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Replicating a 100 point wine...this season’s plan

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cmason1957

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Pretty sure you can go higher than 1 bar with a basket press. The whole selling point of the membrane press over the basket press was the basket press was capable of such high pressures you had to go easy or you risk pressing too hard and extracting too many tannins making for a really harsh wine.

This article claims you can achieve 6 bar with a basket press although it sounds like it is hydraulic. You keep yanking on a ratchet you can crank up the force. Be neat if they make some type of sensor that you could place in the basket press and actually measure the pressure in real time. I am thinking bluetooth app to smartphone. Then you could look at a graph in realtime of your pressure and make notes for future years depending on how the wines turned out you shoot to not go over a certain pressure. You take an "analog press" and convert it to digital in essence.

https://winesvinesanalytics.com/features/article/106967/Basket-Presses-Are-Big-For-Reds
Very interesting. It would be neat to put something inside as a person pressed just to see how much it can press, if nothing else.
 

NorCal

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I've used 3 presses; bladder, basket and a vacuum press (wineasy). The bladder press has a gauge on it and we run it to 3 bar. Based on the dryness of the "cake", I would say when we run the basket press, it is at least 3 bar as well. The vacuum press does not come out as dry as either of those two, so I'd put it closer to 2 bar (correct number is 0.8 bar)
 
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stickman

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Just to put some perspective on the press issue, to achieve 1 Bar or approximately 15psi, using a size 35 press with a 14in diameter basket, you would need to exert about 2,300 pounds force on the surface. I would think a torque wrench could be modified and used to determine a rough estimate if you had the multiplier factor for the screw. My press is on rollers so I have to put my foot on the base to prevent movement, so in my case I doubt I exceed 1 Bar, but I think it is possible if the press is anchored down.
 

stickman

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Yea, I'm thinking that @NorCal when using the vacuum press is only 1 Bar max at full vacuum.
 

NorCal

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I’ve been tasting samples every time I topped and honestly I thought I ruined the wine by putting too much oak in it. I’ve done this before on a beautiful Barbera and ended up giving most of it away (4Score ended up winning best in class with his Barbera at the CA state fair that year, so it confirms how nice that wine was). However, the 2nd year equivalent, French oak staves that I’ve added to my neutral barrel have really integrated well and the fruit forward character has returned to the wine.

After 10 months in barrel, it is a wine that you could drink right now, but it deserves to be reserved until it has reached its full potential.
 

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I’ve been tasting samples every time I topped and honestly I thought I ruined the wine by putting too much oak in it. I’ve done this before on a beautiful Barbera and ended up giving most of it away (4Score ended up winning best in class with his Barbera at the CA state fair that year, so it confirms how nice that wine was). However, the 2nd year equivalent, French oak staves that I’ve added to my neutral barrel have really integrated well and the fruit forward character has returned to the wine.

After 10 months in barrel, it is a wine that you could drink right now, but it deserves to be reserved until it has reached its full potential.
You weren't a fan of the oaked Barbera, but I remember taking a case of "Smokey Barbera" off your hands and we LOVED it! I love oak influence but I can also appreciate that "clean" freshness tone of a lightly oaked wine. This year I'm going to be a little less heavy-handed with our oak. Neutral barrel instead of a new one, and we'll try a French oak Interstave chain for the 60-gal barrel of Cab Sav.
 

NorCal

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We usually have a bottling party and we would knock out the barrel and miscellaneous carboys out in one sitting. I have the production line set at 30 seconds a bottle, with 6 people. Since Covid is putting a damper on having people over, the Mrs. and I are going chip away at it a little at a time. We did the first 4 cases last night.

During barrel tasting, I've said that I thought this 2019 barrel of wine is the best to ever come out of the K&K (Ken & Kathi) garage. I still feel that way. The final blend was 60% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. It is the style of wine that we enjoy the most; fruit forward, lots of flavor, lighter on the oak, with a nice long finish that makes you want to take another sip. It has a pleasant nose, great dark color with blackberry and blueberry notes. The extra steps taken and the $ spent on French oak are showing through in the wine. I will have to wait until next year's state fair to see if the judges agree with me. I'll have 20 cases of my own to put away for future enjoyment.

Thank you to all that commented along the way, I really appreciate the input.

A picture of our new corks this year.

IMG_1896.jpg
 

BI81

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@NorCal thanks for these posts, I love reading them. I noticed back on post 26 you have a picture filling your barrel pumping out of brutes. I was curious if you used brutes for settling after pressing and if yes do you have any concern about oxidation? This year will be my first year in barrel so I’m trying to lock down tank space and make sure I’m covered.

I was also curious if you stirred your leee during Malo, or if you just let it ride.

Thanks again for all of you posts they’re entertaining and very informative!
 
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NorCal

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@NorCal thanks for these posts, I love reading them. I noticed back on post 26 you have a picture filling your barrel pumping out of brutes. I was curious if you used brutes for settling after pressing and if yes do you have any concern about oxidation? This year will be my first year in barrel so I’m trying to lock down tank space and make sure I’m covered.

I was also curious if you stirred your leee during Malo, or if you just let it ride.

Thanks again for all of you posts they’re entertaining and very informative!
I will press into brutes and let settle, covered for 12-24 hours. There is so much CO2 in the wine and there is usually a bit more fermentation going on (whole berries releasing sugar during pressing) I’m not concerned about oxidation at this point.
 

BI81

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I will press into brutes and let settle, covered for 12-24 hours. There is so much CO2 in the wine and there is usually a bit more fermentation going on (whole berries releasing sugar during pressing) I’m not concerned about oxidation at this point.
That makes sense, thanks!
 

NorCal

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I know there are at least two others that are replicating the blend. @GR! contacted me and asked why I substituted Petit Verdot for the Malbec. I actually thought he was wrong and I simply needed to look it up and send him the link. I was wrong, he was right.

I think where the substitution came was when @4score originally made a carboy of this blend out of the Cab Franc we had made (adding commercial Merlot and cab sauv) and substituting PV for the Malbec, because we had it.

When I started this thread, I pulled my notes from the carboy we had made and forgot about the substitution. Didn’t mean to mislead anyone, but wanted to air this incase there are others that wanted to replicate the true 100% blend. The substitution doesn’t change the fact this is the best wine I’ve ever made :)

image.jpg
 

GR!

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I know there are at least two others that are replicating the blend. @GR! contacted me and asked why I substituted Petit Verdot for the Malbec. I actually thought he was wrong and I simply needed to look it up and send him the link. I was wrong, he was right.

I think where the substitution came was when @4score originally made a carboy of this blend out of the Cab Franc we had made (adding commercial Merlot and cab sauv) and substituting PV for the Malbec, because we had it.

When I started this thread, I pulled my notes from the carboy we had made and forgot about the substitution. Didn’t mean to mislead anyone, but wanted to air this incase there are others that wanted to replicate the true 100% blend. The substitution doesn’t change the fact this is the best wine I’ve ever made :)

View attachment 66318
The funny thing is, I haven’t made wine in years. I lost the hobby a while ago due to being overwhelmed with work. I always said when I get back into it I will do one quality barrel a year instead of a bunch random kits. Reading through this thread is what lit the spark. I never planned on making “2012 Verite le Desir“. I wanted to replicate what @NorCal had accomplished a year prior and so far it’s going well!
 
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