Meeker Vineyard 2004 Cabernet Franc - 3 Pack
$49.99 + $7.00 shipping
PRODUCT: 3 Meeker Vineyard 2004 Cabernet Franc
CT link above
and very Happy Birthday to Lucas Meeker today, Cheers!
OK, bottling pH of 7.4 and it’s Cab Franc and it sounds like a good one to try for something that’s often my favourite varietal. The Buttonwood CF is still one of my favourite woots to this day.
And that darned mill beat me!
I should get some sort of award or something. Buying this because my last name is MEEKER!!! Hope this lives up to our fabulous last name!
No black tie buy today? Aww. Wait, it IS Wednesday right?..
The things summer does to the days of the week (our perception of them at least).
Texicaliali, any tasting notes you want to share?
Cab Franc is also one of my favorite varietals. Big like Cab Sauv but with a fun “green” streak.
Very interesting offereing.
What’s the drinking window on this?
Now two questions for the winemaker:
- Could you explain the philosophy and methods in adjusting the acidity to a predetermined value?
- What’s the retail price on these? The bottles are no longer listed on the website.
This should bring gcdyersb out from hiding.
Cant say I have ever had any Cab Franc except mixed in another wine. Description sounds good flavor wise but dont know if i can jump for 3 with no prior basis of the varetial. looks like a good deal and i know i have seen several people asking for a while when WD would put up some more CF.
Back in the day their tasting room was in a teepee. Always one of the more entertaining stops on the weekend wine run. Plus the wines were very nice. Last time I saw them was about 5 years ago in the bank building. Still as fun as always. Haven’t had any of their juice in a while, going to have to dive in for 1.
Very entertaining and interesting. Thanks for posting. +1
CT reviews are very positive (90 pts average).
I don’t believe I’ve ever had a straight cab franc…might just have to try this one. I like the chocolate covered cherry descriptor on one of the CT reviews
sounds like a good CF to learn from…
hmmmmm…ill wait to see what others say.
How’s it going Woot?
This is Lucas Meeker, and I’ll be slumming it around this thread today to make sure you all get your questions asked… and make sure that you’re sick of me by the end of it all, too.
Just wanted to clarify a few things in the Voicemail (to be fair, I hadn’t finished my coffee… and to be more fair, I was so busy today that I actually never finished my coffee, which was pretty depressing at 3:30 when I went to take a sip and it was unsurprisingly ice cold and not delicious):
Bottling pH was 3.4. That’s, um, pretty darn low for California wines, but that’s about average for us. Most of our Bordeaux varietals go into bottle at 3.25-3.5.
Currently, the wine’s pH is somewhere between 3.45 and 3.5. Not every bottle ages the same, but you get my drift.
I also said in the voicemail that we’ve been fermenting varietal Cab Franc since the 1990, but that this is our first varietal bottling. I’m sure most of you knew what I meant by that, but my dad (who is my boss and unfortunately shares an office with me (I’m kidding about the unfortunate part, except for when he nitpicks everything I do from the other end of the room)) wanted me to make sure it was crystal. We’ve fermented Cab Franc since 1990 as part of our Four Kings program (Four Kings is our Alexander Valley meritage blend (CS, M, CF, PV)), but it’s always gone into that blend, and never been bottled as a labeled “Cabernet Franc”. That’s what I meant by “first varietal bottling”, if there was any confusion.
This wine is likely to cellar very well for 5-10 more years. In preparation for the Woot offer, I opened a bottle and tasted it over the course of 36+ hours, and it was drinking well all the way through hour 36. In fact, this is typical of our Bordeaux varietal wines. You really want to give our wines time with air. Most of them show better on day 2 than day 1, but you can always cheat with a Vinturi or with the lazy decanter method:
Step 1: Open bottle and pour small taste out.
Step 2: Shove cork back in.
Step 3: Shake bottle like a Polaroid.
Step 4: Wait like an hour.
Step 5: ???
Step 6: Profit (and by profit I mean drink a nicely opened up wine).
Yes, Ali is telling truth, today (the 28th) is my birthday.
This wine shows really classic Cab Franc varietal character (the good parts) while exhibiting bright fruit and structure.
Feel free to ask as many questions as you’d like. I’ll answer them with at least 99% honesty. I’ll check back in with you Wooters in the morning. I’m at the winery by 7:45-8:00 and I’ll try and check in frequently throughout the day, but this time I’m finishing my coffee.
I bought half a case of 2005 Iron Horse Cab Franc from the T bar T Vineyard from Woot a while back and it is a real treat. I’m looking at my last bottle right now!
I’d say if just under $20 isn’t too rich for your liking, this is a great bet. Some describe Cab Franc as having a “barnyard funk” but I have very seldom tasted something so severe as to characterize it as that. I have enjoyed almost all examples of this varietal that I have tried. There definitely tends to be some earthiness and sometimes some green bell pepper, but I’ve never found it overpowering. Having said that, every individual tastes something slightly different in a glass of wine.
I’ll try and keep this short, but I have a really bad habit of getting awful verbose with these kinds of things… but I’ll do my best.
- Method is simple: We add crystalized tartaric acid (naturally occurring acid in grape juice) to the must before beginning fermentation.
Philosophy is a little bit more complicated (a lot a bit more complicated), but basically revolves around a few key facets of what we think is really important to OUR wines (implying that we like to make wines a certain way, but also implying that our way is not the only way to make good wines, just the way we like to do it, ya dig?). I’ll try and break these down in no uncertain terms, but also in easily digestible chunks. Let’s kick this taco stand:
a) Stability and Macrobiotic Defense: Generally speaking (and scientifically accurate), the higher the acidity of a wine, the more inherently harsh an environment it is for potential spoilage organisms. Now, keep in mind that HIGHER TA (total acidity) means LOWER pH. Not trying to talk down to anyone, I’m sure most of you have like 13 chemistry classes under your belt, but I’m just trying to make sure we’re on the same page.
Lower pH/higher TA makes the wine less of a concern during the aging process. In fact, the amount of Free SO2 (as opposed to Bound) necessary to keep the wine at a Molecular level of .8 Free SO2 decreases with the pH. So, for instance, a wine at 3.25 pH might only need something like 18-25 ppm Free SO2 to be totally clean (meaning nothing bad can grow in it). A wine at pH 3.8 needs something like 85-100 ppm Free SO2 (these numbers aren’t totally precise because I’m not at my office to check, I’m currently nursing a birthday burrito hangover at home before going to bed, so you’ll have to excuse the generalization).
Now, considering that we really like to barrel age our wines for at least 24 months, plus we really like building BIG tannin structures in our wines, we want our wines to be stable for as long as the tannin structure can carry it (from an aging perspective). The specifics for how we build these big tannin structures is for a different post (and is not the way you might expect, but I’d be happy to explain if anyone cares). Regardless, if we’re building a wine with the structure to age 10-20 years, we need to make sure the wine is going to be stable for as long as possible. Lower pH makes for not only cleaner barrel aging, but much more reliable long term aging potential. Also, as you probably know, tartaric acid falls out of solution into salt form during the cellaring process, and thus the wine does lose acidity as it ages. If you start at a lower pH, it’s going to take a lot longer for that to happen to the point where it affects the drinkability of the wine.
b) We don’t think the term “food wine” is derogatory. In fact, part of the reason we acidulate our wines so heavily is that we’re proud of the fact that our wines go very well with food, something I don’t often think of wines that are much higher in the pH spectrum. A good, acidic wine will help refresh your palate for another bite of whatever rich delicious dish you might happen to be consuming. Making our wine food friendly is something we take seriously. There is a reason some people tend to think (erroneously or not) that old world wines are better with food than new world… and the sort of general pH trends between the two would go a long way in explaining that belief.
c) Just as the acidity makes a harsh environment once fermentation is complete, it does so before and during fermentation, too. As you have all probably heard, the yeast that we choose to ferment our wines on is a decision that we pay a lot of attention to. That said, there are a lot of winemakers who prefer to let a wine ferment on the yeast that comes in on the grapes, whatever it may be. And that’s fine, as I’m sure you are aware, because a lot of great wines are made that way. But once again, it’s not the way we like to make our wines. In fact, we like to inhibit wild yeast and bacteria bloom by cold soaking at comparably very low temps and creating a harshly acidic environment, thus keeping the cultures of the stuff we can’t control from taking over a ferment or getting too much of a headstart before we can get our chosen yeast going.
d) From a stylistic perspective, the higher acidity is the appropriate complement, in our own humble opinion, the style of wine we make in general. Not only do we like to make more acidic wines just out of preference, but we like to make more acidic wines because we also think it makes stylistic “sense” given the other decisions we make.
e) My dad grew up drinking French wine with his dad, and in a lot of ways, the decisions we make reflect my dad’s original preferences when he started making wine in the 70s. That’s not to say we’re trying to make French wine… faaaaar from it. But we like to think that there are things that the old world does very right, and there are also things that the new world does even more right. Acidity is one of the things that the old world had right, in our opinion.
Please, please, please take this all with the big disclaimer that I’m really NOT trying to say that what we do is better or smarter or anything than anybody else. Some of my absolute FAVORITE wines are pH 3.7. This is just my way of explaining to you what we like to do and why, and other people make other decisions for other very good reasons too, so please don’t take this as me trying to be “preachy”. You asked why we do the heavy acidulation… and I answered, right?
- The easy question. When we first released this wine, it retailed as part of our $32/bottle price point. When the recession hit, as a matter of trying to keep our products in our customers’ hands, we lowered that entire line of wines down to $28. So there have been two retail prices on this wine, $32 and $28. The 2005, the newer vintage, currently retails at $28.
Hope I answered your questions without boring you to death. I told you I tend to get verbose!