Racking, and a plan

We have a blend for the Peugeot: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 30% Cabernet Franc. And we’re going to make as much of it as we can.

We tasted this winning blend from the trials last weekend against a Cab Sauv-dominated blend of 70% CS, 15% M, and 15% CF, but we unanimously agreed that the Cab-centric blend lacked the depth, nose, complexity and pleasure of the 40/30/30 blend. That blend, by contrast, had a fantastic, berry-bramble nose (largely courtesy of the Franc), great sustain of flavor throughout the taste, and a wonderful, fresh and long finish. Good weight, but still young: a few more months in barrel – and maybe one more racking – will probably give this baby the weight it needs to take it to the stratosphere.

So we’ll put all the Cab Sauv into this blend, squirreling away 2 barrels’ worth until the spring, bottling the remainder as an early release with the balance of the Franc and Merlot. For those, James had the excellent idea of blending a little bit of the Merlot into the Franc, and after a few trials, we settled a on 7% Merlot addition – added weight and smoothness while keeping the spotlight firmly on the Franc.

The blends firmly in hand, we racked the Cab Sauv and the Merlot, but left the Franc alone – it tasted pretty drinkable as is, so we opted to keep it fresh.

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