Fall Wine Plans! A Storm is brewing....

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seth8530

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So apparently the reduless really helped out the slightly stinky hot fermented chard! The slightly stinky scent went away. I decided to remove the oak the cold chard since it was getting just about perfect. Both have been racked and are both rather fruity. I plan on continuing sur lie to bring this down a few notches. All in all it seems promising.

Sulfite levels were around 50 ppm on the hot fermented chard, the cool chard was around 35 ppm. This might explain why ML has not yet completed yet. However, since the sulfites were added prior to ML pitching I have hopes that it will finish it up. I whipped some air into both chard in the hope of binding some of those sulfites.
 

seth8530

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Racked the Pinot noir off the oak since the oak started a prominent flavour, which is not quite what I am after. The hot fermented pinot noir is amazingly tanic. Perhaps it got more seeds than the cold fermented one did. The colour is deeper on the hot one. The chocolate notes seem to be fading back a bit. The over all taste is amazingly not bad for how young it is. But never fear! This young gall will be of proper age before she gets broken in.
 

ShawnDTurner

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Seth. Are you getting any fruit notes? Honestly pinot noir is not that much interesting until it hits year 4 or 5. ,to me. . The tannin is a good thing. That mean the wine will age. How is the acidity? What are your numbers? How does it tastes?

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seth8530

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I am definitely getting fruit notes. Especially in the one that was fermented cold. Acidity taste about right to me;however, I might adjust it at the very end once it has finished bulk aging after a year or so.

The wine started out at 22 brix, but I believe it crept up a bit higher during the cold soak.Acid was 5.85 g/l. The final gravity was around .992. So the ABV is somewhere around 13-14 percent. I will need to use an ebuilometer to be sure. However, I am not worried either way since alcohol is not really strong on the flavour profile.

The overall flavour profile is this kind of fruity chocolaty smokey thing. The cold one is fruiter while the hot one is more tanic and chocolate forward. I wish I could give you a better flavour description but I did not want to sample too much since I did not want to waste wine during racking. The taste is certinaly clean so I know nothing is wrong with it. I feel like it is going somewhere good, but time will have to tell just what it will do.
 

ShawnDTurner

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The chocolate is from the oak. From your comment of the taste being clean, seems to indicate acidity, which has a palate cleasnsing effect. I like acid driven pinots more french burgundies. Thanks for the response. Cheers


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seth8530

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Yep NP, However, I must digress. The chocolate existed well before I added the oak. I am fairly certain it came from the grapes. Yet, I do agree that the oak does help the chocolate out to a rather large degree.
 

seth8530

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I got them from M&M grape, the pinot noir grapes came from Iron Oaks Vineyards. From what I understand they are from Mendocino along the Russian Riiver.

Not sure if that means anything to you or not.
 

ShawnDTurner

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Oh yea Sonoma valley. Some of the worlds best pinots and cabs. My sister in law travel there ever year to do winery tours for a week.

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seth8530

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I used Dry wine yeast 3001 due to its cold temperature tolerance.

"Isolated, studied and selected from the prestigious Côte de Nuits terroir in Burgundy during a three-year research project by Laboratory Burgundia Oenologie in Beaune, France. The goal of this selection program was to find a dominant natural yeast strain from a traditional “cold soak” that would elaborate intense, complex and balanced Pinot Noir varietal character. The 3001 strain stood out from other strains. Wines made with it were noted for fruit and varietal characters that were both elegant and complex. This yeast has moderate nitrogen demands but will benefit from proper nutrition and aeration, these factors becoming increasingly important as your potential alcohol content rises above 13%. This strain is tolerant to standard SO2 additions and low temperatures (down to 12°C/54°F) for a steady and reliable alcoholic fermentation following cold soak. The 3001 yeast is specifically for high quality cold soak Pinot Noir destined for aging."

It seems to have worked out quite well so far.
 

seth8530

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Added 2 grams of uvatan per each of the 6 gallon carboys of chard. I hope that this will give it a little bit of structure along with the MLF and oak.
 

seth8530

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Just popped open a celebratory bottle of 2011 Paul Hobbs Piont Noir from the Russian River Valley.

I decided to get it because it came from the same area of Cali that my grapes came from and all I can say is wow.. This is what wine should taste like.

The armoma is faintly oak with a great vanilla darkfruit dry chocolate smell to it with some tart cherry to it. I would describe the oak as the canvas and the other aromas as the paint.

Cherry fruit up front, which fades to MLF and oaky cream which is like a vehicle that transport you to oaky dark berry medium vanilla finish. The mouth feel is soft and silky but not thick nor thin. The finish is accompanied by a slight tanic dryness but certainly not over powering.

I would be VERY pleased if my wine turns out like this one.
 

seth8530

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I managed to take acid readings. One of my chards came in at TA .825 ->1.05 % (measurement uncertainty but definitely still high) with a PH of around 3.2 using wine making PH paper that goes from 2.8 to 4.2 in color increments SO2 16mg/L
The other Chard came in at TA around .87% PH near 3.2 (hard to tell) and SO2 at 15 mg/L.

I think I will go ahead and get these guys cold crashing to drop the acid down a few notches. I am also doing one last chromotography on these guys to ensure MLF is done before I add anymore SO2 or decide to keep these guys in the freezer for a long time.
 

seth8530

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So a couple days ago we racked 12 gallons of Chardonnay, 10 gallons of Pinot Noir and 12 gallons of our Pinot Rose. Tasting notes were made comparing both the cold and warm fermentation techniques. Also, a decision was made in my internal struggle over whether not to do warm or cold ferments.


Chardonnay


Lets start off with the Chardonnay. A few weeks ago I performed another chromography test and ML seemed incomplete still so I think I have a stalled out MLF. I then tested the acid and saw that the TA was around .9 and the PH was around 3.3 ( best I could see with a cheap PH strip). Thus, I believe the reason why it stalled out was the acid being too harsh. To counter this I set the chardonnay in the freezer at 27 degrees for a few weeks and let some acid crystals drop out. On racking and tasting day I added 3 tsp of Potassium Carbonate to each of the 6 gallons Chardonnay carboys ( would have added more if I had more) to try and lower the TA by hopefully .1 points and possibly raise the PH up some more. When I get back from the summer I will recheck the PH and TA again to see how it is doing. I am hoping ML will kick back up.

Cold

Aroma
Fruity
Slight oaky backbone
Slight creaminess

Taste
Fruity
Oaky
Very acidic
Not very creamy
Not too tanic
not a very full mouthfeel

Warm

Aroma
Creamy
Roast coffee
Possible very slight sulfer (not much to worry about could just be wood)
Taste
Oaky
Smokey
Very acidic
Creamy after taste
Kind of interesting slightly roastyness


Pinot Rose


Also including an update of my Pinot Rose which was made by taking the used pinot noir skins from the fermentations and adding honey instead of water to make a second running. The Pinot Rose was cold fermented to express the fruity aroma of the grapes and floral character of the honey.

Even though it is off balance right now I still have a lot of hope for it. It seems to me the difference between making good wine and great wine is mostly in the fine tuning you do at the end.



Aroma
Smokey
Not Very Floral
Clear honey scent but not really a floral one. Think sort of a fresh hot honey smell. This is not an extremely strong scent but it is there.
Unsweet perfume ( GF says it reminds her of odile)

Taste
Fruity
Tanic
Slightly too acidic for the flavour profile that I am after but I will give it more time before I go messing around with it. Possible solutions include the addition of a base or possibly making the rose slightly sweet.
Candy Like. Most likely a result of the acid being out of place combined with the honey flavours and fruity stuff from the grape skins.

Pinot Noir


This is perhaps the wine I look forward to the most. A battle of cold vs hot fermentation. After 7 months of waiting and aging I think I have finally figured out which one I like...... BOTH. After tasting both of the pinot noirs separately and taking notes on them we blended the cold and warm together in a tasting glass and we liked what happened. After these guys age for another year we intend on blending them prior to bottling to produce a hopefully very complex wine.

The colour of the cold fermented wine was a very nice ruby colour which was lighter than most of the pinot noirs I have seen. However, the warm fermented one was a nice garnet colour. The blended result also had a nice garnet colour.


Cold

Aroma
Fresh dark berry
Oaky
Less smokey than hot counterpart

Taste
Creamy
Berry forward
Low mouthfeel
Not very complex

Warm

Aroma
Smokey
Light dark berry (dried berry)
Oaky

Taste
Tannic
Woody
Smokey
Not fruit forward
Not really creamy

Blended


Aroma
Fresh Dark Fruit
Oaky
Smokey


Taste

Fruity
Oaky
Creamy
Smokey
Nice mouthfeel and appropriate tannins



So all in all, in the future I will do side by side warm and cold ferments with the intention of blending them together to create a more complex wine. It seems to me that the cold fermentation can create very nice fruity characteristics and preserve the character of the grapes that you ferment. While on the other hand, doing warm fermenations does a great job of extracting tannins which are needed to have a structured wine and a good mouth feel.

From the blending test we did we found that the blended result does not really take away from either wine but it seems to layer the flavours together to create a wine that is more complex than the original wines.
 

seth8530

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Well, I have finally gotten back. I am waiting to get some better testing equipment before I mess with them way too much. But, just a small update. Everything is smelling good and looking healthy.

I had a small moment of panic when I saw this weird floaty thing on top of my chard. It smelled fine, but it was disturbing. Upon further investigation ( after spooning the substance out) I realized it was some kind of gritty percipiate. I believe it was either acid that came out of suspension and floated to the top, or perhaps more likely, excess bicarbonate that decided to float to the top.

Fall harvest is coming up, so I need to get my plans and equipment all back in order for this Fall.
 

JohnT

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I Hear you Seth,

I have only a few weekends left (before crush) and I have not done a thing yet.
 

seth8530

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Yup yup, I just went from being hourly to salary, so I am not sure how long it will be before I get paid, ( maybe a month or two) so I am kind of hesitant to spend a lot of money until I know I have enough $$ to last until payroll kicks in. I hope, that that gets figured out PRIOR to harvest.. But if not, I guess better safe than sorry.

I think if it comes to it I will get a sc300 before I do a fall harvest just because it is such a versatile tool.
 

Boatboy24

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I'm getting anxious here - my supplier still doesn't have prices up. They did send an email two weeks ago saying they'd be coming soon, but as I understand, certain areas will be harvesting VERY soon. Either way, my yeast, nutrients, MLB, etc arrived on Friday so I'm prepared. That is, unless I change my mind. :D

Glad the wines survived your absence, Seth. Were you able to see any of Oregon's wine country?
 

seth8530

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I understand being anxious. I might go ahead and load up on nutrient and additives in case I end up needing to get the grapes shipped in on a moments notice.

I am glad too... Oregon and Washington's wine country is different. I am used to California wines, so I was almost taken aback when the cab savs from Columbia valley were actually VERY fruity. Another thing that kind of surprised me was that a lot of the pinot noirs I tried from Willamette valley had a very green peppery kind of thing going on with them. This did not exist with all of them, but it was a pretty common trend.

I actually got to go on a wine tour, and the one thing saw was that price does not equal quality. We started out at this rather expensive winery whose winemaker is supposedly from Burgundy, but to be honest, none of them were worth the price... But we ended the day at this family operated establishment that decided to get into wine making maybe 6 or 7 years ago or something after having dabbled in many other things... And wow, their wines are the best. My favorite was thier claret.

If their is interest, I might go through the wines i brought back from Oregon and give my tasting notes on them.

One of the things I am still not quite sure on is the whole cold year vs hot year thing. I can taste for myself that cold years are fruitier than hot years, but hot years can have a bit more substance to them than the cold years sometimes... But, I am still not convinced if that is a result of the growing conditions or how much it has to do with the actual fermentation temperature resulting from the outdoor temperature.
 
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