2020 Chilean Grape Plans

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

jsbeckton

Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
459
Reaction score
165
Last year I made about 7g of Chilean Merlot. This year I wanted to try something different like a Malbec, Carménère or Syrah but can’t decide. Was thinking that maybe instead I could try a blend which is typically harder to do at my scale but at 18# crates I have more options. Maybe mix in some Petite Verdot.

So looking for feedback from other that have made either varietals or blends of these Chilean grapes.

This will be coming from CFP winemakers in Pittsburgh.

Thanks!
 

Johnd

Large Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,024
Reaction score
5,638
Location
S Louisiana
Last year I made about 7g of Chilean Merlot. This year I wanted to try something different like a Malbec, Carménère or Syrah but can’t decide. Was thinking that maybe instead I could try a blend which is typically harder to do at my scale but at 18# crates I have more options. Maybe mix in some Petite Verdot.

So looking for feedback from other that have made either varietals or blends of these Chilean grapes.

This will be coming from CFP winemakers in Pittsburgh.

Thanks!
In my Chilean adventure, I ended up with a small batch of Bordeaux style blend that’s pretty tasty today, better than my single varietals from the same grapes, CS, Merlot, Malbec, IIRC....
 

Chuck E

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Dec 8, 2018
Messages
331
Reaction score
224
Location
Chicago burbs
@jsbeckton I made Carnenere, Malbec and Viognier last spring. They all turned out pretty well, scheduled for bottling in a month. I have a 50/50 blend of Carmenere-Malbec that I am anxiously awaiting. The little tastes along the process have been very promising.
 

mainshipfred

Junior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
2,154
I'm going to sound like a broken record but don't overlook the Stellenbosch Cab From S. Africa. Also, Chilean Pinot Noir is gaining popularity.
 

jsbeckton

Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
459
Reaction score
165
So many possibilities! Was thinking maybe a blend of Carménère a s Malbec with a bit of Petite Verdot to add more color and tannin:

50% Carménère
24% Malbec
17% Petite Verdot

Any thoughts on that or alternative suggestions?
 

CDrew

California Garagiste
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
591
Reaction score
655
So many possibilities! Was thinking maybe a blend of Carménère a s Malbec with a bit of Petite Verdot to add more color and tannin:

50% Carménère
24% Malbec
17% Petite Verdot

Any thoughts on that or alternative suggestions?
DIsclaimer-Never made wine with grapes from Chile...

Do you have any ability to know from your supplier the basic numbers before you purchase? I'd probably look for the ripest/nicest/freshest grapes with the best balance of sugar, acid and pH. Also keeping things simple is usually good too. So maybe 10 gallons of 2 varieties and keep separate until it's time to do blend experiments.

If you put everything in one big "field blend" you won't have much control where you end up, though that can be a pleasant surprise too. And math wise, what's the last 9% going to be?

The handful of Chilean Carmenere wines I've had have been good, so I like your choice for the dominant varietal. I'm also not a huge Malbec fan and have never had a single varietal Petite Verdot so there's that!

Good luck, I will look forward to updates.
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
12,818
Reaction score
8,180
80-90% Carmenere, the rest Petite Verdot.
 

jsbeckton

Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
459
Reaction score
165
Need to work on my math!

I haven’t had a Malbec nor a Carménère in awhile so grabbed a bottle of each and had the Carménère last night. It was quite good so think I’m settled on that as the main component and also really want the added color of the Petite Verdot so that will be a minor component.

Will probably give the Malbec a try tonight to see if I want to try to include that in the mix as well.
 

Ajmassa

Just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,427
Reaction score
2,813
2018 I did a 100% Chilean Malbec Split batch with D254 and D80. Ended up being the best wine I ever made. Stands stall on its own. No help needed. Fughetaboutit

Gonna be hard not to make it again this spring. And likely will. I mean- it’s South America right? That’s why I went with Malbec to begin with.
 

jsbeckton

Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
459
Reaction score
165
This will indeed be a field blend as the scale I’m working with it won’t make much sense to try to keep separate. I’m thinking that I’ll combine everything at crush to check overall pH and then split into 2 batches for dual yeast. Have been hearing good things about a combo of D80 and D254 so that’s the plan
 

mainshipfred

Junior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
2,154
The link is to some spring yeast recommendations and other interesting topics.
http://blog.juicegrape.com/index.php/2017/03/the-winemakers-think-tank-vol-11-spring-wine-yeast-suggestions-cabernet-sauvignon/

In previous years I was able to find harvest reports for S African and Chilean grapes but can't seem to find it now.

@CDrew, you Cali guys are spoiled. Most of us have to preorder our grapes and have to deal with what we get. We have very few options to see the grapes before we buy them and never have the opportunity for Southern Hemisphere grapes.

Considering the distance these grapes have to travel it's amazing the quality of the Chilean. The S African are probably on the ship a few weeks longer and sometimes have a little more mold, raisined or crushed berries but still in acceptable condition.
 

CDrew

California Garagiste
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
591
Reaction score
655
@CDrew, you Cali guys are spoiled. Most of us have to preorder our grapes and have to deal with what we get. We have very few options to see the grapes before we buy them and never have the opportunity for Southern Hemisphere grapes.
Interesting. So you pre-order and then take what they give you, as opposed to going to a warehouse and picking what you want. I guess I would have thought the crates were lined up and you had some choice. From the supplier perspective, though, the pre-order thing does prevent left over/unsold stock.

But "spoiled" seems like a strong word! LOL. We are spoiled by crowded freeways, ridiculous state taxes, and expensive real estate. But grape wise, we do have pretty good choices in September and October.
 

CDrew

California Garagiste
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
591
Reaction score
655

Ajmassa

Just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,427
Reaction score
2,813
Interesting. So you pre-order and then take what they give you, as opposed to going to a warehouse and picking what you want. I guess I would have thought the crates were lined up and you had some choice. From the supplier perspective, though, the pre-order thing does prevent left over/unsold stock.

But "spoiled" seems like a strong word! LOL. We are spoiled by crowded freeways, ridiculous state taxes, and expensive real estate. But grape wise, we do have pretty good choices in September and October.
So in other words- Fred is correct!
Multiple options, direct contact with the vineyard, often known Brix and ph, and at a FRACTION of the cost! Not too bad.
But yeah it’s def a gamble for us. Especially in the fall with multiple blind options per varietal. (This aspect is what triggers my Brehms intrigue). Gotta go with our prior experiences and due diligence since we really don’t get specific info. Just country/AVA, varietal, and price. For spring it’s Chilean at ~$1.50/lb. and South African at ~$2.15/lb. (other Spring options aren’t posted yet- but I believe they all sell the same stuff)
But as we know-higher price doesn’t always = higher quality. For optimal fruit I’ve had more success with Chilean than Cali in my limited experience. Chilean fruit has been gorgeous for me. And they have a unique quality containing this stuff called ‘acid’ too[emoji6]. My previous Chileans:
2017
Cab sauv grapes
Cab/merlot juice with cab skins
2018
Malbec grapes
Syrah juice with Malbec skins

For Cali fruit I’ve paid from $1.00/lb to as high as $2.00/lb. —Blindly buying $70 lugs & hoping for the best. Just the way it is. (Would love to drop a nut on those $3.50/lb Sonoma cab they offer one day!)
Unless ya do larger volumes and get crafty by cutting a deal straight from the suppliers like @Johnd did last year, we pretty much never know information beforehand. Nevertheless, I’m hopeful those Chileans will keep the good times rollin again this year.

Heres all of the given info from my Chilean grape source
https://ginopinto.com/wine-grapes-juice/chilean-grape-regions/
And South African
https://ginopinto.com/south-african-grape-region/
And for reference- here’s the menus from 2 different suppliers. (Keystone doesn’t have previous spring grapes online anymore)IMG_1196.JPGIMG_1204.JPG
 

mainshipfred

Junior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
2,154
And, @mainshipfred if you want to try Avante yeast for your spring grapes, I still have about 100gm I'll be happy to send your way. It's vacuum sealed and refrigerated, I'm sure it's still fine. Or I can send half to you and half to @jsbeckton.
@CDrew that's a very nice offer and I would like to take you up on it. I'll send you a PM. The local winery where I picked up my Tannat and Norton grapes from gave me some Brio for the Tannat and Maurivin for the Norton. Since I always ferment in smaller quantities to allow for the use of three yeasts I only took enough for 1/3 of the batches. I thought Maurivin was a Renaissance yeast as well but I don't think it is although it is a low H2S producing yeast. Unfortunately since I made so many varietals and used 3 yeasts each I didn't have the opportunity keep the batches separate and combined them after primary so I don't know the difference each one had.
 

Ajmassa

Just a guy
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
3,427
Reaction score
2,813
Ok so I’ve got zero experience or knowledge of carmenere at all. Just never really paid it any mind and would dismiss it without a 2nd thought. But I finally looked into it a little and I like what I’m reading. A big red with traits of Cab sauv, merlot, and cab franc. I can dig that.
Heading out tonight to grab a couple Chilean Carmeneres. I’m intrigued.
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
12,818
Reaction score
8,180
Ok so I’ve got zero experience or knowledge of carmenere at all. Just never really paid it any mind and would dismiss it without a 2nd thought. But I finally looked into it a little and I like what I’m reading. A big red with traits of Cab sauv, merlot, and cab franc. I can dig that.
Heading out tonight to grab a couple Chilean Carmeneres. I’m intrigued.
I'm definitely a fan of commercial Carmenere, though the few I've made have had strong pepper notes. Not bad wines at all, but not consistent with what I buy at the store.
 

jsbeckton

Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
459
Reaction score
165
I'm definitely a fan of commercial Carmenere, though the few I've made have had strong pepper notes. Not bad wines at all, but not consistent with what I buy at the store.
Interesting. Were those that you made from Chile or elsewhere? I think I read somewhere that this grape can vary by region because some of the characteristics like pepper notes were highly influenced by climate. I’ve only got a couple of all grape batches under my belt so I’m not looking for a challenge, rather a safe bet at this point so this has me a bit worried.
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
12,818
Reaction score
8,180
Interesting. Were those that you made from Chile or elsewhere? I think I read somewhere that this grape can vary by region because some of the characteristics like pepper notes were highly influenced by climate. I’ve only got a couple of all grape batches under my belt so I’m not looking for a challenge, rather a safe bet at this point so this has me a bit worried.
Mine were all Chilean. "All" = "3". Granted, my most recent batch is quite enjoyable. But there is a distinct presence of pepper - black pepper, that is - not the vegetal green pepper notes.
 
2

Latest posts

Group Builder
Top