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Chile - Spring 2018 - Malbec - Petit Verdot - Syrah

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jburtner

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Hi, I placed my order today for Chilean grapes from Musto juicegrape.com this spring. Three varietals -

6x 18lbs Lugs - Chilean Malbec
6x 18lbs Lugs - Chilean Petit Verdot
6x 18lbs Lugs - Chilean Syrah

I'm ordering CSM, D254, and L2056 for yeast and plan to co-inoculate w/VP41 (I have some others too on hand already so might change that protocol up slightly) @ pitch also w some oak powder and fermaid staggered nutrient schedule. I may hit em with some ferment tannins too but we'll see.

Musto will destem, crush, and freeze the lugs into 2x 5 gallon pails each for a total of six pails. This will make a little more than a five gallon batch so hope some will be adequate for top-up / etc... Two buckets each varietal will fit each of my three 20g brutes on wheels so just need to make sure they're empty towards end of May.

I'll probably end up processing and bulk ageing through to next spring and bottle some as single varietal as well as blending too. That will give some good variety and maybe I'll also plan for a merlot kit to use the skins again and to top up the blends with for some fruity goodness... I have a merlot now in bulk ageing but that'll be in bottles one way or another by then.

Sorta on the fence about any more kits - I have committed to only frozen must or fresh grapes for all further wines but might let it slide for a topper which would be fermented on six-buckets of second-run skins... I did that last year with a merlot kit that has turned out great :)

Expecting to have grapes in the cellar towards end of May.

All good fun!

I'll update this thread with notes, pics, and metrics as we go.

Cheers and looking forward to this seasons pickin's!
-johann
 

TemperanceOwl

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Hi. Thanks for posting. I am planning to order fresh juice or grapes from Chile this year for the first time, and am trying to decide between grapes or juice. I apologize for the ignorant question, but if you buy fresh grapes and have them destem, crush, and freeze them into pails, is that different from buying juice pails? Is it that with juice pails you get only juice and no skins, whereas what you're getting is everything but the stems?
Also, you say that you're getting "2x 5 gallon pails each for a total of six pails. This will make a little more than a five gallon batch..." Do you mean that 10 gallons of each varietal will make a 5 gallon batch of each varietal?
I've been making wine from kits and fresh fruit (berries, bananas, etc) for several years, but this will be my first jaunt into fresh grapes. :)
 

jburtner

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Hi Temp, Yes. The must buckets are crushed and destemmed frozen must - ready to adjust (as needed) and ferment then press when done. The juice buckets have already been pressed. I'm not sure exactly how they do the pressing before fermentation so I prefer to have the skins in the ferment for extended extraction plus I'll use them a second time in a merlot kit for some additional extraction in that merlot.

I've done a number of kits.

I did three 5g cab-sav buckets last summer which netted me almost two 5g carboys or a 6g and a 3g carboy...

They fit three crushed and destemmed 18lbs lugs into a bucket so for two buckets I am expecting maybe six or 6.5 gallons. We'll see. I think wine yield is about 2/3 must volume.

I'll use that extra merlot kit to top up and even out any blends.

I figure with those four varietals I can split it up before bottling and get at least couple/three blends and some straight up varietal bottles to keep in the cellar.

I'm looking forward to these grapes being a bit on the darker richer and heavier end of the spectrum.

Cheers!
-johann
 

TemperanceOwl

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Hi, Johann.
Thanks so much for the reply! That's very helpful information, and it sounds like the way to go for me, too. I'm thinking of ordering Carmenere and Merlot.
To use the skins in the Merlot kit, will you buy a low-end no skins kit and spike it with your skins, or will you use a higher end kit and just add the goodness of your fresh skins to it?
 

jburtner

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Last time I did this with the merlot kit and three buckets worth of pressed cab sav skins (pressed down to 1x bucket) I used a wine expert stags leap merlot kit. I might go with that again and I might see if I can find a frozen juice bucket or something. That’ll probaby be early to mid june time frame so I have some time but the stags leap WE kit worked out well so far (still bulk ageing now).

Since I’m planning to pitch MLB at the same time as yeast - the skins will have mlb in them. The kit may suffer as a result. Last time I mlb’d acter pressing the skins.

I have some extra yeast in my fridge to also consider using.0BB7A14B-BE39-400C-BE96-33017E846198.jpeg
 

jburtner

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Some grapes are starting to arrive @ Musto this weekend. I believe the Malbec and Petit Verdot are expected in Friday 5.4. They will be destemmed and crushed then frozen for shipping later towards the end of May. I requested minimal SO2 treatment during crush for best mlb co inoculation viability. They will also do this for the Syrah lugs when they arrive.

I should order my lab chemicals so they’re fresh and I can be prepared to test for TA and SO2 absolute/free once I receive the buckets and thaw them.

On track for end of this month so will make sure my fermenters and adequate carboys are free and clean. I do have a couple other projects in the works so this will take a little coordination.

I’ve been enjoying tasting some similar varietals and blends this past period of time so very excited to be making and cellaring these wines this season.

Cheers!
-johann
 

Johnd

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Some grapes are starting to arrive @ Musto this weekend. I believe the Malbec and Petit Verdot are expected in Friday 5.4. They will be destemmed and crushed then frozen for shipping later towards the end of May. I requested minimal SO2 treatment during crush for best mlb co inoculation viability. They will also do this for the Syrah lugs when they arrive.
Cheers!
-johann
FWIW, when my Chileans were ordered, my order instructions were similar, except that no SO2 was requested at crush. Of course, I do not know if those instructions were followed, but assumed that they were. No sulfite was added on my end, and despite multiple inoculations of VP41, the Chileans never went through MLF and I gave up after 3-4 months. All other parameters were in the optimum range. Always suspected that the shipping methods resulted in lots of bound SO2 inhibiting the MLB. That was the last batch I did that wasn't co-inoculated, and I still wonder if that would have made a difference. Others have been successful with post fermentation MLF on the same batch of grapes, kinda hard to figure, but just be careful with the sulfites............
 

jburtner

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Ok thanks JohnD! I'll test for absolute SO2 and co-inoculate. I'm sure they treat in Chile for harvest / shipping and I’m not planning to add any until after MLF and will press and top up nice and tight in carboy once AF is close enough to complete.

Well I guess I’ll mist my equipment as needed but I also purchased a jar of star san this season for other sterilization options too.

Cheers!
-johann
 

mainshipfred

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I didn't get my Chilean grapes crushed, crushed them myself and the S02 was 9.0. I too had trouble getting last years Chileans and Calis going thru MLF but then again I didn't have the means to test for S02 at the time.
 

jburtner

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Sounds like my grapes are in and crushed / destemmed and frozen - ready to Ship this coming Monday. I should have buckets thawing mid next week. I've got a bunch on my plate over the next weeks so I'll probably have a couple late evenings of pressing and maybe I can stagger that work and I'll certainly be reusing those skins too. More info later.

Cheers!
-johann
 

Ajmassa

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Sounds like my grapes are in and crushed / destemmed and frozen - ready to Ship this coming Monday. I should have buckets thawing mid next week. I've got a bunch on my plate over the next weeks so I'll probably have a couple late evenings of pressing and maybe I can stagger that work and I'll certainly be reusing those skins too. More info later.

Cheers!
-johann
Yea man it’s tough. I’m in the midst of everything you just described. Minus staggering the work. Fried. Starting to not only forget what day it is, but also not even care to know.
 

baron4406

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My LHBS called me and said their supplier called and said Petit Verdot was a no-go from their supplier in Chile, he wasn't satisfied with the crop. So I subbed in Cab Franc. BTW it was Keystone in Bethlehem in Pa.
 

jburtner

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What was it about PV that was no-go? I'd like to know some specifics if possible and anything regarding particular location / etc.

Thx!
-johann
 

jburtner

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As I prep for grapes to arrive mid next week and thaw by Saturday I am making last minute orders. I'll be co inoculating this season and have an unopened pack of VP41 in the fridge from last year which I plan to divide between three two bucket musts.

As I am ordering ExV and OptiRed I started looking at some other MLB's and was wondering what the result of inoculating with more than one mlb would be...

Anyone have any experience or ideas?

Thx,
johann
 

jburtner

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So, I think I’ll answer my own question and I’m going to spread iut these fermentations into a number of different vessels so that I can pitch different yeasts and different mlb’s then as AF is finishing I’ll blend each varietal back together into a brute can and prepare to press and move to glass.

The goal with that protocol will be for each varietal to use up to three different yeast and mlb’s to blend for increased complexity and depth.

I’ll have to use the buckets they came in as primary fermenters so I’m estimating 1/2 to 2/3 full will have adequate headroom for the cap.

So, now to tally yeasts on hand and figure out some mlb’s other than vp41.

Loving this!

Cheers!
-johann
 

mainshipfred

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So, I think I’ll answer my own question and I’m going to spread iut these fermentations into a number of different vessels so that I can pitch different yeasts and different mlb’s then as AF is finishing I’ll blend each varietal back together into a brute can and prepare to press and move to glass.

The goal with that protocol will be for each varietal to use up to three different yeast and mlb’s to blend for increased complexity and depth.

I’ll have to use the buckets they came in as primary fermenters so I’m estimating 1/2 to 2/3 full will have adequate headroom for the cap.

So, now to tally yeasts on hand and figure out some mlb’s other than vp41.

Loving this!

Cheers!
-johann
I've started using multiple yeasts last spring but have never use multiple MLB's. MBR 31 has been recommended to me but it has a rather low S02 tolerance so I just keep close tabs on it.
 

jburtner

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Thanks Fred!

I ordered MBR 31, Enoferm Beta, Wyeast 4007, and already have a VP41 - For MLB diversity :)

For yeasties this season I've got "Syrah yeast", D254/D80 combo, bm 4x4, CSM yeast, and L2056 yeast... Plus some others in the fridge that I'll check...

I'll be using Fermaid O for nutes, and for enzymes I've got both Scottszyme Color Pro and EX-V on order...

1lb of medium toast french oak dust and various tannins (may not use any)...

Those are my additives which will be spread out appropriately between six pails and three brute can fermentation vessels... As they near AF completion I'll probably just mix each of the three varietals back into the 20g brutes and then free-run & press before xferring into glass and figuring what to do with the skins.

I don't expect MLF to be complete by AF completion but I'll make paper chromos of all individuals and see how the different mlb's look. I wonder how mixing them together will affect ongoing MLF...

I use different yeasts with some other fermentation projects to good effect so expect good complexity here and maybe diverse mlb's will also support similar.

Cheers!
-johann
 

mainshipfred

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All I have to say is if you don't get complexity with your plan you never will, that's quite a combo. Don't know if you saw my other post but my first batch was an all grape SA CS that started going through MLF on it's own as did my Chilean Malbec and Merlot which I reused the same skins in. I'm waiting for the Carmenere to finish AF before deciding whether or not I will pitch the MLB, probably will though to make sure if finishes.
 
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