Pinot Noir Advice?

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Boatboy24

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I don't know why, but I'm really nervous about my first attempt fermenting Pinot Noir this fall. I plan on going with RC212 but otherwise will follow my 'normal' procedure: hit w/ ~50ppm of sulfite and let them soak for roughly 24 hours. During that time, Lallzyme EX and Opti-Red to be added. 2-3x daily punchdowns, MLF with VP41.

Any advice? Cool ferment? Warm ferment? I tend to like a 'richer' Pinot - northwest US style, I guess.

TIA
 

JohnT

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I like to ferment hot on most all of my reds. Pinot, on the other hand, I like to ferment "warm". I have made several batches of pinot and they came out really good.

My suggestions: (keep in mind that this is only what I like to do. Other opinions might vary).

- ferment warm, I usually cool the mix so that it maintains between 70 to 80 degrees (or so).

- yes, rc212 does work well with a pinot. I use this yeast all the time.

- consider a nice oak. I find that a lighter than usual oaking goes well (pinot is a lot more delicate than, say, a cabernet or merlot). I would choose a nice medium toast, preferably one that will impart nice vanilla overtones.

- I like to filter my pinot. It is the only red that I bother filtering.
 

Kraffty

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John sounds right on. I've made two batches, 2014 and 2016, used rc212 in 14 and the BM4X4 last year for the fruit and cherry flavors. I didn't try to control temps but kept the winery at 70 degrees during ferment. The 14 is drinkable now, you can tell it's a pinot but probably needs just a little longer before it really good. 16 tastes like it's going to be even better. Seems to me easier and less touchy than syrah or merlot..... go figure.
Mike
 

ceeaton

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I did a lug + bucket from Spring 2016 with RC-212. I really like it at this point, added Lallzyme EX-V, Opti-red and Booster Rouge. CH35 as my MLB. pH ended up 3.4 with a TA of 7.5 g/L. 1 oz Hungarian M+ oak cubes in secondary with MLB, 1 French Med+ Winestix after racking off lees from MLF (I'm sure you'll give yours some barrel time).

Remember to feed your RC-212 to avoid poopy smells (Go-Ferm to hydrate, used Fermaid O at onset and 1/3 sugar depletion, amounts per directions)!
 

stickman

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I also used RC212 on my 2016 Pinot, added some yeast vitamins, didn't need additional nutrients, nothing unusual during fermentation, pressed at 1.0 sg, ML went well and completed in 19 days with CH16. Currently in Flextank with 1/5 barrel equivalent french oak stave. Tasting very good, may bottle early.

Brix 23.6, TA 8.1 g/l, PH 3.32, After AF PH 3.52, After ML PH 3.70, adjusted final PH 3.55
 

heatherd

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@Boatboy24 You'll be fine! I've made two pinot noir kits to date (BC and Willamette Valley), and will be picking up the Washington state pinot noir grapes from Harford when they arrive. I find pinot to be unfussy. Having also tried a few commercial versions in addition to my batches, I like the fruity lightly-oaked versions. Do you know what you are aiming for?
 

pgentile

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Everything sounds good, wish I could help with the cool or warm ferment, but I'm not at that level yet. I like pinot noir on the richer side myself, need to do a grape batch at some point. I've done a cheap kit or two, but wasn't impressed.

RC212 has become my standard with reds. And as @ceeaton said feed your yeasties.
 

Boatboy24

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I like the fruity lightly-oaked versions. Do you know what you are aiming for?
Fruit, with a little oak. I'm liking @Kraffty 's choice of BM4X4. I like a richer, Northwest US style. I'd have ordered the WA, but jumped the gun and placed my order before they had them up on the site. :slp
 

Kraffty

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@berrycrush, very cool photo essay, from start to finish in just a few seconds, nice.
Mike
 

zadvocate

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I too am doing my first Pinot Nori. I'm going to cold soak for 3-4 days then ferment with RC-212. I pick them up tomorrow. I will use a little Oak. I'm using Opti -Red, Lallzyme EV, and FT Tannin rouge soft
 

heatherd

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Fruit, with a little oak. I'm liking @Kraffty 's choice of BM4X4. I like a richer, Northwest US style. I'd have ordered the WA, but jumped the gun and placed my order before they had them up on the site. :slp
I'm going to use BM4x4 as well. I ordered RC212, but they were out, which I now think is fortuitous. I have to decide on whether to oak lightly or not at all. I may just do some in primary...
 

Boatboy24

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I'm going to use BM4x4 as well. I ordered RC212, but they were out, which I now think is fortuitous. I have to decide on whether to oak lightly or not at all. I may just do some in primary...
I always do some chips in primary on the reds.
 

Ignoble Grape

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Reviving this thread. Picked up Pinot Noir this fall and have 4 gallons in secondary now for 4 months. Absolutely no nose on it. At all. Nothing. Not even alcohol. Tastes like red fruit, tons of strawberry. Is this normal? Should I do something else? RC 212, done with MLF.
 

Chris Johnson

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Give it time. In the last couple of years I’ve found it comes around in the 6-8 month mark. Making Pinot can be a roller coaster. There’s a few articles around where Ponsot and Jayer used to not even taste until April because it can be so finicky during the process.
 

Ignoble Grape

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Give it time. In the last couple of years I’ve found it comes around in the 6-8 month mark. Making Pinot can be a roller coaster. There’s a few articles around where Ponsot and Jayer used to not even taste until April because it can be so finicky during the process.
Thank you @Chris Johnson That's what I figured and wanted to hear.
 

cmason1957

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Reviving this thread. Picked up Pinot Noir this fall and have 4 gallons in secondary now for 4 months. Absolutely no nose on it. At all. Nothing. Not even alcohol. Tastes like red fruit, tons of strawberry. Is this normal? Should I do something else? RC 212, done with MLF.
When faced with questions about Pinot Noir, I always, always, always refer to the best movie with a supporting actor (or is it actress) for Pinot Noir - Sideways and this quote from Paul Giamatti as Miles Raymond:

"Uh, I don't know, I don't know. Um, it's a hard grape to grow, as you know. Right? It's uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it's neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and... ancient on the planet."

 

sour_grapes

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When faced with questions about Pinot Noir, I always, always, always refer to the best movie with a supporting actor (or is it actress) for Pinot Noir - Sideways and this quote from Paul Giamatti as Miles Raymond:

"Uh, I don't know, I don't know. Um, it's a hard grape to grow, as you know. Right? It's uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it's neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and... ancient on the planet."


I do like what "Sideways" did for Pinot. I hate what it did to Merlot!
 

cmason1957

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I do like what "Sideways" did for Pinot. I hate what it did to Merlot!
I am ambivalent about what it did for Pinot, but (as a consumer) I love what it did for Merlot. Prices of great Merlots have never been better!!! Somebody else should say mean things about it.

I always found it very, very funny that two of the wines that are disparaged in the movie are both found in the prized bottle that he drinks at the end, a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. I suppose that is a movie slip-up more than a reality thing.
 
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