Thought I would start my own thread on this endeavor. Finally getting around to posting some updates and pics. Its been a rough week. Got sick in Texas and the head cold turned into sinus infection then bronchitis. Was a good excuse to miss the entire week of work but have felt like crap as well. Finally felling better almost 2 weeks later but this cough is hanging around and nights are not fun for sure.
Fruit quality was about a 3.5 out of 5 I would say. I wish I could have had more time to inspect the fruit but we had been waiting around for 3 days and I really just wanted to get it crushed and on the road. I picked up 21 lugs or a little over 750lbs.
6 lugs Cabernet Sauvignon
6 lugs Merlot
3 lugs Malbec
3 lugs Petit Verdot
3 lugs Cabernet Franc
As most folks know this harvest was one of the toughest on record to bring in. Cold weather in the Spring followed by a cool Summer and then late rains made it a challenge to say the least on the vineyard managers. The fruit showed some signs of that from the initial numbers
Cabernet Sauvignon #1 Initial chemistry
pH 3.80 SG 1.106 (25.5 Brix) TA 5.4 G/L Added 15gm Tartaric acid
pH 3.70 TA 6.0 G/L
Cabernet Sauvignon #2 Initial chemistry
pH 3.88 SG 1.104 (25.5 Brix) TA 5.1 Added 15gm Tartaric acid
pH 3.79 TA 5.9 G/L
Merlot #1 Initial chemistry
pH 3.64 SG 1.114 (27.5 Brix) TA 4.2 G/L
Added 2.5L Acidulated water
pH 3.48 SG 1.102 (25 Brix) TA 5.7
Merlot #2 Initial chemistry
pH 3.59 SG 1.104 (25 Brix) TA 4.8G/L Added 20gm Tartaric acid
pH 3.46 TA 6.3
Malbec Initial chemistry
pH 3.62 SG 1.104 (25 Brix) TA 5.4 Added 10gm Tartaric acid
pH 3.59 TA 6.0 G/L
Petit Verdot Initial chemistry
pH 4.07 SG 1.114 (27.5 Brix) TA 4.5
Added 2.5L acidulated water with 35gm Tartaric acid
pH 3.98 SG 1.102 (25 Brix) TA 6.3
Cabernet Franc Initial chemistry
pH 3.98 SG 1.102 (25 Brix) TA 3.9 added 30gms Tartaric acid
pH 3.72 TA 6.0
The Petit Verdot was a mystery as the the acid came up nicely but the pH barely budged from the initial test results. If I had to make a guess we are seeing some sort of potassium buffer phenomenon from the skins.
I wanted to tweak the chemistry a bit more but I was running out of time as with this much must and me running out of energy it took me till Tuesday night to get this far (after picking the grapes up on Sunday and driving home Sunday night) The grapes were plenty cold when unloaded as I added a bag of ice to each The temps were 52 degrees on Sunday night but I was in no shape to start testing until Monday morning. I spent all day Monday removing leaves, twigs, small clusters and testing. Tuesday was add acid and retest day. Wednesday morning was yeast hydration and pitching day. Hard to believe that pitching yeast could be an all day affair but it takes almost a full hour for each batch.
I used Lallzyme EX and OptiRed on each batch. I rehydrated the yeast in water and Go-Ferm. I am using Fermaid-K in 2 additions at 1/3 and 2/3 Brix drop.
I am using using several different yeast to bring out different flavor profiles. The batches will then be combined closer to bench test trials in about 18mo from now. I will be striving for a nice Bordeaux blend as well as bottling some pure varietals as well.
Yeast used were:
Cabernet Sauvignon #1 Bordeaux Red
Cabernet Sauvignon #2 D254
Merlot #1 D254
Merlot #2 Bordeaux Red
Petit Verdot D21
Cabernet Franc D21
D21 is specifically recommended for reducing vegetal off flavors in the Cab Franc and Petit Verdot.
Here is a "raw" video I Posted to You Tube taken with the iPhone. SWMBO was taking it while trying to keep an eye on the 85lb Golden Retriever who accompanied us on this big adventure! Much thanks to George and Joseph. They worked long and hard on Saturday and Sunday without any sleep at all but they took it all in stride non the less!