Looking for ideas to increase body of wine

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brewbush

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I have a 100%merlot and a 66/33 blend cab/merlot sitting in glass on oak now. Right now taste is young as they are less then one year but I am looking for that deep rich fruit/jammy characteristic and a bump up in body.

At this stage what is left? I had 2 ideas.
1. Would upgrading to aging in barrels have a noticeable difference. I am a little Leary of going barrel route but is the next logical upgrade.

2. Getting a petit Verdot must pail and blending in a small percentage?
 
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FreddyC

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I've got the same problem with my 2016 Merlot. I think time in the barrel will help a lot, but I am also planning on adding Enolgical Tannins when I rack next week. Called 'Tannin Complex' by Morewine, it is described as "Tannin Complex is a tannin that is added post fermentation to improve the overall structure and to help protect the wine from oxidation during aging. It is composed of proanthocyanidins and ellagic tannins that integrate easily into young wines. Tannin Complex was specially developed to add structure and a soft mid palate to premium red wines without harshness or a forward oak finish. It can also enhance the varietal fruit character while adding complexity to the finish. Helps stabilize wines by improving the polyphenolic composition. It is especially useful when aging wines in older tannin-leached barrels and with full, fruity, lower tannin varietals like Syrah and Zinfandel."
 

pjd

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Go for the barrel! A barrel will take your winemaking to a whole new realm. For me it was the missing ingredient in making an excellent wine. I now have six of them in constant rotation. 1 - 60 gallon, 4-15 gallon and 1-10 gallon.
 

Johny99

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Go for the barrel! A barrel will take your winemaking to a whole new realm. For me it was the missing ingredient in making an excellent wine. I now have six of them in constant rotation. 1 - 60 gallon, 4-15 gallon and 1-10 gallon.
I absolutely agree, go barrel. I do at least a year in 50l barrel. The change in mouthfeel and body is amazing. I'm trying two 100l this year we will how much time....

I also use mine in rotation. They never sit empty so no worries there.
 

brewbush

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I may have to go barrel route. But I have to start some other wines first. The current ones already have an oak spiral and/or cubes in the carboy. I may have to get a rotation of some other kits and maybe another set of frozen must buckets BEFORE I put in the ones already aging to allow hem to sit longer for more concentration and pick up less oak, since they already have oak.

This sound like a plan. Or since they are already oaked would I risk too much oak with a barrel at this time?
 

Johny99

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I may have to go barrel route. But I have to start some other wines first. The current ones already have an oak spiral and/or cubes in the carboy. I may have to get a rotation of some other kits and maybe another set of frozen must buckets BEFORE I put in the ones already aging to allow hem to sit longer for more concentration and pick up less oak, since they already have oak.

This sound like a plan. Or since they are already oaked would I risk too much oak with a barrel at this time?
You have a point. if you are happy with the level you like, then you need to find a neutral barrel or get to one. I judge my 50l is neutral at four years, so a new one may not be an option.

I'll loan you one if you are close enough to come by for it. Would give me an excuse to buy a new one.
 

brewbush

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Appreciate the offer. I am more south central pa, Maryland area. However my scale is more towards the 20l/5 gallon size. Thanks though!!
 

JohnT

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Just to take a different path here..

I see that you have been given plenty of advice on what to do with the wine AFTER is turns out a bit thin, but do you have any idea why you wine has turned out lacking body in the first place?

Was this a kit or a juice bucket? Did you check your PH levels prior to fermentation? Did you macerate the grapes on their skins for any length of time or perform a cold soak?

Just as important as dealing with an issue is dealing with the cause of that issue. Wouldn't you agree?
 

HillPeople

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As already stated, the secret is initial maceration, oak and age.
My Hill People partner is my wife. She has the nose and palate. Typically after 10 months to a year I'll have her taste it. In the case of reds, her answer is almost always, "It hasn't gathered itself up yet."
Back into storage it goes.
 
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