Rattlesnake Hills Malbec

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crushday

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This morning I drove to Portland to pick up 5 buckets of Rattlesnake Hills Malbec. By driving down, I saved $300 in shipping and handling. Listening to a couple of podcasts made the time go by although it's only about a 2 hour drive one way.

Here's the particulars: Brix: 24.6, pH: 3.36, TA: .54

They should be thawed by tomorrow afternoon at which time I'll start by mixing all five buckets in my 45 gallon stainless fermenting pot. I'll be pitching D254 and the next day co-inoculating with CH16.

I'll post my progress and more information soon.

PS The conical fermentor has Meglioli Rojo Grande that I ordered last October and started today.

IMG_1372.jpeg
 
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CDrew

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Frozen Must I assume? Nice fermenting pot!

Any progress report on the Tempranillo?
 

crushday

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Frozen Must I assume? Nice fermenting pot!

Any progress report on the Tempranillo?
Frozen must from wine grapes direct. Like Brehm, they are in Portland metro. Their website had the buckets listed for $155 each. By picking up, they only charged me $125 each and I saved $30 each to ship.

https://winegrapesdirect.com/shop/2018-rattlesnake-hills-malbec-frozen-grape-must

I moved the Tempranillo to a carboy today. I’ve been racking as it had lots of lees and fallout over the last couple of months. I’ll check it again in three months. But, it tastes AMAZING!

Fermenting pot - for the amount of wine I make, the stainless steel was a better fit. And, it was a good buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FC2M5Y9/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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Boatboy24

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What a great way to pass the time during social distancing! ;). And a nice deal to boot!
 

Johnd

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That looks like pretty good numbers on what I’m betting will be a really good wine! You should finish up in the 3.5 + range after AF / MLF and have a very manageable wine, good luck with it!!!
 

crushday

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Keep that cold soak going as long as you can, it’s a good opportunity afforded by frozen must.
Ok, John. I can keep it going and I can turn the heat down.

What do you recommend? Thermometer tells me the must is 45 degrees. Room temp set to 75.
 

Johnd

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Ok, John. I can keep it going and I can turn the heat down.

What do you recommend? Thermometer tells me the must is 45 degrees. Room temp set to 75.
Might be tardy advice since you’re edging close to the 50’s. You’d have been best keeping it in the low 30’s, some wineries cool for a few days, a week, or more, before allowing it to warm up. I’ve gotten a week out of frozen must in the wine room at 55, kind of an icy, slushy must as it slowly thawed. You’d have to be prepped with some frozen water jugs to prolong the warming process.
 

crushday

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@Johnd I’ll make the most of it. Thanks for the info. I’ll keep you posted.

As you can tell, I have my other fermenters full now too. I ordered these kits in October 2019 when Midwest and MoreWine had sales. Although I’m not going to buy any more kits, I have these and a few more on hand:

MM Rojo Grande, 30gm of heavy toast and 30gm of light toast chips added, dried raisins, VRB yeast, SG 1.104, FG??
Two WE SL Merlot w/skins, 60gm of heavy toast chips, Avante yeast, SG 1.097, FG?? (12 gallons)
MM Nebbiolo, 120gm of heavy toast chips, dried raisins, D254 yeast, SG 1.100, FG??
MV Sommelier Select, Italian Montepulciano, 60gm of medium toast chips, EC-1118 yeast, SG 1.086, FG??
MV Sommelier Select, Rossa Ardente w/Skins, 30gm of heavy toast and 30gm of medium toast chips, Avante yeast, SG 1.094, FG??
RJS Super Tuscan, 60gm of heavy toast chips, jammy skins, Avante yeast, SG 1.089, FG??
 

CDrew

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Looking good. I have to say, that given it's been frozen and thus ruptured some of the skin cells, I'd be pretty anxious to get fermentation going once it's at a reasonable temperature for fermentation.

Are you using any enzymes (like EX or EX-V) or just letting it rip in it's natural state? Your must and numbers look great.
 

crushday

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@CDrew After I popped the buckets and moved everything to the ferm pot, I added EX-V. I also mixed in Opti-Red and Tannin Rouge. I think it’s going to take to Tuesday to get it to yeast temperature but I’ll be checking the must a couple times a day. I have the ability to check the temp and gravity remotely and I can make a progress check from my office.

The brothers at wine grapes direct suggested (and provided) UVA Ferm BDX yeast, but I was planning on D254. SG gave me a 1.103 reading...

Anyone have an opinion they are willing to share on these yeast choices?
 
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Johnd

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@CDrew After I popped the buckets and moved everything to the ferm pot, I added EX-V. I also mixed in Opti-Red and Tannin Rouge. I think it’s going to take to Tuesday to get it to yeast temperature but I’ll be checking the must a couple times a day. I have the ability to check the temp and gravity remotely and I can make a progress check from my office.

The brothers at wine grapes direct suggested (and provided) UVA Ferm BDX yeast, but I was planning on D254. SG gave me a 1.103 reading...

Anyone have an opinion they are willing to share on these yeast choices?
I’m also partial to D254. You’re probably not planning separate ferments, trying half with each and combining is always good for indecision and complexity.....
 

CDrew

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@CDrew

The brothers at wine grapes direct suggested (and provided) UVA Ferm BDX yeast, but I was planning on D254. SG gave me a 1.103 reading...

Anyone have an opinion they are willing to share on these yeast choices?
I think almost all commercial yeasts are well tested and well known things, so if you have one you're experienced with and like, then that's a great choice to use. And since you're likely looking to age this wine awhile, the absolute choice of yeast is likely not as important as cleanliness, protection from oxidation etc. My 1 experience with D254 was good. Quick, efficient, no bad smells, no issues. I have not done enough comparisons to know if I like it more or less than anything else, but I would use it again. I am also a big fan of the H2S preventing Avante yeast, which takes one of home winemaking's major problems off the table.

Nice to be at it this time of year. I'll look forward to progress reports.
 

mainshipfred

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BDX is one of my staple yeasts and I've never had a problem with it. It is an abbreviation for Bordeaux so I primarily use it in Bordeaux varietals although it doesn't much matter.
 

crushday

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Just checked the temp. We’re at 48 degrees - up only 3 clicks overnight. Thinking Wednesday will be yeast day...

I think I’ll keep my D254 heading. I’d like to try the BDX on a smaller batch and I’m not planning to split this current one up.
 

crushday

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Checked the temp tonight at 9:22pm - 58 degrees. Tomorrow is likely going to be yeast day. Looks like the EV-X is doing it’s job as I can see a reduction in the floating skins. More juice is being presented. Once the must hits 65 degrees I’m pitching the yeast. @CDrew encouraged me to use Avante. I’ve been using Avante for Merlot and Cabs but hadn’t thought that Malbec was a candidate. Perhaps... Lot’s of choices.

There’s simply too many yeast choices and I don’t think my pallet is refined enough to tell the difference. For dinner tonight Mrs. B and I had grilled New York strip steaks as the main course. I pulled out a Malbec from Chili (2016) inoculated with E-1118. This wine tastes amazing.

Bottom line: Does it really matter?
 

jgmann67

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Bottom line: Does it really matter?
I honestly wonder sometimes. Is this just a way to pass the time until we can start a ferment? [emoji16]

But seriously, I’ve used D254 a couple times and really like the results. I’ve also used AMH - thought I was getting a “slow burning” yeast and could ferment for 12-14 days. But, it fermented as quickly as the D254 and the BM4x4.
 
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