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Ft rouge and Opti red?

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Aaron McClain

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I have been fortunate enough to receive 65 lb of chamborcin grapes from a local friends vineyard. Chamborcin is a lovely variety, but like most non-vinifera varieties, it does not have depth of color or tannin complexity that most red wine drinkers crave. However, I have tasted some of his wines from previous vintages and they are very good so I'm hopeful.

My goal is to do everything in my power to make this as bold and intense of a wine as possible. I'm currently doing a cold soak maceration and plan on using enzymes during fermentation. I plan on using FT Rouge as that's what he recommends but my question is should I also use Opti red and if so when?

I just didn't know if it would be redundant or perhaps have some type of negative effect. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

Johnd

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I have been fortunate enough to receive 65 lb of chamborcin grapes from a local friends vineyard. Chamborcin is a lovely variety, but like most non-vinifera varieties, it does not have depth of color or tannin complexity that most red wine drinkers crave. However, I have tasted some of his wines from previous vintages and they are very good so I'm hopeful.

My goal is to do everything in my power to make this as bold and intense of a wine as possible. I'm currently doing a cold soak maceration and plan on using enzymes during fermentation. I plan on using FT Rouge as that's what he recommends but my question is should I also use Opti red and if so when?

I just didn't know if it would be redundant or perhaps have some type of negative effect. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
FT Rouge is a tannin additive, the tannins in primary fermentation will help bind the color into the wine during fermentation. You could use a product like Lallzyme EX-V, which is and enzyme produced for red wines, and helps in the breaking down of the skins and pulp, releasing much of the available tannins and color compounds in them. It can be used in conjunction with FT Rouge or other tannin products. That's a pretty good combo to get all you can get and keep it where you want it, in the wine. I don't have any experience with Opti-red, sorry I can't help you with that.
 

mc7315

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I use Lallzyme and FT Rouge in all my red wines and even won some awards; however, since I am always looking to improve is there any advantage to adding Opti-Red to my recipe? I don't want to add additional costs to my winemaking if I do not have to.
 

winemaker81

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I trued ScottZyme ColorPro this year -- when I pressed yesterday (Merlot, Zinfandel, Cab Sauv/Cab Franc/Malbec/Petit Verdot blend) all came out looking like ink, on a 10 day fermentation.
 

winemaker81

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FT Rouge is a tannin additive, the tannins in primary fermentation will help bind the color into the wine during fermentation.
I added 1 lb shredded toasted oak per 4 lugs (144 lbs) prior to inoculation. Does this produce the same effect as FT Rouge?
 

Johnd

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I added 1 lb shredded toasted oak per 4 lugs (144 lbs) prior to inoculation. Does this produce the same effect as FT Rouge?
According to the FT Rouge data: "Short chain tannins bind with anthocyanins, helping to trap them into solution and creating a silky mouth feel in the process. Adding fermentation tannins, like FT Rouge when crushing will ensure that there are enough tannins early in the fermentation to retain your color". Oak additions in AF do indeed perform the same function, whether or not there are enough of the right kind in the ratio of your addition, I do not know for a fact, but it sounds like plenty to me. When I've used oak chips and / or splinters in AF, I've always been pleased with the results, so you're definitely on the right track. Maybe someone else has some more specific dosing information and can add to the above..........
 

stickman

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Most of the information I've read on the subject indicates using air dried untoasted or very light toast oak for color stabilization. Like many of these things, I've tested some products, but without side by side testing, I was never able to confirm how well they worked, about all I can say is that the wine wasn't ruined because of adding the oak.
 

winemaker81

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The 1# bag specified 2 to 3 cups for 6 gallons of wine. I figured I'd get 10 to 11 gallons from 144 lbs, so I used a full 6 cups. This left ~3/4 cup remaining so I tossed it in instead of storing it for a future use. Given my yields I went ~25% over the recommendation (roughly 5.5 cups).

I am highly pleased with the results of the oak and ScottZyme ColorPro; I'll certainly do this again next year. However, it's good to know what other options exist.

This picture is a blend that is 2/3 Merlot + 1/3 blend (Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Malbec, Petit Sirah). The Zinfandel came out a bit lighter, but you can tell the difference only when viewed side-by-side.

IMG_20201021_163738145.jpg
 
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