Whole Cluster Inclusion in Cabernet Franc Fermentations (2017)

This study examines the impact of whole cluster inclusion on Cabernet Franc wines. Cabernet Franc grapes were harvested and processed into T bins. One T bin received 100% destemmed grapes, and the other received 100% whole clusters. The destemmed treatment was punched down twice daily, and the whole cluster treatment was stomped. After 18 days of maceration, wines were pressed off. The whole cluster wine fermented slower than the destemmed wine. Ethanol content, potassium, and lactic acid were also higher in the whole cluster wine. Color and anthocyanin were lowered in the whole cluster wine, while catechin and gallic acid were increased. Tannin may have slightly increased in this wine as well, but this is a weak result. For the triangle test, of 26 people who answered, 11 people chose the correct wine (42%), suggesting that the wines were not significantly different. In general, people who answered correctly did not show strong preferences for one wine over the other. For the descriptive analysis, there were no strong trends for the descriptors used in this study.

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Whole Cluster Inclusion in Cabernet Franc Fermentations (2016)

This study examines the impact of whole cluster/stem inclusion on the sensory and chemical profile of Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc was harvested from the same vineyard block on the same day and processed identically except that stem inclusion was performed so that either 100% of the fruit was destemmed but not crushed, 60% of the fruit was destemmed but not crushed (40% added as whole clusters), or 10% of the fruit was both destemmed and crushed and the other 90% was added as whole clusters. All other treatments were the same. The 40% Inclusion treatment was not tasted. Whole cluster inclusion did not affect wine chemistry. Color intensity and hue were both increased at 40% and 90% whole cluster inclusion. Cinnamic acids, catechin, tannin, and polymeric anthocyanins were also increased with 40% and 90% inclusion (although polymeric anthocyanins were not very different). Epicatechin and anthocyanins were lowered by 40% and 90% whole cluster inclusion. The results for 40% inclusion were taken at different time points, however, so may not be entirely representative. Judges found the wines to be significantly different, but there were no strong preferences for one treatment over another. 90% inclusion had a slight tendency to have higher Overall Aromatic Intensity and Fruit Intensity, but this was not seen at all tastings. More studies should be performed on whole cluster and stem inclusion to determine how to best vinify different treatments. This is especially true with regard to microbial stability, as well as finding optimal ranges of cluster/stem inclusion based on desired styles.

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Stem Inclusion in Cabernet Franc Fermentations (2016)

Cabernet Franc Grapes were hand harvested and then destemmed into three lots. The first lot contained no stems, the second lot had 5% stems included based on fruit weight, and the third lot had 10% stems included based on fruit weight (ie: 1 pound of stems for every 10 pounds of fruit in the 10% inclusion treatment). All other treatments between lots were the same. Phenolic and color profiles were not gathered for the 5% treatment. Additionally, because the 5% inclusion did not complete malolactic conversion, it was excluded from tastings. 10% stem inclusion did not result in many chemical differences between wines. Monomeric anthocyanins, quercetin, malvidin glucoside, and total anthocyanins were increased by stem inclusion, whereas tannin was decreased. This increase in anthocyanin, however, did not greatly alter color intensity, possibly due in part to the decrease in polymeric pigment. Overall, these wines were not found to be significantly different from each other. There were slight trends for the stem inclusion to increase Bitterness and Herbaceous/Green character, and reduce Body. This study should be repeated over several vintages, as well as with different grape varieties in order to better determine the full impact of stem inclusion with Virginia ripening conditions. Additionally, this would be an interesting project to see how the wine evolves over time, to see if differences grow over time.

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Whole Cluster Inclusion with Cabernet Franc (2015)

Cabernet Franc was made with 0% and 25% whole cluster inclusion.  There were no chemical differences between wines in this study.  The wine made with whole clusters had less anthocyanins and pigment, and slightly less color intensity and greater hue.  There was no significant sensory differences between the wines, but people tended to prefer the wine with whole cluster inclusion.

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Whole Cluster Inclusion of Cabernet Franc (2014)

This study examines various stem inclusion and cap management methodology on Cabernet Franc.  One wine was 0% whole cluster inclusion and pressed at dryness, another was 30% whole cluster inclusion and pressed at dryness, and another was 100% whole cluster inclusion and pressed after 3 days.  Whole cluster inclusion slightly increased volatile acidity.  Color intensity decreased with increasing inclusion, as did hue.  In general, people preferred wines with less cluster inclusion.

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