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2019 old vine Grenache

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Slappy

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How quickly a year goes by. I now have my 2019 Grenache happily fermenting away.
We’ve had a tough year this year, extreme heatwaves and a summer that’s been4 degrees Celsius above average overall with very little rainfall, so picked March 3, 2 and a bit weeks earlier than last vintage.

Thankfully the old bush vines in Mclaren Vale are tough bastards and the vineyard I pick from coped pretty well.
The fruit was of exceptional quality, with more numerous bunches of smaller fruit that are powerhouses of flavour. Crop down by approx 25% due to the season.

I helped another forum member Bruno (Bnation) get access to some fruit and was lucky enough to meet up with him in the vineyard and do a good old fashioned bottle swap of some of our wines. Hopefully he’ll post a log of his efforts, we got the same fruit but are deviating a bit in how we go about things.

I got my grapes home in airconditioned comfort, crushed immediately, 10% whole bunches and did not destem. Added 1.35g/l tartaric to get PH estimated 3.4 (Bruno got 3.5 from his on .35 g/l acid addition) I just went by taste and trusted my judgement. Pitched ec1118 to keep things simple and easy with using vp41 for mlf.
My starting gravity was 1.112 compared to 1.110 for the 2018 vintage.

I will start to remove stems from tomorrow (day 3) in stages. Hopefully press on Saturday or Sunday.

So far everything is motoring along as planned. Getting more colour than last vintage and expect a bigger more concentrated wine. Of note is the amount of extra solids in the must volume. It’s really thick and a lot more effort to punch down which I attribute to the smaller bunches/fruit size giving extra skin to juice ratio, plus the extra stems.



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mainshipfred

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How quickly a year goes by. I now have my 2019 Grenache happily fermenting away.
We’ve had a tough year this year, extreme heatwaves and a summer that’s been4 degrees Celsius above average overall with very little rainfall, so picked March 3, 2 and a bit weeks earlier than last vintage.

Thankfully the old bush vines in Mclaren Vale are tough bastards and the vineyard I pick from coped pretty well.
The fruit was of exceptional quality, with more numerous bunches of smaller fruit that are powerhouses of flavour. Crop down by approx 25% due to the season.

I helped another forum member Bruno (Bnation) get access to some fruit and was lucky enough to meet up with him in the vineyard and do a good old fashioned bottle swap of some of our wines. Hopefully he’ll post a log of his efforts, we got the same fruit but are deviating a bit in how we go about things.

I got my grapes home in airconditioned comfort, crushed immediately, 10% whole bunches and did not destem. Added 1.35g/l tartaric to get PH estimated 3.4 (Bruno got 3.5 from his on .35 g/l acid addition) I just went by taste and trusted my judgement. Pitched ec1118 to keep things simple and easy with using vp41 for mlf.
My starting gravity was 1.112 compared to 1.110 for the 2018 vintage.

I will start to remove stems from tomorrow (day 3) in stages. Hopefully press on Saturday or Sunday.

So far everything is motoring along as planned. Getting more colour than last vintage and expect a bigger more concentrated wine. Of note is the amount of extra solids in the must volume. It’s really thick and a lot more effort to punch down which I attribute to the smaller bunches/fruit size giving extra skin to juice ratio, plus the extra stems.



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You're making me jealous, I probably have 8 weeks before my spring crush. Your grapes look great.
 

Bnation

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I know i've said thanks, but thanks again for teeing me up to such amazing fruit! Access to old vine grenache that wineries pay big $$$ for, i'm super lucky to have got my hands on this.

The heatwave and lack of rainfall this summer has been terrible and the vines definitely felt it but held strong. My Baume after crushing was 15.5-16 (half tonne of fruit), I added 20L of acidulated water, this brought it down to roughly 14.5 baume, still pretty high but not as potent as before.
I've added somewhere around 10-20% whole bunches. De-stemmed the rest as I don't want to overdo it with green harsh tannins.

RC212 Yeast.

Something along wasn't too happy, as yesterday I got a wiff of H2S Gas at my punchdown. I'm putting it down to not enough punch-downs to keep the cap wet, but i've also added some Fermaid AT which will hopefully get the yeast back on track. Hot weather has meant the ferment has been around 30degrees celcius. It's definitely powering through the sugar as i'm down to approx 5.5-6 baume after 3.5 days of ferment.

I'm not going to co-innoculate with VP41, I'll wait til primary ferment is done and add it after I press. Since the yeast is clearly unsettled, i don't want to put more stress on it with a co-innoc.

Hoping the H2S is all but gone now with a few solid punch downs and mixing.
 

Effect

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Nice - old vine grenache. There are some really old vines down Mclaren Vale, old gnarly bush vines. I love how they look. A great example of the old bush vines (well really the ones I have been able to get up close to) are at Noon wines. I love how individual they are compared to the rows on rows of homogenous designed vinyards in the Vale - I actually live very close to the Vale - Mick O'Sheas is the closest pub to my place if that gives you any reference.

I feel for a lot of the vinyards this year as that hot weather really brought on ripening quicker and the wineries were likely to be at capacity from the first harvests - ah the joys of vintage and logistics management.

Hope the ferment is going well. I too found the must to be quite thick, more solids to juice ratio, this vintage is going to be intense flavour me thinks. My first 3 wines I didn't add any yeast or sulphur, but this latest shiraz (15.5+ baume) I had to add something that could finish it off (Rhone 2226), I think the indigenous yeast would have struggled once it got over 14% and still had a fair chunk to go.

Cheers
 

Slappy

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Everything has been kicking along as it should. Will press sometime between tomorrow afternoon (Saturday) and Sunday night depending a little on the wine and a little on when I have the time. I put in my mlb a couple of days back one the ferment started slowing which is my standard. Also have removed a good lot of the stems in batches, I start pulling them as their influence shows in the must, it’s labor intensive so wouldn’t do it that way on a batch bigger than half a tonne.
I have gotten bigger colour and tannin this year and there’s definitely more flavour.
Last vintage has turned into a very good wine and I think this may better it if I nurture it right.
Will update again after I’ve pressed.
 

Slappy

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I pressed last night after everyone was asleep. Ended up finishing at 2:30am. Didn’t take any pics at the time due to poor lighting.

All went smoothly with a few surprises. My yield was low only got 140 litres compared to 165 last year, and my must volume was up by around 25 litres this year. I put that down to the extra skin/juice ratio. When I broke up the cake before it was very dry and compacted and was larger than last years if memory serves me correctly.
Also of note is my pressings were not as dark and concentrated as last vintage, which surprised me as the fruit was smaller which I thought would have boosted things a bit due to the extra skin/juice ratio. However, the free run is definitely quite a bit darker than last vintage so perhaps I got a lot better extraction through the ferment leaving less in the skins. I was very vigorous and regular with my punch downs and I also give the skins and bunches a good manual squeezing as I go along to break things up a bit.

From taste at this point there’s definitely more tannin, and I feel the fruit will come through riper and more concentrated. Otherwise it is similar to last vintage.

So this closes off vintage 2019 for me. I’ll leave it for a good 6-8 weeks for mlf to complete and then do my oak additions at first racking, then as per last year rack every 3 months and sample in between to keep an eye on things. I will likely do another racking this time and bottle after a year as opposed to 9 months as I got a little sediment in a few of my bottles last year.

Here’s a pic of the pressings.
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Effect

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Great work brother - 140 to 165 is nothing between vintages considering the yield that is going on at the moment. I mean, I picked a row of vines that apparently gets 1000kg....I got around 100kg and I wasn't cherry picking in the slightest, I took everything - that's the worst I have experienced. Mostly its 40% down other than the liars who say they are only 20% down (d'arenberg are saying that they are down 20%) - as if that is responsible management of a site. Everyone is down. Don't give me that BS.

Would be good to see how ur grenache turns out. I'll post up the details of me efforts soon.
 

Bnation

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Mate I was meant to get half a tonne of pinot. Finished the whole row and just scraped through 200kgs. Picked out another 2 rows of shiraz to bring it just to half a tonne. Yeilds down this year is a massive understatement haha
 

Slappy

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Had a bit of a look tonight and here’s the colour of the free run at top and pressings at bottom. Almost indistinguishable this year apart from a bit more tannin in the pressings. I got much more extraction than last vintage when I had a big difference between the free run and pressings. Took a hydrometer reading and it’s finished at 0.994 from 1.112 so it’s at 15.5% abv, last vintage started at 1.110 and finished at 0.992. I’ll be blending it all together this year when I do the first racking as the free run and pressings are too close to make distinct wines from them. Some will be blended 50/50 with the Shiraz I did this year. So I will have approx 6 dozen bottles each of Grenache, Shiraz and Grenache/Shiraz. Happy days!IMG_0978.JPGIMG_0979.JPG
 

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