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Residual sugar???

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troutgod

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This is my second year Entering a wine competition. Last year the judges note on my 2016 Barolo was “Residual Sugar?” This year my 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon got the same comment and an additional comment of being too sweet for the varietal. Both wines started around 1.094 and finished at 0.995.
I used the same yeast for both (I believe Lalvin 212). The Cab does have a “sweetness” up front but finishes dry.
I am confused by the comments. Am I missing something, but I would guess the ending gravity reading would indicate there is no sugar remaining. Am I not correct? Is it the yeast strain, is it due to the wine being young? I have checked my hydrometer and it is accurate.
Thanks.
 

JohnT

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Who were these judges?
 

salcoco

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alcohol can create a feeling of sweetness. I would guess the judges were looking fro some tannin and aging . try again after wine has achieved a couple of yeas aging. I would also consider adding some oak to your next wine post fermentation. alternate find some other competition and see if you get same results.
 

jgmillr1

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I've used RC212 often before and found it always ferments dry with no issues (other than H2S if you don't feed it enough nutrients.) The 0.995 SG indicates it should be reasonably dry.

I wonder if the judges are confusing sweetness with fruitiness? Fruit flavors and aromas can convey an impression of sweetness, even for a dry wine. Did you put the wine through MLF and barrel age it? That process effectively reduces much of the fruit flavors in red wine. On the other hand, if you didn't put it through MLF and kept in in glass/stainless, you will have more fruit flavors.
 

troutgod

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I’m not sure if the alcohol or the fruitiness of the wine affected the judges decision to question residual sugar. I did add malolactic culture and once that was finished I added oak spirals for six weeks. I did have some difficulty with the Cabernet. The primary stuck at 1.008 but I got it restarted with some red star premier cuvée.
I also entered the 2016 Barolo this year and did not receive any Comments about sugar. So maybe I need to age the wine prior to entering any competition
 

pillswoj

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When you say 2017 Cabernet, do you mean Fall of 2017? If so it should definitely still be aging not being entered into competition. Try entering the 2017 Cab in 2020...
 

Johnd

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According to Lallemand, RC-212 is pretty low on the glycerol production spectrum (see article cited below), glycerol can enhance the perception of sweetness. Since that is the case, the "judges", as others have said, may be having trouble discerning sweetness from fruitiness, and these wines were both pretty young. For the cab in particular, you might even try shooting for a little higher ABV, which will also reduce the perception of sweetness ...........

http://www.lallemandwine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Wine-Expert-120321-WE-Glycerol-and-WInemaking.pdf
 

Ajmassa

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What wine competition was it? I’m hesitant to say those judges don’t really know what they’re talking about if it was a legitimate contest ...BUT... those judges don’t know what they’re talking about!
They should be able to distinguish a fruit forward young cab from residual sugar. and take that into account. The UC Davis official scoring chart calls for judges to account for the age.
Last year I entered a young cab from grapes into a contest- I wanted a pros opinion and some constructive criticism in spite of age. It was very fruity forward still. No judge mistook it for residual sugar and they scored accordingly. It was the Kansas City cellarmasters contest.
IMG_2942.jpg
 

troutgod

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When you say 2017 Cabernet, do you mean Fall of 2017? If so it should definitely still be aging not being entered into competition. Try entering the 2017 Cab in 2020...
Yeah I agree. I leave for Italy in a few days so I had to bottle it. I figured why not enter it, it’s bottled. But I know age will help. It’s the residual sugar comment that gets me tho.
 

troutgod

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What wine competition was it? I’m hesitant to say those judges don’t really know what they’re talking about if it was a legitimate contest ...BUT... those judges don’t know what they’re talking about!
They should be able to distinguish a fruit forward young cab from residual sugar. and take that into account. The UC Davis official scoring chart calls for judges to account for the age.
Last year I entered a young cab from grapes into a contest- I wanted a pros opinion and some constructive criticism in spite of age. It was very fruity forward still. No judge mistook it for residual sugar and they scored accordingly. It was the Kansas City cellarmasters contest.
View attachment 49244
I am only guessing, but I don’t believe the judges are “certified” judges. However, they did use a form similar to what you posted.
I do believe they are mistaking fruit for sweet.
 

salcoco

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thanks ajmassa5983 for the kudos on the Kansas City Cellarmaster competition. I am there Award Chairman. The judges for our contest are amateur winemaker as we all are and judge the wine to the best of our abilities.
 
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