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Marquette getting more sour, not less

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keverman

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I have my first vintage of wine in a carboy...Marquette grapes. All was going pretty well. I fermented with D254, ran MLF, cold stabilization. The numbers were: 7.0 TA, 3.6 pH when finished. It tasted like it had a lot of potential, just still a little harsh, then I added French oak spirals, medium toast. I pull them at the 3 weeks mark because upon tasting, the wine had suddenly become very tart again, almost like before MLF. That was 3 weeks ago. It seems to immediately smooth a bit at the 1st week off oak, now back to being quite bracing. I can't tell if this is tannic acid from the spirals, or something bad happening to the wine as a coincidence of timing with the oak....any help appreciated! If it's the oak, will it mellow much? (I don't get an overriding "oak" taste) Thanks for any help. It was coming along so wonderfully, I'm very concerned.
 

salcoco

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do you have any new numbers? Have you kept up with your so2 protocol?
 

Johnd

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It appears that your numbers are post AF / MLF and CS, so it's pretty much how your wine will remain unless it is changed. Since these operations appear to be recent, the assumption is that the wine is still young (Fall '17 vintage??), so consider giving it some more time to evolve, there are still substantial chemical and biological changes occurring with your wine. Finish your oaking process and let the wine continue to age once it's off of the oak for a few months, and reassess it then. If it's still a little tart for your liking, you have options.

The pH looks good for red wine, though the TA at 7.0 is on the higher end of the scale, and may be responsible for some of your perceived tartness, and it may mellow with some time. After sufficient aging, perform some bench trials with small samples, K-bicarb/K-carb additions, to see if lowering the TA has a positive effect and yields your desired result. Adding a little sweetness to the finished product may also help to reduce the sensation of tartness and bring out some more of the fruity flavors as well. If sweetening is your choice, don't forget that you did MLF, and that doesn't mix well with sorbate, sterile filtering may be a better alternative. Good luck!!!
 

keverman

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do you have any new numbers? Have you kept up with your so2 protocol?
I just took some readings: TA 7.0, pH 3.6 and free SO2 34ish according to my Accuvin test kit. I have given a dose of SO2 at each racking, although I just recently ordered a test kit. It was low....17 when the kit arrived, and I added a small dose.
 

keverman

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It appears that your numbers are post AF / MLF and CS, so it's pretty much how your wine will remain unless it is changed. Since these operations appear to be recent, the assumption is that the wine is still young (Fall '17 vintage??), so consider giving it some more time to evolve, there are still substantial chemical and biological changes occurring with your wine. Finish your oaking process and let the wine continue to age once it's off of the oak for a few months, and reassess it then. If it's still a little tart for your liking, you have options.

The pH looks good for red wine, though the TA at 7.0 is on the higher end of the scale, and may be responsible for some of your perceived tartness, and it may mellow with some time. After sufficient aging, perform some bench trials with small samples, K-bicarb/K-carb additions, to see if lowering the TA has a positive effect and yields your desired result. Adding a little sweetness to the finished product may also help to reduce the sensation of tartness and bring out some more of the fruity flavors as well. If sweetening is your choice, don't forget that you did MLF, and that doesn't mix well with sorbate, sterile filtering may be a better alternative. Good luck!!!
Yes, fall 2017. I was really hoping age and evolution were the answer, so thank you! My fear was vinegar, so I feel better about that. It did seem much softer right after cold stabilization than it does now, and I partially wondered if I should repeat that. I was not able to see any diamonds at the time, but my number shifted slightly. It spent a month in my shed this winter. Being a complete newbie, I am totally amazed that it is so incredibly dynamic. I will wait and watch!
 
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