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Rosé help

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Landwaster

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This is my 3rd year making rosé. The first year, I pulled 5g of juice from freshly crushed Barbera at 26 Brix and fermented with 71B. I put the bucket inside a larger bucket in my basement utility sink and filled the outer bucket with cold water, and added ice a few times a day to keep the temps around 70F. It came out nice and light with a little fruitiness.

Last year I did the same thing, but with Zin at 28 Brix, RC212, 3.7 PH, and 7 TA. It ended up with a pretty strong, almost chemical taste. Eventually I added a half dose of bentonite to see if it would get absorbed. It seemed to help, but the taste is still there.

This year I did zin at 26 Brix, 6.4 TA, 3.65 PH & barbera at 26 Brix, 4.8 PH TA, and 3.54 PH which I blended. Fermented with 71B. And it came out again with this slight chemical taste, but it's enough to turn me off to the wine.

I should add that I always try to keep my sulfite levels around 50 PPM, and that the reds made with the same grapes have come out fine. Anyone have any ideas of what this chemical taste could be?
 

NorCal

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Those brix are really high for a rose. I’m assuming you did saignee approach? When I did this, I watered back to around 22 brix and adjusted pH to 3.3 (if I remember correctly). Approaching the wine like a delicate white, vs a robust red. I used a different yeast (GRE) for my rose, to attain more of the floral and fruity characteristics, looks similar to your 71.

Ok, perhaps none of the above has nothing to do with a chemical taste, but it might. My bet is that you are getting a metallic taste, which is a signature of brettanomyces. Insufficient SO2 protection vs. pH could be the cause. Because roses are bottled so soon, why only 50ppm? I err on the high side on my whites and roses, since they see a lower total SO2.
 

balatonwine

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Your varietal Barbera rosé was fine. Your varietal Zinfandel had a strong chemical taste. And your Barbera/Zin blend had a slight metalic taste.

If all else being equal in how you made the different batches. it seems to me the Zin is the problem.

I suspect a condensed tannin such as Procyanidin, which is less likely in a low tannin grape like Barbera.

And I agree with NorCal, a rosé normally has a much lower ABV and so should start with a lower brix. High alcohol content may also taste chemically to some, especially in a rosé which, unlike a red, lacks the the other characteristic a full red wine has to "mask" the effects from alcohol.
 
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salcoco

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if you still have the wine try a fining with gelatin. if as previous post stated it a a tannin derivative giving the odd taste, the gelatin will reduce the tannin in the wine.
 

Johny99

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I agree with all the above. If you are doing saignee, water back and add acid. I like my rose to be crisp like a white. If you are just doing a short maceration to get rose, pick them or get them at higher acid and lower brix. My Sangiovese rose last fall I picked at ~22 brix and 3.1 pH. A couple more months in the bottle will tell.
 

Landwaster

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Those brix are really high for a rose. I’m assuming you did saignee approach? When I did this, I watered back to around 22 brix and adjusted pH to 3.3 (if I remember correctly). Approaching the wine like a delicate white, vs a robust red. I used a different yeast (GRE) for my rose, to attain more of the floral and fruity characteristics, looks similar to your 71.

Ok, perhaps none of the above has nothing to do with a chemical taste, but it might. My bet is that you are getting a metallic taste, which is a signature of brettanomyces. Insufficient SO2 protection vs. pH could be the cause. Because roses are bottled so soon, why only 50ppm? I err on the high side on my whites and roses, since they see a lower total SO2.
Yes they are saignee style.

In fact I just went to a home winemaking event with some of the CA growers in attendance. When he tried my rose (made with his grapes) he said the same thing regarding brix and PH.

I'll have to investigate more regarding Brett -- the taste was pretty evident right after primary fermentation. Haven't had that issue with any of our reds.
 
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Landwaster

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if you still have the wine try a fining with gelatin. if as previous post stated it a a tannin derivative giving the odd taste, the gelatin will reduce the tannin in the wine.
I'll give this a try and report back.
 
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