I punched down the cap, a ritual I will be doing 4–5 times per day until the fermentation is complete. I want to make sure the yeast have enough air to do their job, and extract all that lovely color and flavor from the skins! The must is at about 65°F, and will increase in temperature as the fermentation continues.
The grapes have been cold soaking for 3 days now. During that time I diligently exchanged frozen water bottles into and out of the must to keep it cold and prevent any “bugs” from making themselves at home. It’s time to make any adjustments to the must and begin fermentation! Continue reading
If you’re really into wine, you’ve probably thought about making it yourself.
It’s one thing to buy wine from the store, drink it and write about it. But eventually that gets boring and you think, “I wonder if I can make it just as good? Maybe it would be fun!” Continue reading
2006 Stonestreet Alexander Mountain Estate Fifth Ridge (Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon Blend)
2006 Stonestreet Fifth Ridge
Visiting this winery 2 years ago is particularly memorable for me because I randomly got stung by a bee on the forehead as we were walking up to the winery! The wines here are all very delicious, particularly the Christopher’s Cab, which I was lucky to try. The wines here aren’t cheap, and the Fifth Ridge was one of the few I could afford at about $40 (several other cabs I liked were close to $100). This is a very classy winery on expansive grounds. Continue reading
2007 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
I’ve always been a fan of Franciscan wines because of their attractive label, delicious wine, and nice price point at about $25. Franciscan is devoted to “making wines in small, hand crafted lots and blending to perfection.”
2007 Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon
This one has a very dark eggplant-skin color. Really nice aroma of black cherry and dried fig, and just a hint of a woody, leathery aroma like cigar box. On my first sip, my impression is this wine is very rich but smooth. The acidity, sweetness and tannins are nicely balanced. It leaves a lingering chocolatey blackberry flavor on the tongue.
Date Tasted: March 7, 2011
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Winery: Kokomo Winery
Region: Dry Creek Valley, California
Alcohol: 14.2% Continue reading