2013 F-6F Hellcat Test Pilot

Tasting notes:  This intriguing blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot shows a smoky garnet in the pour.  The soft, inviting nose beckons with raspberries, blackberries, sweet cherry, and herbs.  Love sipping a burst of berry mash on the palate, with soft ripe plum compote and a hint of marjoram before an easy finish.  Quite yummy!

Fermentation and aging:  The Merlot was picked October 1 in one lot at 23.9 Brix.  Our Cabernet Franc was picked in two lots on October 8 and October 16 at 23.6 and 23.5 Brix respectively, lot 2 being our last grapes harvested in 2013!  All three of these pickings were fermented and aged separately with a daily pump-over.  The percentage of 2013 F6F components was determined at our spring blending trial, assembled and integrated, then blended a week later.  The F6F cuvee returned to barrel for further aging and integration.   Only 120 cases were bottles in July 2014.  12.3% alcohol. 


10 ½ inches of rain in November and December 2012 was well above average and bode well after the prior year’s drought-level 12.3 inch total. However, a dry January and February and less than 2 inches in April and May left us with the same total rain as our entire 2012 growing season. Slightly warmer than average temperatures in January and February were followed by bud break in mid-March. The vintage year had a few days over 100 degrees, but nothing sustained, and we harvested the first grapes in early September.