chipgreen


quality posts: 173 Private Messages chipgreen

Love me some Cab Franc and appreciate the excellent participation by Clark the WineSmith!

Last wooter to woot: chipgreen

rjquillin


quality posts: 164 Private Messages rjquillin
rjquillin wrote:Been slacking and working on the leftover Zin and kinda forgot this one; guilty.
It's now out of the chiller, before 0800 PDT, so I'll drink for the team and report more by noon.

Appearance is brilliantly clear, and pale to medium ruby in depth.
Still closed, but it's way too cold still..

I've now been whiffing and wetting my tongue for a couple of hours from covered and uncovered glasses that have warmed to cool room temperature, ~67F. No bell pepper at any time, not catching sage either, and I've got plenty of it around here to rub against. I'm getting some dried herbs, the good kind, wet rock and a touch of spice, not pepper, on the nose, but still with minimal identifiable fruit, in the covered glass. When uncovered for half an hour or so the fruit really blooms, but I still can't put a name to it. It's not tropical or citrus, nor dried or berry as I'm used to it. Cherry would be as close as I can come, but that's not quite right either; perhaps sweet pomegranate.
Absolutely dry and light to medium body, the herbs blend well with the increased fruit on the palate that when uncovered made it's appearance. The perceived acid here keeps this quite fresh thru mid palate into a lengthy finish. The tannins present are well refined and the touch of wood seems to defy what one might expect for three years in barrel.
I'm liking this, well crafted and restrained, not your typical fruit-in-your-face CA bottle, and have already grabbed one woot, need to decide if I can rationalize a second.
Thanks winesmith.

CT

winesmith


quality posts: 37 Private Messages winesmith
rjquillin wrote:I've now been whiffing and wetting my tongue for a couple of hours from covered and uncovered glasses that have warmed to cool room temperature, ~67F. No bell pepper at any time, not catching sage either, and I've got plenty of it around here to rub against. I'm getting some dried herbs, the good kind, wet rock and a touch of spice, not pepper, on the nose, but still with minimal identifiable fruit, in the covered glass. When uncovered for half an hour or so the fruit really blooms, but I still can't put a name to it. It's not tropical or citrus, nor dried or berry as I'm used to it. Cherry would be as close as I can come, but that's not quite right either; perhaps sweet pomegranate.
Absolutely dry and light to medium body, the herbs blend well with the increased fruit on the palate that when uncovered made it's appearance. The perceived acid here keeps this quite fresh thru mid palate into a lengthy finish. The tannins present are well refined and the touch of wood seems to defy what one might expect for three years in barrel.
I'm liking this, well crafted and restrained, not your typical fruit-in-your-face CA bottle, and have already grabbed one woot, need to decide if I can rationalize a second.
Thanks winesmith.



My name for that red fruit note is white cherry (what the Alsatians call mirabelle) - sort of halfway between grenadine (pomegranite) and cranberry.

dimondback


quality posts: 3 Private Messages dimondback

Hello Everyone in Woot Country.

My name is Jake Stephens, proprietor of Diamond Ridge Vineyards in Lake County California along with our Two Jakes of Diamonds wines, twojakesofdiamonds.com.

There are many facets in the stone of winemaking, but all begin in the vineyard.

Terrior says it all, and it says nothing. Terrior is a French term, taken from the word Terra, "land." The land separates one vineyard from another, one area, and one region from another. It is like the flour in a cake, without flour you have no beginning.

Our Terrior is phenomenal, it says it all. But land alone doesn't make great wines, it says nothing, without the constant vigilance of our vines. Unlike most business, farming is not a divided highway with traffic headed systematically to and fro.

Mother nature has a great deal to do with daily vine regiment. Like my dad used to say, "a banker won't do it, too many irregularities."

Without a balanced vine you cannot have a balanced flavor profile in the grape. I envision a grape as nothing less then a miniature canteen. What goes into this delicate vessel is generally what comes out.

My foreman, Danial Hernandez, and I have worked together for the past 18 years in an effort to make our vineyards a spice rack for winemakers. We endeavor to leave no stone unturned, literally, in our effort to produce Ultra Premium Winegrapes.

Winemakers, including our own Clark Smith, regard this vineyard as the Diamond of Lake County.

dimondback


quality posts: 3 Private Messages dimondback

Did you know that Cab Franc is one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, along with Sauvignon Blanc?

klezman


quality posts: 118 Private Messages klezman
rjquillin wrote:I'm liking this, well crafted and restrained, not your typical fruit-in-your-face CA bottle, and have already grabbed one woot, need to decide if I can rationalize a second.
Thanks winesmith.



And thank you Ron!
With that final piece in place I think I'm going to (uncharacteristically) be in for a pair of sets. One bottle for an office happy hour, 2 for more current drinking and 3 to put away.

Last wooter to woot: klezman

2014: 28 bottles. Last wine.woot: Scott Harvey Red Re-Mix
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

avontron


quality posts: 1 Private Messages avontron

Question for anyone who has done a thorough tasting of this wine, or the WineSmith. What, in your opinion, is the minimal/optimal amount of decant time this bottle needs if one where to open a bottle today?

rjquillin


quality posts: 164 Private Messages rjquillin
klezman wrote:And thank you Ron!
With that final piece in place I think I'm going to (uncharacteristically) be in for a pair of sets. One bottle for an office happy hour, 2 for more current drinking and 3 to put away.

Last wooter to woot: klezman

If you see fit to part with a single, I'd gladly reduce your count from six to five. Just don't need three more..

It got better too with some neutral Carr's crackers. Pondering supper with what's now left, not much.

CT

rjquillin


quality posts: 164 Private Messages rjquillin
avontron wrote:Question for anyone who has done a thorough tasting of this wine, or the WineSmith. What, in your opinion, is the minimal/optimal amount of decant time this bottle needs if one where to open a bottle today?

The remains of bottle, ~300ml, I snagged from the Zin tasting had been open three of four hours, before being capped with Argon. It easily took over an hour combined open in bottle and glass today for the fruit to fully develop, imo.

CT

nathanbsmith


quality posts: 3 Private Messages nathanbsmith

A BIG thanks to the winery for their participation on this forum!!!

Even though I don't have any space for these bottles in my cellar, I'm in for 2.

LAST PURCHASE: Creminelli Italian Salami

2014: 1 (Thanks to stick-in-the-mud buzzkilling state legislators)

2013: 183 bottles and counting
2012: 74 bottles
2011: 38 bottles

My CT

winesmith


quality posts: 37 Private Messages winesmith
chipgreen wrote:Love me some Cab Franc and appreciate the excellent participation by Clark the WineSmith!

Last wooter to woot: chipgreen



Thanks for the note, but it's really a great privilege to be amongst folks who get what I'm up to and with whom I can speak about the nuances of my work. Those types of consumers are very thin on the ground generally.

There’s lots more of this kind of discussion in my upcoming book, Postmodern Winemaking, which UC Press releases July 1st: http://bit.ly/YSDtFs.

I hope to meet up with you wooters during my national book tour. If you send me a private message with your email and location, I’ll put you on the mailing list.

Currently I plan to blow into Miami in early May, where I’m also doing an evening workshop at FIU on Cognitive Enology: Wine and Music on May 2nd. Afterwards we’ll throw a bash where you can taste more DRV and WineSmith and I’ll play some numbers from the CD I’m recording.

I’m taking Amtrak across country in July, and would like to do similar gigs in Cleveland, Philly, NYC, Boston and Nova Scotia. I’ll also figure out some way to get to Minneapolis per your requests. Anybody want to hook up?

dimondback


quality posts: 3 Private Messages dimondback

I would like to inform all that we will be changing our label soon. When my dad and I first began construction on this vineyard in 1999, we named it for the many Clearlake Diamonds found in these rocky soils.

Since then we have had a problem with another vintner that had a prior claim on the name Diamond Ridge.

We will retain the name of our vineyard along with a website dedicated to grapes and bulk wines. However we are not permitted to use the Diamond Ridge Vineyards name on a lable after a period in time.

Our other brand is Two Jakes of Diamonds, trademarked will cover our entire line. This name is an obvious referance to myself and my father along with many years of learning in partnership with him.

Thanks,
Jake Stephens III

dimondback


quality posts: 3 Private Messages dimondback

Of some significance!

We will be releasing our Roman Cab Franc in the near future, 100% sulfite free.

Wow! What a bowl of cherries.

Jake Stephens III

bsevern


quality posts: 109 Private Messages bsevern
dimondback wrote:... we named it for the many Clearlake Diamonds ...



Actually they're called Lake County Diamonds


klezman


quality posts: 118 Private Messages klezman
rjquillin wrote:If you see fit to part with a single, I'd gladly reduce your count from six to five. Just don't need three more..

It got better too with some neutral Carr's crackers. Pondering supper with what's now left, not much.



I could be convinced. Let's sort it out in time for the next gathering.

2014: 28 bottles. Last wine.woot: Scott Harvey Red Re-Mix
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

random122


quality posts: 6 Private Messages random122

I really shouldn't, but I'm in. Awesome winery participation in this offering as well as the double dare. I'm looking forward to this. If anyone in the SF bay area wants a bottle or two, let me know and I can part with it. I have too much coming in as it is... oh, first world problems.

andreaserben


quality posts: 21 Private Messages andreaserben
winesmith wrote:You are, of course, perfectly correct, and thanks for the back-atcha. I am touchier on this point than I probably ought to be for a couple reasons.

First of all, I know that woot does not offer CF with great frequency, and most folks haven't developed a very rich body of distinctions about it, so I'm trying to illustrate an important difference between these two characteristics.

Cabernet Franc is more sensitive to place of origin than perhaps any other variety (even Pinot Noir). But I always look for a trio of aromatic features: fruit, herb and spice. Be it basil, tarragon, rosemary or sage, this herbal note is an essential element of the expression of place.

Since most winegrowers treat CF just like Cab Sauv and Merlot (which need more pampering), it tends to get over-watered and grown in overly rich soils. It's incredibly vigorous, and will put out a huge leafy canopy which shades the fruit from direct sunlight, with the result of poor color, grainy texture (those go hand in hand) and the manufacture of pyrazines (bell pepper aromas) which are a bird repellent. This is because unilluminated berries have trouble maturing their seeds, and the vine tries to trick birds into staying away until the seeds are viable by keeping harsh tannin, low visibility, and the flavor of a leaf or stem.

The trick is to be a little mean to the variety by growing it on a limiting soil, so it puts its energy into the root system instead of the leafy canopy. We work hard at this, trying to keep the vine a little worried but never really stressed.

To sum up, herb is a mark of terroir expression, but bell pepper is a mark of poor understanding of this challenging grape. You are probably right that in a pack of Zinfandels, any Cab Franc will seem way more vegetal than it would by itself, or in a group of CF's. I hadn't considered that aspect, and I apologize for the chide. To paraphrase Walt Kelly, "we have met the jerkface, and he is us." Sigh.

All that said, I don't want to give the impression that I hate pyrazines. In my view, California winemakers go way to far overboard trying to eliminate any trace of vegetal character, particularly in Monterey, where wholesale planting of highly vigorous virus-free vines led to bigtime pyrazines in the 1970s (see http://wine.appellationamerica.com/best-of-appellation/Monterey-Wine-Diversity.html.

The result is that as a class, we are, I believe, overly "pyranoid." Our Sauvignon Blancs, for example, will never be taken seriously on the world stage without this herbal dimension that makes the SBs of Sancerre and Marlborough so exquisite.



awesome response
Don't get me wrong: We all love the passion you have, the science, craftsmanship, and art that you express in your wines, the wealth of know-how you are willing to share with the community.

Very interested in the wine, but still have to pass at this point
Coincidentally I just sipped a budget Cab Franc today (Lazy Bones from Trader Joe's).

But I do understand that one can get a bit 'touchy' when the aspects one put a lot of work and passion into get involved.

moondigger


quality posts: 11 Private Messages moondigger
winesmith wrote:You guys may recall that my last offering was a 2003 Chardonnay (my current vintage) and a 2004 from the same vineyard, not ready to drink.


I'm sorry if this pushes us off the topic of the Cabernet Franc, but I have a couple of questions about the Double Dare offer from last month, which I got in on. First: are they (the 2003 Chardonnay & 2004 Faux Chablis) basically the same wine (of differing vintages), but with different names, or was the Faux Chablis made with a different approach/goal in mind?

2: The consensus seems to be that the 2003 Chardonnay is ready to drink now, but that the 2004 Faux Chablis needs more time in the bottle. The question is, what would you estimate the required time to be? One year? Three?

Thanks --

cortot20


quality posts: 128 Private Messages cortot20

Here's a little follow up to my notes since I noticed they caused a lot of discussion. My work blocks WW so I'm checking back in now. It was the fifth wine of the night for me.
It came in after 81', 95' and 97' Ridge zins (that were awesome) and a 11' Counoise by municipal winemakers. The zins were well preserved and the Counoise was fruit forward but brambly.
With that said, I got 1-2 oz pour on the CF after it had been open for about a half hour. I spent another half hour with it in glass b/c I wanted to spend a bit more time with it since I knew it as a future offer. I stand by the bell pepper comment and at the very least vegetal but not herbal at all. Sparkys niece tried it from my glass and noted it as well. To rjquinlin, perhaps it blew off before you got the wine?

CT

rjquillin


quality posts: 164 Private Messages rjquillin
cortot20 wrote:I stand by the bell pepper comment and at the very least vegetal but not herbal at all. Sparkys niece tried it from my glass and noted it as well. To rjquinlin, perhaps it blew off before you got the wine?

Could well be, I think you got to it well before I that evening, and I didn't take good notes since I wanted to, and did, snag the bottle. So, after three days in bottle with Ar cap, and after some time in glass today, I didn't note bell pepper that I have detected in other bottles. But I may be less sensitive as well...


CT

rjquillin


quality posts: 164 Private Messages rjquillin

Finished off the bottle. Really having a difficult time resisting a second woot on this.

CT

winesmith


quality posts: 37 Private Messages winesmith
moondigger wrote:I have a couple of questions about the Double Dare offer from last month, which I got in on. First: are they (the 2003 Chardonnay & 2004 Faux Chablis) basically the same wine (of differing vintages), but with different names, or was the Faux Chablis made with a different approach/goal in mind?

2: The consensus seems to be that the 2003 Chardonnay is ready to drink now, but that the 2004 Faux Chablis needs more time in the bottle. The question is, what would you estimate the required time to be? One year? Three?

Thanks --



Good questions.

Yes, they are made from the same vineyard in the same style. The '04 is not only younger, but bigger and riper, failing to ferment on seed tannins. You have clarified the point of the "double dare" sale, to wit: "How can a 2003 Chard still be green-gold and fresh? I dare you to try it." and then, the Double Dare was to look at the 2004, which is proof that these wines have incredible longevity but don't show well in youth.

Nine years after production, the 2004 is still closed and aggressive. It's a bigger wine than its predecessor, and won't be ready in a year for sure. I'm guessing three more years for that one, perhaps more. But in the end, it will be the better wine.

moondigger


quality posts: 11 Private Messages moondigger

Thanks, Clark. I appreciate your return to the thread and your reply. I'll make a note to try a bottle of the 2004 sometime in 2016.

Cheers!