Cabernet Franc and Merlot Samples

Mia and I went out to sample the Cabernet Franc and the two Merlot vineyards at Frediani up in Calistoga today. We also stopped by Bressler Vineyards in St. Helena to get a sample of their Merlot.

Here is the 181 Merlot at Frediani. There are still some pink berries here and there. It is a light crop this year.

Here is the Cabernet Franc at Frediani. You can see some pink berries in some clusters here as well.

Here is a picture of the Dry farmed J Merlot at Frediani. This set a nice crop this year! Verasion is almost done here.

This is the Bressler Vineyards Merlot. It looks and tastes great. It’s already through verasion, and you can see that David’s (Abreu) crew has been here recently and dropped some fruit and done some leafing.

It’s been so hot during the day, we have been collecting samples and testing them at home rather than on the tailgate in each vineyard. So we mash them up in a plastic bag and pour the juice in a glass (it’s a red plastic cup in the vineyard!). Test it for brix and smell and taste them.

The color of the juice from each vineyard is a little different. Left to right we have Bressler Merlot, J Merlot, Cab Franc, 181 Merlot. The Bressler Merlot has a nice pink color to it. The Cab Franc is almost orange! The J Merlot and 181 Merlot are the typical grape juice colors.

Here are the results:

Bressler Merlot: 23.7 brix 60% brown seeds
J Merlot: 20.0 brix 10% brown seeds
Cab Franc: 18.9 brix 60% brown seeds
181 Merlot: 21.7 brix 70% brown seeds

To a novice like me, they all taste good now, a little tart, but good. Mia just laughs and says they have a ways to go! – Skippy