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crushday

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might as well post it if I’m gonna reference it. The Pinot scene followed by the woman’s reply of why she loves wine, and how each bottle is alive constantly evolving, until it eventually peaks. ——-Definitely my favorite wine related scene in any movie or show

Sideways Miles on Wine clip 1
Sideways Maya on Wine clip 2
Never seen that movie before - watched the two clips... Perhaps I'll watch it sometime.

All this makes me want to conquer the Pinot Noir!!
 

winemaker81

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At one of the AWS conventions I had a discussion with a grape researcher -- I think he worked at the Geneva NY center. He was experimenting to consistently get good color from Pinot Noir. Apparently fermenting at high temperatures (85+ F IIRC) got the best result for color extraction, but killed the fruitiness.

You could try enzymes next time. I got fantastic results this year, and others report the same with different products.
 

winemaker81

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Huh, I'd expect EX-V would produce better results. After the wine clears, post a picture of the wine in a glass against a white background so we can see.

Last year my grapes arrived refrigerated, they warmed up to the mid-60's F the next day, so I had 1 day of cold soak. I added 1/2 lb oak chips in 180 lbs of grapes, and pressed at 1.010. The colors were ok, but nothing to brag about. [Wine tastes good, so 2019 was a big success for me!]

This year the arrival conditions were the same. I added 1 lb shredded oak in 144 lbs of grapes, ScottZyme ColorPro, and fermented to below 1.000, giving more time for extraction. Between the three, I got great color, and even very green, the wine has a lot of flavor.

The picture below is my 2nd run -- the first run is darker. While this is not Pinot Noir, it illustrates the results I got.

I believe the enzyme was the bigger contributor to this success, but the shredded oak is a factor.

Note: I've had a lot of really good commercial Pinot Noir that lacked a deep color. While the dark color is more visually appealing, I have reasonable hopes that yours will turn out well.

IMG_20201109_093928808.jpg
 

crushday

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I added 1 lb shredded oak in 144 lbs of grapes
Tell me more about the reasoning in adding oak to primary, please. Sacrificial tannins? I'll aging my PN in a neutral barrel as I want to highlight the fruit.

I will definitely post a pic of the cleared wine.
 

winemaker81

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From what I've read, the fermentation oak helps extract more color and body from the pomace, and when settling, the tannins in the oak drop first, preserving the natural grape tannin and color. Hence the term "sacrificial tannin".

I used shredded oak as I was thinking about surface area -- the fermentation process is quick (~1 week) so the more surface area the oak has, the more interaction there is. Chips have much less surface area for the same weight, so (in my theory) there is less interaction.

Contrary to what I've read, the type of oak changes the flavor. Merlot on American oak was fruity while the same Merlot on French oak had a deeper flavor. This tasting was 1 week after pressing, so the wine was very green., and I expect it to change with time. I'm preserving a gallon of each variety to use as a control, so I'll have more comments in the future.
 

CDrew

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Just think of it as a PN more in the Burgundian style than in the Cali style...
I have to agree. But for this and other reasons is why I have not attempted a Pinot Noir. I think that since you've had a successful fermentation that you should just push on with the aging process. I'll bet you'll be much happier after a ride in your barrel.

I also like the idea of your conical vessels to get the wine off the gross lees. How long do you leave it there? ANy difficulty getting an air tight seal at the lid?

PN is difficult for even the most skilled wine makers, and I'm not sure that it would be a good fit for me. Plus, there isn't that much premium PN grown around here and I'd have to go more coastal to find some. There is PN around Lodi, but I think it likely is grown for yield and not quality.
 

crushday

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I also like the idea of your conical vessels to get the wine off the gross lees. How long do you leave it there? ANy difficulty getting an air tight seal at the lid?
I leave the wine in the conicals for the duration of the secondary fermentation. Because of the way the conicals are designed, once the lees fall into the collection ball it is effectively removed from the wine. I fill to the very top of the conical (see pic). There's a little room for the Tilt hydrometer to float.

As far as an airtight seal - no known issues but the longest the wine is in there is 4 weeks before it's transferred post MLF to long term storage.

IMG_1404.jpeg
 

crushday

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Here’s a pic where you can see the lees being captured by the collection ball. This is on the Carignan and you can see about an inch. This will increase another 1/4” over the next four weeks with fine lees. The color will be lighter and a definite difference begins to show between the two types.

715DE5B2-5575-47AC-BD18-31975235E1CA.jpeg
 

crushday

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Just checked gravity on the three remaining musts in primary:

Petite Sirah: 1.017
Cabernet: 1.024
Petit Verdot: 1.010

I’ll likely press on Sunday. I’d like to get the Cab sub .010 before I press - 7 clicks a day seems about right.

I’m also considering a pomace (Piquette) wine and using a even combination of the PS, PV and Cab skins. Anyone have any experience making Piquette? Any direction?
 

winemaker81

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I make 2nd run wines, which appears to be heavier than piquette. Personally, I'd not make what I read as instructions for piquette. My 2nd runs are wine, not "wine like".

In 2019 I made a 2nd run on mixed Malbec, Merlot, & Zinfandel. The results are lighter bodied than any of the three 1st run wines, but have a lot of flavor. It's good enough for steak, and certainly great for salmon or roast turkey. It ages faster and is quite drinkable at the 1 year mark. And it extended my production by 50% at a cost of $0.38/bottle USD. FYI -- I did a medium press, which spent 10 months in a neutral barrel with 6 oz oak cubes, then hard pressed the remainder. The hard press has a bit more body and is fruity, while the light press has nice caramel notes.

This fall it's Merlot, Zinfandel, and a Vinifera blend. I pressed extra hard and did not separate, so it's all one batch (raw 20 gallons).

To make:

Press the 1st run medium-ish, don't press hard. For every 2 gallons of 1st run wine, add to the pomace: 1 gallon water, 2 lbs sugar, 1/2 tsp tannin, 1 to 3 tsp acid blend, yeast nutrient. Let it ferment to below 1.000 and press hard.

My proportion of water to 1st run wine is a bit light -- for 11 gallons of 1st run, I'd add 4.5 to 5 gallons of water, plus additives to match. Quality over quantity.

I ferment the batches separate as it's more manageable for me, and blend post-fermentation. Too much work to keep 3 more batches separate. This fall I did 3 batches (two Merlot, one Vinifera blend) and divided the Zinfandel pomace between the 3 fermenters. This one has much better color, but I used enzymes in the 1st run and got a LOT more color extraction.

EDIT: This is this year's 2nd run. Color is great.

second-run.jpg
 
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winemaker81

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This year's is MUCH darker than last year, but this year I also added a pound of shredded oak per 4 lugs as fermentation oak, and used ScottZyme ColorPro. As dark as the second run looks, the first run is visibly darker.

With kits and juice I got in the habit of pressing at ~1.010, which is what I did last year. This year I let the SG get south of 1.000, so the wine had another day or two of pomace contact. Between the 3 things, it made a tremendous difference in color.
 

franc1969

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I’m also considering a pomace (Piquette) wine and using a even combination of the PS, PV and Cab skins. Anyone have any experience making Piquette? Any direction?
A couple of weeks ago, I picked up Petit Verdot and Tannat skins from @mainshipfred's wine. An experiment for me, to see if I liked the idea of doing a seconds wine or piquette, and mostly to add skins to cider. I have been getting apples which are cider-specific, but wanted to see what I could do with a commercial sweet cider. I have been looking at producers that do cider on grape skins for a rose' and tannins not found in a sweet cider.
They were pressed hard, 3 bar on his new hydropress. I wasn't sure what I would get with a hard press, but have some really fun wine going so far. The Petit Verdot was split into cider and seconds, one bucket of cider got some Tannat too. The Tannat I am splitting out as an oak experiment as well, American/French/Hungarian comparison. Seconds wine was roughly doubled or more of grape skins, cider I added about a pound of dry skins per gallon.
Overall, more than enough color in the skins. My cider is a beautiful rose', the PV seconds is like a pinot noir or gamay light red, tannat a nice deep purple. Enough tannins left to balance cider that is lacking, and the tannat seconds are still pretty astringent on their own. Not as deep and bold as first press, but fun, and the PV aroma and taste are very fruity. My tasters so far like both separate, but prefer it blended. Fred had added enzymes so the PV skins really started to break down after another week fermentation, Tannat not as much but still a lot of lees. I am not sure I have the acid levels right, but I'll get there.
You should have a fun time with the three grapes you have.
 

crushday

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I really need the voice of experience today....

Gravity update:

PS - 1.007 (down 3 clicks from yesterday morning) - should be 15.2 ABV at 1.000 - added 2 gallons of water at start
PV - 1.003 (down 7 clicks from yesterday morning) - should be 15.9 ABV at 1.000
CS - 1.020 (down 4 clicks from yesterday morning) - should be 16.3 ABV at 1.000 - added 3 gallons of water at start

All of these were high Brix grapes.

Should I press today or wait until tomorrow morning. I’m leaning toward tomorrow (Sunday) morning. I’m very concerned about the Cab Sauv, especially. Even with Avante (17v.v), these have been slow moving ferments.

I’m leaning toward tomorrow because I don’t want to disrupt the yeast - which don’t have much horsepower left at this point. But that might be failed thinking... I added a little Fermaid O to the Cab and during the punch this morning I mixed the bejesus out of the must trying to infuse oxygen. All three were mixed hard for that matter.

The cap is still fairly organized on all three with the PV b eing the least organized overnight.

Should I press today or tomorrow?
 

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Did you ever confirm the initial gravity? It's not uncommon to see higher values than what is reported as the average. I see the starting brix for the Cab at 27.9, so based on that if you added 3gal water to the 7 pails of must, I would estimate initial gravity at around 24.5 brix based on a typical finished yield for frozen pails. At 24.5 starting gravity, it shouldn't be too difficult to finish, depending on what numbers you want to believe, the ABV should finish around 14.5 to 14.8.

As long as the cap is still forming then you're still in good shape, you can let it continue, oxidation is normally not a problem with these type of heavy wines. The wine will pick up more tannin at this stage, and you should be able to taste it as the sugar drops. I often let the wine finish in contact with the skins, but not everyone would appreciate that level of tannin, so it's your call.
 
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