Diamond John, Jesus Rodriguez
As team four on this project, we have the menu item “Beef Jardinière and Duchess Potatoes”. We anticipated a mix of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot Blend would compliment the menu item. Generally a savory, juicy dish with creamy potatoes with of components that brings out a lot of flavor, we wanted the acidity and tannins from the Cabernet Franc to blend with the fruity notes of the Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot, so we anticipated going that 60% Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot and 40% Cabernet Franc would be well complimented in respects to the menu item.
As we started blending for the wines, we started with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot and 40% Cabernet Franc, but we weren’t convinced as it was more tannous than anticipated and the Cabernet Franc seemed to overpower the Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot. Although a very good color, and clean on the nose with a hint of oak, on the palate the acidity wasn’t where we wanted it to be, the tannins were overpowering and had a long finish. We then decided to try 75% Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot and 25% Cabernet Franc. We felt that this blend was more of what we were looking for, more of the fruity notes of the Cabernet Sauvignon and the acidity and tannins from the Cabernet Franc we believed complimented each other making a beautiful tasting wine that had a beautiful color, was clean on the nose still with a sent of oak, but with more intensity and a clear sent of black cherries. On the palate it was clean, the intensity was medium, it was fruity with a taste of black cherries, medium sweetness levels, with good acidity and the tannins wasn’t as overpowering as the first mix. Then, we started to mix in the Merlot. The thought was that we couldn’t leave out the Merlot and wanted to experiment a little before making a final decision. The first attempt was a bland of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Merlot. Immediately we could taste the presence of the Merlot which made the blend very tannous and overly acidic for our menu item. Finally, we tried a mix of 50% cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot, 40% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Merlot. This blend was acidic, high tannins, with a long finish, dirty on the nose, with a strong presence of oak on both the nose and palate. So, we ultimately decided that the 75% Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot, 25% Cabernet Franc blend was the most compatible to go along with the beef jardinière and duchess potatoes.
Overall, this process was what we anticipated it to be, a fun learning experience on the process of making wines, as well as trying to create a formula that would pair well with the menu item. The level of focus and competitiveness showed that we cared enough to create something for the guests that will one day taste our City Tech wine.