Carignan Rosé

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Adam Beck

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I have been talking with a vineyard about getting some 80 year old vine Carignan in the 2020 season. With the amount I'm getting I'd need to split it up to fit my storage vessels, and I was thinking as long as I'm splitting it in two, why not make a red and a rosé?

I've never done a rosé before, and have never even drank a Carignan rosé, so I was curious if anyone had any general rosé tips, or even if they had any experience with this varietal.

Thanks!
 

CDrew

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Adam-I actually know very little, but here is the thread I started, and I am working on my first Rose now:

https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/saignee-real-time-help.70162/

Anyway, my take on things may be incorrect or not accepted wisdom:

-So forget what varietal it is, that doesn't matter. If you can get nice Carignan, use what you have.
-You may want to pick a bit less than full ripe so there's a bit more acid-this is a balance so be careful. I'm aiming for a TA 7 or so.
-If you're also making the same grape as a red wine, consider adding the pressed skins back to the red wine ferment and pick at full ripeness.
-Don't be afraid to drive down the pH at the start of fermentation. I fermented first, added tartaric acid later(1 g per liter)-not ideal though it tastes great so far.
-You do want some color. I waited about 6 hours after crush and pressed and it's pale pink. I think it should be more pink. So some time on the skins is good. Maybe 8 hours.
-Some suggest watering it down to original Brix around 21-22. I did not. Just remember if you water, it's acidulated water. Water acidulated with tartaric acid 7 gm per liter or so.
-You ferment in a closed system. I used carboys. But other than that, made it just like a red wine for better or worse.
-Mine went through MLF. I'm not sure that's a good thing. So you may consider trying to prevent that with Lysozyme. Depends on the flavor you want. Mine was accidental.
-Put some thought into yeast. I did not, and just used a red wine yeast that I had. It fermented dry so I'm just going forward.

Just some general advice-If you have access to good grapes, I'd likely make 3/4 normal red wine and 1/4 Rose. Toss the pressed Rose Skins back into the main red ferment which theoretically should increase the flavor and color of the red wine.

Post up how it goes.
 

Adam Beck

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@CDrew thanks for the input! As for the red, I'm currently planning to do carbonic for 5-7 days, then crush and let it finish more traditionally. I'm not really going for a big bold red, so I'm thinking adding the skins back to the red might actually be counter productive. I am considering doing a piquette with the pressed skins of both batches, though.

My current thought for the rosé is to crush and let sit for 12hrs before racking off the skins. Does that seem like too long? I feel like it's usually 12-24 hours for a rosé, but now that you're saying 8 hours, I'm wondering if maybe I'm off-base, what made you decide on 6?

I'm still trying to decide between getting two flextanks, or a flextank and a stainless steel barrel (then using the SS for the rosé). It sounds like maybe SS is the better idea, for less reduction and oxidation. I kind of like the idea of having options in the future too.

I'm not a fan of watering back either, but I guess I just have to see what the brix ends up being. How is your rosé working out (at around 15% abv, correct?)? Does it feel like too much? I have some cab franc that ended up being 16% due to not watering back, it's still aging but so far it's a beast of a wine. I'd prefer to just get grapes that are a low enough brix to be 13% or less, but it seems like that's hard to get in California.
 

jburtner

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I’ve got a Carignan red going now from 115yo vines. It’s one of the better wines in my cellar right now and a couple months into bulk aging. I did it from frozen must and would love a rose made from this or even a rose petnat. Good idea for next season. Mental note made.

Cheers!
-johann
 

CDrew

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My current thought for the rosé is to crush and let sit for 12hrs before racking off the skins. Does that seem like too long? I feel like it's usually 12-24 hours for a rosé, but now that you're saying 8 hours, I'm wondering if maybe I'm off-base, what made you decide on 6?

I'm still trying to decide between getting two flextanks, or a flextank and a stainless steel barrel (then using the SS for the rosé). It sounds like maybe SS is the better idea, for less reduction and oxidation. I kind of like the idea of having options in the future too.

I'm not a fan of watering back either, but I guess I just have to see what the brix ends up being. How is your rosé working out (at around 15% abv, correct?)?
Like I said, I don't really know!

6 -8 -12 hours on skins all sound good. Depends on the grapes and color you want. @NorCal recommended immediately pressing off the skins and add color back with red wine of the same variety. That would allow fine tuning, but would also add MLF bacteria.

My Mourvedre Rose is tasty, but I don't know the alcohol. Probably 14% or so. I don't have a way to accurately measure, and since I only have 6 gallons, I'm not getting it tested. I did add a gram per liter of tartaric so the TA is 6.7 as things stand now. I may adjust up just slightly before bottling in a few months.

I do know about aging in stainless kegs though, which I can't recommend enough. Very flexible, easy to handle, and inexpensive for what you get assuming you buy used. I use them extensively and buy then when they come up cheap on craigslist. Funny, I am thinking a 30 gallon Flex tank for this next year too.

One thing I hope you comment on, is how long your Rose takes to clear. After enzyme treatment, my red wine clears fast. But the Rose, which did not get enzymes, has been much slower to clear.
 

Adam Beck

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One thing I hope you comment on, is how long your Rose takes to clear. After enzyme treatment, my red wine clears fast. But the Rose, which did not get enzymes, has been much slower to clear.
Have you tried cold crashing?
 

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