Fruit forward with layers of flavor

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Rtrent2002

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My current go to bottle of wine is a dark red blend (ménage trois midnight, freak show red, etc). I really like the way the different varietals create "layers" of flavor. My question is how this is typically achieved. I know yeast type and oak plays a part but is there a magic process that maintains a fruit forward wine but layered with fruit, spices, cocoa, vanilla, etc?

I'm making a "trio blend" kit now and used a Pasteur red yeast in primary and now oaking with medium toast American oak powder (for coconut and vanilla) and dark toast chips (for cocoa tobacco etc)

Any ideas or recommendations are welcome!
 

CabSauv

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My current go to bottle of wine is a dark red blend (ménage trois midnight, freak show red, etc). I really like the way the different varietals create "layers" of flavor. My question is how this is typically achieved. I know yeast type and oak plays a part but is there a magic process that maintains a fruit forward wine but layered with fruit, spices, cocoa, vanilla, etc?

I'm making a "trio blend" kit now and used a Pasteur red yeast in primary and now oaking with medium toast American oak powder (for coconut and vanilla) and dark toast chips (for cocoa tobacco etc)

Any ideas or recommendations are welcome!
I'm not sure I have any room to talk on this subject as I'm just a beginner, but wouldn't this be achieved by adding different fruits/flavors at different stages of the fermentation process?

Example: Base juice, pressed black cherries (or flavoring), and oak chips added to must for primary fermentation. Rack. Add pressed blackberries (or in your case vanilla/spices/etc) and tannin to must for secondary fermentation.

Or perhaps this is best achieved by mixing say a finished merlot with a finished cabernet sauvignon as a bench blend.

That's probably not much help as I'm adding a question to your question and posing it as a possible answer. I'll be interested to see what others have to say.
 
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Johny99

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TThere are lots of other techniques from the vineyard to blending that provide the layers you speak of. Cold soak, fermentation time and temperature, extended maceration, co-fermentation, yeast, enzymes, phase of the moon, aging, wood - barrels and additives, etc. read and experiment.

The wines you refer to are blends of different grape wines. I don't know if any are co-ferments, likely not. Anyway blending is a mad science and art. Start with a wine you like and add some from another to see what happens. Different wines bring different things. This is often a way of filling in holes in a wine or adding complexity. Best part it is a heck of a lot of fun with someone you care about.
 

stickman

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I agree with John above regarding blending, but also realize that large wineries have a lot of technology at their disposal. They can use ultra filtration and reverse osmosis to play with tannins, concentration, color, as well as adjust alcohol content for sweetness and body. I also noted that these wines have anywhere from .8% to 1.2% residual sugar, which is there to increase the perception of fruit and smoothness. For a home winemaker, that much residual sugar requires sterile filtration or the addition of potassium sorbate to prevent fermentation in the bottle.
 

CabSauv

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Yep, so many different ways to achieve different results. Questions like this are why it would be really fun to work behind the scenes at a winery. I bet they have so many tricks and processes that we aren't aware of - and even ones they aren't aware of between each other too.
 

NorCal

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Those type wines you listed are on the sweeter, fruity side from my recollection. RS as @Stickman said or more likely a splash of Mega Purple, since its illegal to add sugar, but ok to add a sweet grape concentrate (go figure).
 

Mismost

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Blend.... to get those layers of flavors.

I actually know nothing about blending OK. But, we have a habit of ending up with several open bottles of wines cluttering up the counter and the fridge. One day I just combined a Cab and a Merlot...WOW it was better than the individual bottles. Since then, it has become a "THANG" around our house...hey come taste this Pinot Noir with Chardonnay (not bad at all). That Cab Merlot we've actually blended several times with friends and we all like it.

So far, we have not mixed a gagger yet....and have had some very interesting combo's. Plan to do some reading on Pearson's Square and actually blending up a larger batch because we like these blends.
 

sour_grapes

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Those type wines you listed are on the sweeter, fruity side from my recollection. RS as @Stickman said or more likely a splash of Mega Purple, since its illegal to add sugar, but ok to add a sweet grape concentrate (go figure).
In California, you mean? I don't think it is illegal in general. At least that is the case for chaptalization purposes, but I don't know about for RS purposes...
 
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