Spring '17 White Wine Project

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Johnd

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I've got a boatload of red grape wines in various stages, enough that I'm skipping spring reds this spring to do some whites, and do reds this fall. Going to do two different whites, fermented in carboys, under airlock, in the wine room at 57F, all in order to try to preserve the fruity characteristics that can get blown off in open vessels, at higher temps. Slow and low is the plan.

As usual for me, I'll be using frozen must, and have decided to do a Pinot Gris by the book, and a Chardonnay which will be MLF'd, oaked, maybe with some aging/stirring on the lees.

For the Chard, I'm looking at a few of options:
Carneros/Sonoma 23.6 BRIX, TA .76, pH 3.58 -2016 vintage
or 22.1 BRIX, TA .69, pH 3.44 -2014 vintage
or Columbia Gorge 21.6 BRIX, TA .50, pH 3.46 -2016 vintage
or 23.5 BRIX, TA .50, pH 3.56- 2009 vintage

I'm a little concerned about the 2009 stuff, that's a long time frozen, leaning towards the Sonoma 2016 must.

For the PG:
Columbia Gorge. 23.0 BRIX, TA .83, pH 3.30 - 2015 vintage
or. 22.8 BRIX, TA .51, pH 3.42 - 2012 vintage

I'm liking the 2015 here, knowing that higher acidity is my desire for a PG.

Any thoughts about the musts? Yeast suggestions for a low temp, long, slow fermentation?
 

Boatboy24

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2015 PG without a doubt for me. On the Chard, I'm leaning toward the 2016 Columbia. Numbers aren't that good on the 2009 anyway, IMHO.
 

ibglowin

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John,

Do you have pails shipped out of Richmond or Chicago?

Do you use Fedex ground or have it shipped via freight on a pallet?

What does shipping end up adding on the each pail?
 

Johnd

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John,

Do you have pails shipped out of Richmond or Chicago?

Do you use Fedex ground or have it shipped via freight on a pallet?

What does shipping end up adding on the each pail?
I try to come out of Chicago if I can get what I'm looking for there, little less shipping from there.

Individual pails are right at $50 for shipping IIRC, plus, individual pails are packed in insulated boxes, which cost a little more as well. Individual pails come UPS or FedEx.

You really don't get any benefit from a pallet unless you get 5 pails, as pallet shipping is around $250. 9 pails fit on a pallet, single level, 3x3, which gets the cost down to $25 per pail. Shipped 9 on a pallet, they hold temps for days with little more than shrink wrapping, so you also save on insulated boxes, it's the best option.

Ive considered driving, it's a straight shot on I-55, but 12-13 hours each way, is more than I'm willing to bite off, I'd rather pay........
 

Johnd

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2015 PG without a doubt for me. On the Chard, I'm leaning toward the 2016 Columbia. Numbers aren't that good on the 2009 anyway, IMHO.
Yep, the PG is pretty easy. Only pause on the Columbia Chard was the higher pH, lower TA, knowing both will be going in the wrong direction through AF and MLF. Not that I have any problems adjusting acid, but it's nice when you can make wine from the grapes the way nature made them. Does that make any good sense?
 

ibglowin

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Was just looking at that as well. We have daughter and SIL in LA could take the Expedition out to CA, spend a few days with the kids, head north spend a few days in SF then pick up a bunch of pails and head back home. 1200 miles from Richmond to home in NM Gas at 15mpg in the truck might eat any savings up pretty fast.

Ive considered driving, it's a straight shot on I-55, but 12-13 hours each way, is more than I'm willing to bite off, I'd rather pay........
 

Johnd

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Was just looking at that as well. We have daughter and SIL in LA could take the Expedition out to CA, spend a few days with the kids, head north spend a few days in SF then pick up a bunch of pails and head back home. 1200 miles from Richmond to home in NM Gas at 15mpg in the truck might eat any savings up pretty fast.
Yep, pretty quick for sure. But, if you have a reason to be there anyway, it's just icing on the cake.
 

Boatboy24

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Yep, the PG is pretty easy. Only pause on the Columbia Chard was the higher pH, lower TA, knowing both will be going in the wrong direction through AF and MLF. Not that I have any problems adjusting acid, but it's nice when you can make wine from the grapes the way nature made them. Does that make any good sense?
It does. I looked at those #'s a second time before I responded and decided that it wasn't enough of a difference on the Carneros for me to care. ;)
 

stickman

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John, I don't make much white wine so I'm not much help, but my guess is the Carneros Chard would be fatter than the Columbia Gorge if that's what you're looking for.

I received these harvest notes from Peter Sept 14, 2016, they may be of interest.

White Salmon Vineyard

We began harvesting Chardonnay last week at White Salmon Vineyard. Due to microclimate and clone variation we will conclude harvesting Chardonnay this weekend when the cooler sections of the vineyard have reached optimal ripeness.

Columbia Gorge Chardonnay is a relative newcomer to the West Coast Chardonnay offerings. White Salmon Vineyard on Underwood Mountain has gained a reputation of producing some of the best Chardonnays in the Northwest. One customer of White Salmon Vineyard Chardonnay earned the title of Best White Wine of Washington in 2015 from the Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. Fresh and vibrant when young, these wines can age for 10 - 15 years - much longer than their California Counterparts.

Santo Giordano Vineyard

Santo Giordano vineyard sits at the entrance to the Sonoma Valley in the Carneros AVA. The cooling effect of the Pacific ocean, summer fog and warm afternoons are the ideal climate to develop rich, full¬ flavored Chardonnay grapes with balanced acidity. We are very excited to be offering grapes from Santo Giordano Vineyard this year!

I visited the Carneros Chardonnay and Sangiovese vineyard in May 2016; a couple photos below.
Peter and others are talking with the vineyard owner in blue. We went to several other vineyards, it was a very nice trip.


On Oct 18, 2016 received additional notes:

2016 followed the early harvest pattern of 2015. Pinot Noir from Sonoma's Carneros and Columbia Gorge's White Salmon Vineyard were harvested within days of each other. Chardonnay harvests in the Carneros and White Salmon Vineyard happened on the same day. While the shrinking of 5 weeks differential between the two harvest regions, for a second year, provides unanswered climate thoughts - the quality of fruit in both regions was outstanding.

White Salmon's first harvest was to The Walls Vineyard in Walla Walla. Ali Mayfield, The Wall's winemaker, has been making wonderful wine from our fruit for a few years. White Salmon Vineyard has utilized little to no fertilizers in the vineyard. The fruit usually is quite low in YAN, and winemaking requires early doses of yeast food. Ali relates 2016 was the first year where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay came in PERFECT - not requiring any adjustments. While this will not hold for all our pickings, it was an initial indication of the quality year in store for us.

IMG_0058.jpg

Santo Giordano Vineyards Carneros 2016.jpg
 

ibglowin

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I hate to admit this (LOL) but the absolute best Chardonnay I have ever had was an Acacia Vineyard Chardonnay from Carneros. Worth every penny.
 

Johnd

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John, I don't make much white wine so I'm not much help, but my guess is the Carneros Chard would be fatter than the Columbia Gorge if that's what you're looking for.

I received these harvest notes from Peter Sept 14, 2016, they may be of interest.

White Salmon Vineyard

We began harvesting Chardonnay last week at White Salmon Vineyard. Due to microclimate and clone variation we will conclude harvesting Chardonnay this weekend when the cooler sections of the vineyard have reached optimal ripeness.

Columbia Gorge Chardonnay is a relative newcomer to the West Coast Chardonnay offerings. White Salmon Vineyard on Underwood Mountain has gained a reputation of producing some of the best Chardonnays in the Northwest. One customer of White Salmon Vineyard Chardonnay earned the title of Best White Wine of Washington in 2015 from the Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. Fresh and vibrant when young, these wines can age for 10 - 15 years - much longer than their California Counterparts.

Santo Giordano Vineyard

Santo Giordano vineyard sits at the entrance to the Sonoma Valley in the Carneros AVA. The cooling effect of the Pacific ocean, summer fog and warm afternoons are the ideal climate to develop rich, full¬ flavored Chardonnay grapes with balanced acidity. We are very excited to be offering grapes from Santo Giordano Vineyard this year!

I visited the Carneros Chardonnay and Sangiovese vineyard in May 2016; a couple photos below.
Peter and others are talking with the vineyard owner in blue. We went to several other vineyards, it was a very nice trip.


On Oct 18, 2016 received additional notes:

2016 followed the early harvest pattern of 2015. Pinot Noir from Sonoma's Carneros and Columbia Gorge's White Salmon Vineyard were harvested within days of each other. Chardonnay harvests in the Carneros and White Salmon Vineyard happened on the same day. While the shrinking of 5 weeks differential between the two harvest regions, for a second year, provides unanswered climate thoughts - the quality of fruit in both regions was outstanding.

White Salmon's first harvest was to The Walls Vineyard in Walla Walla. Ali Mayfield, The Wall's winemaker, has been making wonderful wine from our fruit for a few years. White Salmon Vineyard has utilized little to no fertilizers in the vineyard. The fruit usually is quite low in YAN, and winemaking requires early doses of yeast food. Ali relates 2016 was the first year where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay came in PERFECT - not requiring any adjustments. While this will not hold for all our pickings, it was an initial indication of the quality year in store for us.
That's really good info, and not just from the AVA, but from the right vineyards. Did that come off of the Brehm blog? If so, I need to pay more attention to them.

When you use the term "fatter", i wasn't familiar with it. Has to do with body? Structure? Combo? Can you elaborate for me please?
 

Johnd

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I hate to admit this (LOL) but the absolute best Chardonnay I have ever had was an Acacia Vineyard Chardonnay from Carneros. Worth every penny.
I was kinda waiting for you to get in the game, but you tossed me knuckleball!! I appreciate your candor.
 

stickman

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I used the term fatter meaning a little less acidic, more alcohol, more body, typical of fruit that might be used for the barrel fermented extended lees contact style you described. The Columbia Gorge possibly for the bright acidity and minerality of the Chablis style, though I believe both grapes can be worked either way.

Not sure if it was clear, but I was the one who visited the vineyard and took the photos. We visited several vineyards where Peter obtains fruit, we met the owners during the tour as well; vineyards included, Santo Giordano, Plum Ridge, Mahoney, Dos Limones, Charlie Smith, and Campana Ranch.

All of the other dialog is from Peter's updates sent to the person who organizes our local group shipments. There is a lot more where that came from.
 

Johnd

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I used the term fatter meaning a little less acidic, more alcohol, more body, typical of fruit that might be used for the barrel fermented extended lees contact style you described. The Columbia Gorge possibly for the bright acidity and minerality of the Chablis style, though I believe both grapes can be worked either way.

Not sure if it was clear, but I was the one who visited the vineyard and took the photos. We visited several vineyards where Peter obtains fruit, we met the owners during the tour as well; vineyards included, Santo Giordano, Plum Ridge, Mahoney, Dos Limones, Charlie Smith, and Campana Ranch.

All of the other dialog is from Peter's updates sent to the person who organizes our local group shipments. There is a lot more where that came from.
Understood on the fatter description.

Good to know that you're getting the upfront skinny on the different vineyards. Is that something you'll continue to do?

I've worked with the fruit from Dos Limones and Plum Ridge, considered the Charlie Smith in 2016, but didn't end up doing it.
 

jburtner

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I started two of the Santo Giordano a couple months ago and am very happy with them now. I used D47 and VP41. Some oak chips in primary and cubes in secondary along with battonage 1-2x most days. Looking forward to testing this again after this work trip too!

Cheers!
-johann

***
Measured right before pitching after thawing - Brix 23.8 - PH-3.42 - TA 7.2

IMG_4004.jpg
 
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stickman

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I've fermented Brehm fruit every year since 1999, so I try to stay informed on the vineyards he uses, but I'm not pretending to be an expert, winemaking on its own is challenging enough, I leave the grape growing and harvest decisions to Peter and his crew. I just thought I would pass on the information.
 

Johnd

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Appreciate everyone's input on this thread, have two pails each of the Carneros Chardonnay and the Columbia Gorge Pinot Gris on order. Called in to Brehm and Peter Brehm answered the phone, we chatted for a while about the selections and the winemaking plan, super nice guy and was all too happy to share his advice and experience. Very much enjoyed the conversation.

They normally ship on Wednesdays, putting must here on Friday, but since it's Good Friday / Easter weekend, we decided to push shipment back til next Wednesday.

Got the yeast and MLB on order today as well, decided to go with ICV/D-47 for the PG and CY3079 on the Chard, along with VP-41 for the Chard MLB. Will be fermenting both in the wine room at 57F in carboys under airlock, with some oak cubes in the Chard.

After AF is complete, the Chard will be moved out of the wine room to warm, racked with the lees intact, and MLB added. I'm not going to coinnoculate the MLB since the wine will be too cool for it to do any good during AF. I'll do some period of time (TBD by tasting) for stirring on the lees and MLF at room temps, 70F. It'll go back into the wine room after completion of MLF for clearing and aging. Might get a new Vadai to oak 23L and blend later.

The PG will stay in the wine room at low temps, under airlock, for the entire fermentation, racking, clearing, aging, bottling period, and I'll be vigorously minimizing O2 exposure as much as possible.
 

stickman

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Peter is a very good guy, I've met him on several occasions, even walked through White Salmon Vineyards with him.
 

Johnd

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Peter is a very good guy, I've met him on several occasions, even walked through White Salmon Vineyards with him.
Seemed so to me as well. It's nice when a business owner takes time out of his/her busy schedule to speak with a customer.
 

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