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2019 Chambourcin and Vidal Blanc

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Xnke

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This weekend, I was fortunate enough to get 100lbs of Chambourcin and 25lbs box of Vidal Blanc grapes. All day Saturday was spent cutting grapes in the morning, and destemming and crushing in the afternoon. After crushing, the musts were either dosed with K-meta, or pressed (by hand...more on that later) and dosed.

Ultimately I have come out with:
8 gallons of Chambourcin Red
2 gallons of saingee Chambourcin Rose, pressed out of the skins and then the skins put back in with the red must
3 gallons of Vidal Blanc

The measurements:
Red: 1.087 SG, 7g/l TA, 3.6PH
Rose: 1.087 SG, 7g/l TA, 3.8PH (shouldn't this be the same as the red?)
Vidal: 1.080 SG, 10g/L TA, 3.5PH

The Red must got Lallzyme EX-V about an hour ago, and Clos yeast plus FermStart rehydration goo are on the counter getting revved up before being added in.

The Rose got overdosed a bit on K-meta, I'll have to splash rack it a few times as it's still over 100ppm SO2 tonight. It'll get RC-212 tomorrow, but for tonight it got a dose of pectic enzyme powder.

The Vidal didn't get crushed and pressed until this morning, and is still at 70ppm SO2. It'll get EC-1118 tomorrow evening.

All the yeast will get Fermstart and Fermaid-O additions on the prescribed schedule-this is a first for me as I've always just used a half of a banana mashed up in the warm water I start my yeast in. It's always worked fine, but I though this year I'll give it a go.

I'll post some more when this gets going. The red will get the cap punched down three times a day-once when I leave for work, once when I get home, and once before bed.

I've got to find a 3 gallon carboy for the white-I've got four 1-gallon jugs, a 5 gallon carboy, and a 6 gallon carboy here. I also do a lot of welding so I have plenty of 100% Argon on hand, too.

Here's a pair of photos I took while cutting the Chambourcin:



 

Xnke

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Here's the results of pitching the yeast, 24 hours after pitching the Clos in the Red, and 8 hours after pitching the EC-1118 in the white, and RC-212 in the Rose.

The red is bubbling away, the cap has been punched down 3 times today. Smells pretty good. Lots of bubbling, awesome color going on.



The white, it's going good too. Thick foam cap, almost an inch thick. I will have to worry about this one finishing up while I'm at work. (12-14 hour days...) I figure as long as the towel's on the top of the bucket and the A/C doesn't quit, I'm in the clear.



And.....the rose. Yes, it's only 2 gallons, and yes, it was over-dosed with k-meta, but after two days of splash racking back and forth, I pitched in the RC-212. 8 hours later, this is all I got...



Anyone know if I've just just got to keep splashing it from bucket to bucket, or is the RC-212 dead and gone and nothing is gonna help it now? I still have some EC-1118 and Red Star Premier Cuvee on hand, if it comes down to it. Tomorrow evening, I'll check the SG again on all three and see where they're at, that should at least let me know if the RC-212 is doing anything at all or not.
 

Stressbaby

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Xnke, wondering where you live that your Chambourcin has numbers like that already?
 

Xnke

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South-cental Kentucky, Zone 6A. If I had the option I would have waited two more weeks, but it was a cut-today-or-get-nothing situation. The gentleman in charge of the vines says they won't get much higher brix numbers around here anyway, that for some reason we only see 20-21 brix, vs the 24-25 that happens other places.

Personally I think another two weeks would have had then at 22-24 brix, but I am the amateur here.

As a side note, ALL the vinifera grapes are completely done and rotting on the vines.
 

Xnke

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Shouldn't have worried about the Rose too much. It's fine now.



I set the A/C a little warmer-upped the temp to 75F, and off it went.

Checked on the others, the Red has been fermenting 48 hours now and it's gone from 1.087 to 1.038 SG, and it's a nice purpley red:



The Vidal is chugging along too, starting at 1.085 and now down to 1.050. All three got a dose of Fermaid-O tonight, although none smell even a bit sulfery, just...very yeasty. I'm gonna have to come up with a more effective press method, and fast. The Red is going to be ready to press thursday or friday at the rate it's going, and I can't slow it down much with temperature.
 

Xnke

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Well, it didn't make it to Thursday. I don't have a great method for pressing but I got it done. This winter, I'll build the equipment to make it much easier next year.

The red got pressed as it was at 1.015 SG, and it filled a 6 gallon carboy to the shoulder. Tomorrow I have to wash and dry the seeds...anyone need any Chambourcin seeds to play around with?



The rose and white were 1.020 and 1.025, so I racked them into glass and got the rose under airlock, and the white is in too big a carboy and just purged with Argon, no airlock, for now...I have to pick one up tomorrow. I have 3 1 gallon glass jugs but I'm out of stoppers and airlocks, so I'll have to purge and airlock the white until the 3 gallon carboy comes in. I want to be able to rack the red down into the 5 gallon when it's ready, and I'll rack the Rose straight across as long as I can, then I'll fill up a half gallon jug when it gets to that point.

 

bshef

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A winery nearby (zone 6a) picked Pinot Noir last week and Riesling yesterday. The Riesling were only 18 Brix but they were on the verge of breaking down. They are picking Vidal and Traminette this weekend.
 

Xnke

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I could have waited. The winery didn't show yesterday, so it is very likely I could have waited a week or two weeks longer to pick.

Oh well, it's purple drink now! I am building carboy crates this weekend to protect the glass and help keep out light.
 

Xnke

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Second racking today. Lots of sediment came off both the rose and the red, the white not so much.

The rose at current (34 days) isn't bad. Fruity-cranberryish, a little bitter, a little astringent on the finish, but the bitter is what gets me-I'm sensitive to bitterness. Nose is mostly just yeasty smelling.

Just got my brother's take on it-it works in a bar, and has to do a lot of tastings fairly often as part of being a manager. He's more into the barreled liquors but has a more refined palate than I do. He gets tannins, then fruity-tart cranberry, with a slightly sweet finish. Says it's pretty harsh for a rose, and has more tannins that he'd expect.

There's half a gallon of the red that needs to get into the half-gallon bottle, clean, clear, no sediment. I've not tasted it yet, but I anticipate the same-fruity, some bitterness, and a lot of yeasty smell.

The white is just-white. Nothing too outstanding, pretty well balanced and fully dry-It's good but not "I wanna drink that right now".

I'm contemplating some oak, but I have no idea how that's going to work out, or if it's appropriate. I've racked down to 5 gallons of red Chambourcin, plus a half-gallon for topping up. I have some french medium toast oak cubes on hand, that I was going to use with the white-but there is only about two gallons of that so I'll have plenty to do 5 gallons of red if it's stylistically appropriate.

Any pointers, tips, or guidence on the oak? Thoughts on any corrections I should/could make?
 

Xnke

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So the red-it's better (IMO) than the rose, more fruit and more tannin, same alcohol. Very harsh though, and almost no yeasty smell.

I put about 4oz in the fridge for 20 minutes and had tartaric acid crystals dropping out, though. Is this a sign that I should cold stabilize later?
 

Xnke

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Did some reading, made a decision. Dropped in 1.5oz of medium French oak cubes in the 5 gallon carboy of chambourcin. I'll let it go till Christmas, then see how it is. According to Stavin, that should be about 75% of a new barrel over the same period.

By that time, either it'll be ready to bulk age a few more months, or I'll hate it and it'll be time to bulk age a few more months...
 

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