Make it your own, 3 Winemakers, Chardonnay 2017

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NorCal

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Collectively, @4Score and @Busabill and I are getting 1100 lbs of Chardonnay grapes to net 20, 20 and 15 gallons for each of us. We will get the grapes, crush and press the grapes together at my house. However, each winemaker must leave that day with their juice. From there, they will make their wine their own. While I think we all agreed on the yeast and mlf, all other aspects are individual choices.

I'll keep this thread going to track the story of my Chard. We are all coming off a good season last year, each of us earning gold or better medals at the state fair this year, with different wines.

Hopefully 4Score and Busabill will do the same.
 

NorCal

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Hey, what's funny in reality, it is the exact opposite; I don't feel any sense of competition (and I'm competitive by nature). I was thrilled by the success of my partners last year.

Last year everything was fermented together. This year, I don't have the room, so we are parting ways at the juice stage.

Here is the vintage data from last year. Would you change anything?

2016 Chardonnay
8/20/2016 harvest date
900 lbs of grapes
23.5 brix
14.0 ABV
3.20 pH
no adjustments
D47 yeast
68 peak fermentation temp
Beta mlf
Aged in glass with American oak staves

Mine won Silver at the State Fair.
 

Boatboy24

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Here is the vintage data from last year. Would you change anything?
I don't know that I would. My only temptation would be to split the batch and do half unoaked (and maybe aged in stainless if that were an option).
 

NorCal

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Talked to the vineyard owner yesterday. The Chardonnay is already at 22 brix! We've set a harvest target of 11 days from now. He will measure the brix a few more times before then. I suspect the brix will be 24-25; higher than last year.

@4Score has graciously agreed to do the Chard crush/destem/press at his house, since I'm doing the 2 ton Cab ferment at mine.

Same thing, @BusaBill and I will leave with our juice at the end of the day and free to make it our own.
 

NorCal

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On 8/8, the owner said the brix were twenty two, which I took as 22. When I followed up a week later, he said that he was saying twenty......two; 20.2.

Regardless, the brix are around 25 now and they are coming off the vines on Saturday! We wanted a little more time on the vine, so hopefully this will give us some more deeper flavors, that I'm looking for.

Last year I was able to keep the fermentation temps in the '60s. I stirred the lees, but not too frequently. I also fermented under airlock. Since I'm going for the big, buttery, Rombauer Chardonnay, my plan is to ferment with D47 without airlock, stir the lees daily, keep as cold as possible, mlf and not be shy with the oak.

Any other thoughts to create that Rombauer flavor profile?
 

Johnd

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On 8/8, the owner said the brix were twenty two, which I took as 22. When I followed up a week later, he said that he was saying twenty......two; 20.2.

Regardless, the brix are around 25 now and they are coming off the vines on Saturday! We wanted a little more time on the vine, so hopefully this will give us some more deeper flavors, that I'm looking for.

Last year I was able to keep the fermentation temps in the '60s. I stirred the lees, but not too frequently. I also fermented under airlock. Since I'm going for the big, buttery, Rombauer Chardonnay, my plan is to ferment with D47 without airlock, stir the lees daily, keep as cold as possible, mlf and not be shy with the oak.

Any other thoughts to create that Rombauer flavor profile?
I did a boatload of research when I did my chard this past spring, and found a lot of impressive information on CY 3079. While I'm not exactly sure if this fits your desired outcome exactly, my chard project is coming out very nicely.

http://winequip.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/CY3079.pdf

Maybe it's an option for you as well....................
 

NorCal

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Chardonnay is pressed and we each went our separate ways with the juice. Brix 25.6, pH 3.3. We netted 80 gallons gross, from 1175 lbs of grapes. A 15.6 abv Chardonnay is pretty hot, so I'm considering watering back. The fruit was about the same as last year, which wasn't that great. But, the wine really turned out good.

I've got the juice with 40ppm SO2 in the cold box (65-69 degrees) and I'll be rotating in frozen gallon containers of water, to keep the must as cold as possible. I'll decide if I'm going to water back and if I'm going to rack, before I inoculate in the morning.
 
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ibglowin

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Dang, that would be some powerful stuff if you don't water it back at least down to ~14% or a little less.
 

NorCal

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Pretty good (bad) layer on the bottom, so I racked off the gross lees, watered back to 24.5 brix, acidulated to 3.4 pH and inoculated with D47 / Go-Ferm. Ferm-K is waiting by. Hopefully I'm done messing with it until it's done fermenting. I lost about 3 gallons off the bottom, I'll put it in the fridge and see what I can reclaim.
 
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NorCal

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The Chardonnay is fermenting away in the '65-'69 degree wine box. Rotating 1 gallon ice jugs in daily and stirring the fine lee, once per day. Down to 10 brix, no off smells or taste.

Once fermentation is done, I will rack to glass and mlf.

IMG_1351.jpg
 
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stickman

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No oak yet? I'd figure like barrel fermented Chardonnay you'd have some oak sticks in there. Looks good to me; you should be getting some tropical flavors and aromatics with the level of ripeness you have.
 

NorCal

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No oak yet? I'd figure like barrel fermented Chardonnay you'd have some oak sticks in there. Looks good to me; you should be getting some tropical flavors and aromatics with the level of ripeness you have.
My plan was to oak in the glass post fermentation, do you see a benefit oaking during primary vs. post?
 

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