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2019 Lodi Meritage

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Johnd

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It's been a little hard getting my head into winemaking gear this year. The flood waters have subsided and my property is nearly back to normal. The heat in the south hasn't subsided at all, normally by mid September, we're sporting highs in the 80's, but the mid and upper 90's haven't relented yet.

Nonetheless, I'm getting it together and have decided to do a Bordeaux style blend this year, high on the Cab Sauv side, plus Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. Still working on the quantities, but it'll be enough to fill a 60 gallon barrel, plus a little extra for a local winemaker to take home at least a carboy. Three friends in the area will be making wine with me this year, and leaving their wines to age in the barrel, should be fun.

Varietals will be crushed / destemmed, fermented, and go through MLF separately, and blended into the barrel late in 2019 for a good long sit. Haven't ordered the barrel yet, but it'll be some French Bordeaux style barrel. The supply chain is still in place, I'll get my refrigerated fresh grapes from Colavita via a local winery sometime in early October, will place the order in the next couple of weeks.

Didn't really get a very good start on my ingredient acquisition, ordered 80g packs of D254 and BM4x4, along with VP41, plus cold shipping packs and 2nd day delivery. USPS missed the delivery date and crammed the box into my mailbox the morning after it was scheduled to arrive, instead of delivering to my front door. The box sat in my mailbox all day in the hot sun, and everything was fried by the time I got home from work. The yeast may be OK, but I doubt the VP41 survived, so I reordered everything and it'll be delivered to my office on Friday, where it will have to be brought inside. Looking forward to bottling the 2017 barrel in the next couple of months as well, as I'll need the space in the wine room for the new barrel. Cheers!!!
 

CDrew

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Subscribing to this thread. Good luck. Does this mean a new barrel or a rotation into your 60 gal? Bad luck about the mailbox/oven. Picking Syrah this Saturday. Like you, looking forward to another year of winemaking.

Edit. Read more carefully about the new barrel. Sounds great.
 

Johnd

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Have fun with it, as you know I blended my first Meritage recently. I assume all of you will get together for the blending.
That's the plan, we'll just have to see how the timing works out. Probably won't have enough finished wine to do a lot of variations on the blend, but some tinkering should be in order.........
 

mainshipfred

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That's the plan, we'll just have to see how the timing works out. Probably won't have enough finished wine to do a lot of variations on the blend, but some tinkering should be in order.........
By variations I assume you mean a limited amount of certain varietals. It almost sounds like you have a pre blended plan in mind.
 

Donz

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John, my 2018 blend was 63% Cab/22% Merlot/15% Cab Franc, all Lodi fruit. It is coming along really nicely and looks like it will age beautifully.

Would have loved a small portion of petit Verdot but cant get my hands on any down here in Montreal.

Good luck.
 

Johnd

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John, my 2018 blend was 63% Cab/22% Merlot/15% Cab Franc, all Lodi fruit. It is coming along really nicely and looks like it will age beautifully.

Would have loved a small portion of petit Verdot but cant get my hands on any down here in Montreal.

Good luck.
I'm planning to have the fruit to do something similar, except with the Petit Verdot included. Was kind of targeting something in the range of 60% Cab, 20% Merlot, 10% each Cab Franc and Petit Verdot, having enough to make that work, plus some extra of each in case taste dictates a slight change in the blend.
 

sour_grapes

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Donz

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Most of the Bolgheri Super Tuscans actually do not have any Sangiovese.
 

Johnd

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Time to put in the grape order today, finally settled on quantities for the blend. This year we'll be ordering 20 lugs of Cab, which will give 40+ gallons of finished wine to play with, 14 lugs of Merlot for 28+ gallons, 4 lugs of both Petit Verdot and Cab Franc for 8+ gallons of each. Total of 84+ gallons to fill the 60 gallon barrel, so we'll have blending options when the time comes. Assuming all of those varietals will be available at the same time for picking / shipping, that's the plan.

Cab Sauv. will be limited to no more than 67% of the final blend, Merlot to no more than 47%, and PV and CF to no more than 13% each. Of course, there will be some leftovers after the wine goes into the barrel, we'll figure that out later.

This year, I've got several folks making wine with me, I'm looking forward to it. Last year @Scott Harbison joined in, it was great to have another set of hands, but unfortunately, he's moving and won't be in the mix this year. Good luck with the new job Scott!! Another one of our forum members, @Keith5 lives nearby and will be joining into the festivities this year. Keith will leave 6 gallons of his wine with me in the barrel / wine room and take another 6 gallons home with him to age after MLF. Two friends of mine are pitching in for grapes as well and will each take home several cases of wine once it's bottled in a couple years.

Last year the grapes were picked / shipped around the 6th of October, so we're getting close!!!
 

CDrew

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Interesting. Are you trying to mimic a particular wine style like a left bank Bordeaux or do you plan to adjust your blend based on early tasting? Either way, it sounds like a fun experiment. 84 gallons of wine will be a good thing to have!
 

Johnd

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Interesting. Are you trying to mimic a particular wine style like a left bank Bordeaux or do you plan to adjust your blend based on early tasting? Either way, it sounds like a fun experiment. 84 gallons of wine will be a good thing to have!
No particular wine that I'm trying to emulate, just gathering a variety of varietals typically used in Bordeaux blends to be blended into a barrel for aging. I've done straight Cab. Sauv. and Cab. Sauv. dominated wines (90%+) for several years running, and wanted to try my hand a more diverse blending. Once AF / MLF is over and the wines have had a chance to degas and settle, plan to do some early tasting / blending, then let the blend age in a barrel for 1-2 years.
We'll be using different yeasts as well, BM4x4 and D254. The PV and CF are small batches, so they'll each have one kind of yeast. The CS and Merlot will be in several fermenters, so those varietals will be fermented with different yeasts. Just trying to give my wine some complexity and am hoping that with more blending options, we can craft something pretty good.
 

jsbeckton

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@Johnd, curious as to how many people overall will share in that 84gal? I’m envious of that kind of volume and all the options it gives you.

I pretty much make wine for myself and my wife so we only consume maybe 15 gallons a year including some giveaways.

I guess I should step up my game and lay off the Oktoberfest and my wife should lay off the water!
 

Johnd

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@jsbeckton , I started the same way, making kits and small quantities of grape wine, got way too much wine for my purposes, and scaled back. Now I do a 60 gallon barrel per year from grapes, plus the occasional fun project, Dragon Blood and strawberry this year.

I have a 30 gallons from 2017 barrel ready for bottling, all mine. A 60 gallon barrel from 2018, all but 6 gallons are mine. The 2019 batch that goes into the 60 gallon barrel will see 18 gallons go to others, plus 6 gallons that don’t go into the barrel going to @Keith5 . So, 60 of the 84 will ultimately stay with me. Prolly still have way too much......but I love doing it!!
 

Johnd

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Talked to my grape supplier today, grapes are in a holding pattern due to some chilly weather in the area, but it looks like warmer weather on the way and they'll be picking on 13th / 14th. The grapes should arrive here by refrigerated truck in LA a couple days later. Should be making wine by mid-month!!
 

CDrew

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Talked to my grape supplier today, grapes are in a holding pattern due to some chilly weather in the area, but it looks like warmer weather on the way and they'll be picking on 13th / 14th. The grapes should arrive here by refrigerated truck in LA a couple days later. Should be making wine by mid-month!!
Yep-Downright freezing here (Sacramento) for this time of year. It also rained a bit so that lowers the brix and they are probably waiting for things to dry out. I'd see that as a good thing. I'm picking mourvedre this weekend, and will keep careful eye on the brix and fruit condition. Good luck. It's been a good summer, so you should end up with great grapes.
 

Johnd

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New schedule, picking / shipping this week, reefer truck will be in Sunday night. Perfect!!! I’ll be up at my property, very close to the delivery point, and will just stay and extra day, nice!!!
 
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