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Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

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    Mourvedre question

    Hmmm, well the problem is that I can't simply add tartaric to get to an acceptable pH without radically changing the wine -it would have to be adjusted to around 12 g/l acid. I have made reds with 12g/l (Baco Noir) but that was a fact of nature you have to deal with with Baco in a cool climate...
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    Mourvedre question

    Hi all, I wanted to seek advice since this is a real outlier for me. I just got a bin of Mourvedre from a reputable vineyard/winery in Amador. It's part of the same harvest they use. The grape hung much longer than pretty much anything else I got this year, and the farmer said he was waiting for...
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    Crush Numbers

    Don't you find that adding tartaric that late in the process (at bottling) adds a weird sharpness to the taste or chemical smell to the wine? Is the idea that this might mellow or disappear during extended bottle aging? What is the disadvantage of adjusting the TA right before and right after...
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    What's for Dinner?

    Boeuf Bourguignon tonight!
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    How to correct low pH and TA

    I would test this again. It's definitely not impossible but weird for Cab. I have seen hybrids and some Italian white grapes (Fiano is one) show low acid and low pH, but not Cab (in my experience in CA and NY grapes)
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    Acid adjustment thoughts.

    I have seen this "pH rise" happen myself, not infrequently. Often, it is not caused by fermentation per se, but by the grapes themselves after crush. If you crush your reds and check the brix/pH right after crush you will get a lower brix and lower pH than you will if you let them sit over night...
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    A new (ad)venture

    Amador grapes are fantastic, I especially love the Fiddletown area. It has the most convoluted geography of any wine region I've seen. El Dorado is the place where I've found the most interesting varietals -the Tannat, Falaghina, etc. The guy I'm getting Falaghina from (picking it up in an...
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    A new (ad)venture

    Well, we're still keeping our day jobs and overhead at this stage is minimal -we're using the garage. Our plan is to make some distinct and interesting wines and talk to restaurants and other retail location about carrying them, and offer retail on the web and potentially through Amador 360. In...
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    A new (ad)venture

    Hi all, My spouse and I have been making wine from grapes since 1995 and have (naturally) always wanted to go commercial. We finally achieved that goal a few weeks ago and got our license to make wine and have a winery. Last year was the first year we made wine in California and got to know our...
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    Experience with Lalvin BA-11, Rhone 4600 or 58W3?

    Thanks for this -I have no experience with this line. I've heard they were bred to not produce sulfides, which is great. I was worried it would be like EC1118, easy to use, but really neutral. In your experience which Lalvin strain would you compare this to, character-wise? -Aaron
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    Experience with Lalvin BA-11, Rhone 4600 or 58W3?

    Hi all, Last year I tried some newer strains for my whites (QA23, D254 and GRE), in addition to my old stand-by D47. I really expected to like QA23 based on the marketing materials, but it ended up as my least favorite. This year I was going to add a few new strains to the mix. The grapes I...
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    Dry Farming Cab Franc

    I did some reading on this since I was thinking of trying dry farming of grapes. I believe the lower limit on dry farming grapes is about 15" of reliable rain per year, with 25" being much easier. Do you get that where you are? I was talking with a grower over in Yolo county and he claims he had...
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    Random CA Rambling

    Thanks, CDrew! I checked out Iron Hub, because I hadn't heard of them. Some interesting varietals, like you said, including Semillion. It isn't a "popular" grape but it seems to do really well in the foothills, kind of unexpectedly, like Cabernet Franc. I REALLY like that Iron Hub has full...
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    Sangiovese oaking ?

    I don't really think Sangiovese is the kind of grape that is going to work well with "oaking" (oak flavoring). It's naturally lighter, more oof a food-friendly, lighter color and body but aromatic and earthy wine. To me, less is more with a grape like this -it's not going to make a burly, oaky...
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    Random CA Rambling

    Another cool thing about Amador is the willingness of the wineries to sell grapes to home winemakers. I'm getting most of my 2021 grapes from relatively well-known wineries who I reached out to and they were so nice to basically share their fruit. I need to give Runquist another try. The one...
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    GSM Blend Substitute...?

    If you really want something Mourvedre-like I agree that Carignan might be the best bet, perhaps with a bit of Alicante blended in for body (very small amount since a little goes a long way). That said I don't think you will be in any way replicating Mourvedre, and I don't think you really...
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    Whole Grape Fermentation

    Just to make this clear for me: in the first case you are crushing (stomping) the grapes in the vat but leaving in the stems, etc. In the seconds case you are stripping the berries from the bunch by hand and fermenting them whole, like carbonic maceration? Is this correct? Thanks, -Aaron
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    Cool fermentation of reds?

    Thanks a ton for the feedback. I too am interested in the grape and the fruit and not about added flavors like oak so I think we're on the same wavelength. I was a bit worried that long fermentation time might cause high tannins due to seed contact but it doesn't sound like this is the case with...
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    @Snafflebit I just finished blending my 2020 C. Franc two weeks ago (52% Franc, 38% Mourvedre, 10% Malbec) or I could have brought some over for you to try (I live in San Jose and I'm here most weekdays). This one was from Fiddletown in Amador county -super fragrant wine, pretty overpowering on...
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    Cool fermentation of reds?

    Thanks for the feedback! CDrew, I would only be fermenting a 1/3 or so of the grapes in the cool environment and I would just use the 60 degree ambient environment to cool the fermentation in a stainless tank of around 100 liters. Question to folks: from the feedback it sounds like this...