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Tempranillo and malolactic fermentation

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Chuck Rairdan

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Anyone have experience doing ML fermentation with Tempranillo? I'm thinking that since it tends to be a softer red it might be better to forego that step and keep the sharper acids and oak it up a bit.
 

stickman

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If you don't do ML then you have to consider how to prevent it from happening in the bottle. Adding sulfites works for a while as long as you add enough, but if bottles sit on the shelf for a few years, it is always possible to have the ML start when the sulfite level drops off.
 

aaamax

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If you don't do ML then you have to consider how to prevent it from happening in the bottle. Adding sulfites works for a while as long as you add enough, but if bottles sit on the shelf for a few years, it is always possible to have the ML start when the sulfite level drops off.
this is how I see it when I make a "sharper" Temp. Since I never have bottles sitting around too long because Tempranillo doesn't age well for me, they stay a bit crispier. Albiet, still a bit flabby for my taste. Probably says more about my wine making abilities than anything else... lol
 

Chuck Rairdan

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Thanks all for the input. Since my Tempranilla will probably be consumed within 3 years, I'm inclined to not MLF. In my limited experience with this varietal, tends to be on the flabby side of acidity.
 

crushday

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I’ve made Tempranillo, you should strongly consider MLF, it benefits nearly all red wines.
What MLF do you suggest for Tempranillo? I have two buckets of frozen must coming from Brehm - no looking back now... And, do you suggest coinoculation? I’m going to pitch yeast, VRB, the first weekend of January.
 

CDrew

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My tempranillo was fairly low acid. I added tartaric to get to about 5.8 gm per Liter.

With regards to co inoculation, there is no downside. It works.

For @Chuck Rairdan, You should do MLF just to stabilize it.
 

crushday

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@CDrew - Do you think I need to adjust any of these numbers? This what Brehm sent me as far as levels:

Pail 18UVT (22.9 Brix, 5.9 TA, 3.43 pH, 211 YAN)

Any more help greatly appreciated...
 

CDrew

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@CDrew - Do you think I need to adjust any of these numbers? This what Brehm sent me as far as levels:

Pail 18UVT (22.9 Brix, 5.9 TA, 3.43 pH, 211 YAN)

Any more help greatly appreciated...
I don't really know, but I'd be tempted to bump up the brix to 25 or so. Your TA and pH look great to me, based on my one foray into tempranillo! I got really ripe Tempranillo at the end of the season with much less acid but increased brix. Not sure which makes better wine. I do know my 2019 Tempranillo tastes great at 7 weeks in! I did bump the TA after fermentation. In a year, I can say with assurance how it went. Good luck.
 
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stickman

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It's your call, but if it were my wine I'd stay below 24.5 brix, you have to consider what you are working with, the grapes and the vineyard, the existing numbers look to be pointing towards a pleasant drinking Tempranillo.
 

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After taking your own measurements, if the Brehm numbers are on target, consider a very slight adjustment to the BRIX, I like it a tad higher than @stickman and would shoot for 25. As far as the other numbers, I wouldn't mess with them prefermentation, they're really in a pretty good range. Normal dosage of Fermaid K should get you across the finish line as far as the YAN goes. There is no down side to co inoculation as long as you have properly fed both yeast and MLB, in my opinion. Your wine should finish up MLF very soon after AF, allowing you to get it sulfited / protected sooner, that's a big plus in my book. Looks like some good must, you should make a really great wine from it!!
 

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By the way, you should consider what stylistic decisions you may need to make along the way so you'll be prepared with any materials or equipment you may need. With numbers on your '18 Tempranillo must, my guess would be that the fruit was picked in a pretty ripe condition, giving you options. Do you like the wine lighter and frutier, or would you prefer something dark, tannic and brooding? You should be able to do either. Decide on a style appropriate yeast, whether or not to use enzymes and what kind, what vigor of punch downs you'll do, how long to leave the skins with the fruit, how vigorously you will press, whether or not you'll separate press juice from free run. You could do each bucket with different yeasts / methods. There are lots of variations to consider.............
 

crushday

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@Johnd - I like massive reds, so I’m choosing “dark, tannic and brooding”... I’m going with VRB yeast as it’s described to be a strain from Spain. My default is Avante but VRB for this ferment. I’ll use VBR for the LE19 kits too. I just checked the kits this morning and they disappointedly included EC-1118 in the kit. I’ll be throwing those in my yeast drawer.

From Morewine: VRB is a Spanish isolate from the Rioja region that was selected for its ability to handle high-alcohol (up to 17%) fermentations while creating exceptional flavor complexity. VRB improves mid-palate mouthfeel, softens tannins, and enhances the varietal characteristics of the fruit with an emphases on dried plums, jammy fruit and hazelnuts. Shows a good compatibility with MLF. A moderate rate fermenter with medium nitrogen requirements. A great strain for Tempranillo, Barbera, Sangiovese and Zinfandel. Temperature range 58-80F.

When I make kits with skins, I’ve been doing a EM of 9 weeks with good results. How long to leave the skins on the must after primary is an open decision. And, I’m undecided on which bacteria to inoculate with or if it will be coi-noculation - leaning this way however. Bacteria considerations are CH16, VP41 or WLP675.

I am planning on punching down twice a day, morning and evening in line with my work schedule. I’m also planning on pressing after primary. I have a 1 gallon fruit press.

This next step in my vintner journey is reminding me of my first wine kit - a Merlot from Winexpert. I still have 22 undrinkable, disappointing bottles. I would distill if it was legal. There’s no way I would risk my job doing that.

I appreciate your wisdom on this...
 

Johnd

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@Johnd - I like massive reds, so I’m choosing “dark, tannic and brooding”... I’m going with VRB yeast as it’s described to be a strain from Spain. My default is Avante but VRB for this ferment. I’ll use VBR for the LE19 kits too. I just checked the kits this morning and they disappointedly included EC-1118 in the kit. I’ll be throwing those in my yeast drawer.

From Morewine: VRB is a Spanish isolate from the Rioja region that was selected for its ability to handle high-alcohol (up to 17%) fermentations while creating exceptional flavor complexity. VRB improves mid-palate mouthfeel, softens tannins, and enhances the varietal characteristics of the fruit with an emphases on dried plums, jammy fruit and hazelnuts. Shows a good compatibility with MLF. A moderate rate fermenter with medium nitrogen requirements. A great strain for Tempranillo, Barbera, Sangiovese and Zinfandel. Temperature range 58-80F.

When I make kits with skins, I’ve been doing a EM of 9 weeks with good results. How long to leave the skins on the must after primary is an open decision. And, I’m undecided on which bacteria to inoculate with or if it will be coi-noculation - leaning this way however. Bacteria considerations are CH16, VP41 or WLP675.

I am planning on punching down twice a day, morning and evening in line with my work schedule. I’m also planning on pressing after primary. I have a 1 gallon fruit press.

This next step in my vintner journey is reminding me of my first wine kit - a Merlot from Winexpert. I still have 22 undrinkable, disappointing bottles. I would distill if it was legal. There’s no way I would risk my job doing that.

I appreciate your wisdom on this...
Of the three MLB choices, VP41 and CH16 would be tops on my list, plus some Lallzyme EX-V as your must warms but before adding yeast. Follow the instructions, it’s potent and very little is needed, too much will make a messy pressing operation.
 

stickman

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Here is an Umpqua Valley blend with some winemaker's notes. This is just one example, but you're only limited by your imagination.

This 2016 vintage is a blend of 34% Grenache, 33% Syrah and 33% Tempranillo.

All the fruit was gently destemmed and sorted into open top fermenters with 100% whole berries. A five-day cold soak under controlled temperatures took place, after which the individual lots were inoculated with yeast various selections. Fermentations were punched down twice daily, with temperatures never reaching above 80° F. After 21 days of maceration, each lot was pressed and allowed to settle in tank before going to barrel. The wine was aged in 228-liter French oak barrels for 18 months; 17% of these barrels were new.

APPELLATION: Umpqua Valley
HARVEST DATES: October 11, 2016
HARVEST STATISTICS:Brix: 23.9°
Titratable Acidity: 6.45 g/L
pH: 3.51

WINE ANALYSIS: Alcohol: 14.0%
Titratable Acidity: 5.49 g/L
pH: 3.77
RELEASE DATE: Spring 2019
CASES PRODUCED: 500 Cases
RETAIL PRICE: $35
 

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