Making the softest Petite Sirah possible

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Booty Juice

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Pick late (brown seeds, water back if needed)
Whole berry ferment
Cool temp ferment
No enzyme extraction
No added acid
Soft punch downs
Free run only or very soft press
Old oak, no oak, or polymer aging
Egg white fining to preference (could take 6 to 12 per barrel)
Glycerin to preference
 

NorCal

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Pick late (brown seeds, water back if needed)
Whole berry ferment
Cool temp ferment
No enzyme extraction
No added acid
Soft punch downs
Free run only or very soft press
Old oak, no oak, or polymer aging
Egg white fining to preference (could take 6 to 12 per barrel)
Glycerin to preference
Awesome suggestions. It will be going into a neutral barrel, so I'll leave out oak and see how it is tasting.
 

NorCal

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Had a good conversation with @4score and @crushday with regard to the end objective of this wine and what I am going to do to achieve it. The clean crush and cold soak defintely are in line with the objective and it was suggested that using a non-saccharomyces yeast prior to alcoholic fermentation would also be inline with my goals of producing a bold, fruity yet soft and non-tannic bold Petite Sirah. I think I'm going to give it a go!

Here is my check list thus far to make a 60 gallon barrel of the biggest yet softest Petite Sirah possible:

- Late harvest pick, water back to 25-25.5
- Light crush, all green removed from ferment
- no enzyme or added acid
- 3 day cold soak
- Prelude non-saccharomyces ferment (2-3 days)
- easy on the punch downs
- pull off the skins at 1 brix
- free run only (if enough juice, .5 bar press max if needed)
- no or very little oak, light toast

deleteme.jpg
 

Nebbiolo020

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I’m interested to see how this wine turns out PS is a varietal I’ve never been fond of because of how tannic it can be and how long it can take to age. Then again I’m impatient I don’t want to have to wait years to drink wine.
 

NorCal

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I’m interested to see how this wine turns out PS is a varietal I’ve never been fond of because of how tannic it can be and how long it can take to age. Then again I’m impatient I don’t want to have to wait years to drink wine.
I’m right there with you. I like a big, dark wine, but I want the wine stand on its own, without having to have it with food. Thus the challenge, to make a big dark, PS that does not have the bite and tannin that often accompanies the varietal, without having to lay it down for years.
 

NorCal

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This grape season has been strange. Sugar accumulation preceded grape ripeness. I remember a discussion whether it is better to pick to sugar level and deal with unripe grapes, or wait until the grapes are ripe (brown, nutty seeds, flesh pulls away from the skins) and deal with the high brix.

This was the case today! First the logistics of moving 1100 pound bins off of a truck. Tractor rated for lifting around 600 pounds, so half the grapes had to be offloaded, prior to moving off the trailer.
E37F6D79-95A4-4696-9D0A-3AE41E805529.jpeg

The grapes have been cold soaking, so Prelude inoculation will start tomorrow.
F1415784-E1F2-4E1F-B457-8A192E26ADBF.jpeg

And brix…a new record for me.
7A89CA5D-F9B6-46E3-9EF9-B363A2CFA022.jpeg

I kept to the plan and put in 11 gallons of fresh, clean, well water, bringing brix into the range I wanted.

5CBFC8B9-1626-4B0C-829B-02E9F45AEA65.jpeg
 

NorCal

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Holy brix, Batman!

Did you add acid along with the water?
I did not. pH came it at a surprising 3.7, which was consistent with the reading that was taken at the winery that did the sorting / cold soak.

check list

- Late harvest pick, water back to 25-25.5 DONE
- Light crush, all green removed from ferment DONE
- no enzyme or added acid DONE
- 3 day cold soak DONE
- Prelude non-saccharomyces ferment (2-3 days) IN PROCESS
- easy on the punch downs
- pull off the skins at 1 brix
- free run only (if enough juice, .5 bar press max if needed)
- no or very little oak, light toast
 

cmason1957

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I have decided I really like the light oakiness that comes from French Oak over the Heavy, in your face US Oak. Due to sampling a very over oaked (3 years in a 1 year old at the start barrel) my wife will kill me if I ever say Hungarian oak.

Anyway, I wonder if French Oak would be a better choice for this for you??
 

mainshipfred

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I have decided I really like the light oakiness that comes from French Oak over the Heavy, in your face US Oak. Due to sampling a very over oaked (3 years in a 1 year old at the start barrel) my wife will kill me if I ever say Hungarian oak.

Anyway, I wonder if French Oak would be a better choice for this for you??
You do know that French and Hungarian oak are the same species, just different territoire.
 

cmason1957

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You do know that French and Hungarian oak are the same species, just different territoire.
You obviously missed the part where I indicated that the objection came from SWMBO. Logic need not (must not???) be applied. All that mattered was wine left for far to long in hungarioan Oak tasted bad, very bad...
 

NorCal

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I have decided I really like the light oakiness that comes from French Oak over the Heavy, in your face US Oak. Due to sampling a very over oaked (3 years in a 1 year old at the start barrel) my wife will kill me if I ever say Hungarian oak.

Anyway, I wonder if French Oak would be a better choice for this for you??
The wine will be aging in a pretty much neutral French oak barrel. If I add any oak, it will be a light or medium toast French spiral.
 

NorCal

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I may have chickened out a bit on the Prelude, which is my first go with a non-Saccharomyces yeast. @4score, who is the pioneer in our circle with alternative yeasts, gave me the Prelude yeast and told me to go deep with it.

Day 1 harvest, cold storage
Day 2 destemmer/crush/ hand sort, cold storage
Day 3-5 cold soak
Day 6 adjusted to 25.5, inoculate Prelude 7am, 6pm 24 brix
Day 7 8am 23 brix, 6pm 20.5 brix

This is where I chickened out, with only 36 hours, yet 20% of the brix consumed by Prelude and a week since harvest. The Prellude was going faster than expected and I wanted to make sure this wine finished, and I figured 20% of the brix consumed via the unconventional route was enough for me.

It is at this point I decided to call in the big guns and unleashed a full dose of Avante on the 1,000 pound must.

note: my chicken (Henny Penny) picture care of @4score

CA20E1F0-196F-4967-97F0-C5BE14CDFD72.jpeg
 

crushday

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I may have chickened out a bit on the Prelude, which is my first go with a non-Saccharomyces yeast. @4score, who is the pioneer in our circle with alternative yeasts, gave me the Prelude yeast and told me to go deep with it.

Day 1 harvest, cold storage
Day 2 destemmer/crush/ hand sort, cold storage
Day 3-5 cold soak
Day 6 adjusted to 25.5, inoculate Prelude 7am, 6pm 24 brix
Day 7 8am 23 brix, 6pm 20.5 brix

This is where I chickened out, with 20% of the brix consumed by Prelude and a week since harvest. The Prellude was going faster than expected and I wanted to make sure this wine finished, and I figured 20% of the brix consumed via the unconventional route was enough for me.

It is at this point I decided to call in the big guns and unleashed a full dose of Avante on the 1,000 pound must.

note: my chicken, picture care of @4score

PS. @4score is an amazing photographer and has a keen eye.

View attachment 78898
@NorCal - I'm certain this wine will be amazing. I expect a bottle or two, of course, although I fantasize about a full case. Personally, I pitched Prelude and followed up with Avante within three days. The wine finished at .995 by day 11 at press. I'm confident you'll be pleased.
 
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Cap Puncher

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This is where I chickened out, with only 36 hours, yet 20% of the brix consumed by Prelude and a week since harvest. The Prellude was going faster than expected and I wanted to make sure this wine finished, and I figured 20% of the brix consumed via the unconventional route was enough for me.
I think you made a good call, I let zymaflore Alpha (same species as prelude) get down to 1.063 on a Zinfandel FWK. I followed with Avante. I ended up with a bit a sulfur funk (but did leave on the lees too long). It cured easily with reduceless but I didn’t expect it. I added a dose a fermaid O when I pinched Zymaflore Alpha and fermaid K when pinching Avante. I think the zymaflore Alpha got stressed from letting it got too deep.
 

NorCal

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I have a decision to make re: achieving the objective. I want to make the 60 gallon barrel the absolute best it could be I ended up with 40 gallons PS free run and 30 gallon press wine. I also have 25 gallons of free run Mourvèdre. Should I:
1. 40 gallon free run PS, 20 gallon press PS.
2. 40 gallon free run PS, 20 gallon free run Mourvèdre

I would be meeting the 75% to meet the varietal cut off, either way. I’ve tasted the pressed, and while only pressed to 1 bar, the difference is noticeable, but not in a night/day way. I’d say a 15% difference. The Mourvèdre was a high brix ferment, will be a good wine by itself.
CF4C3D24-6C3F-4289-BDA5-CEEA86B286F8.jpeg
 

crushday

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@NorCal - for what it’s worth, I’m partial to option #1. It best reflects your initial intentions. Besides, my experience with ‘Ved places it a bit more tannic than PS. Is it 15% more tannic, like your press PS? Not sure.

Stick to the plan…
 

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