The Tale Of Two Wines: ’21 Pinot Noir (Chehalem Hills)

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crushday

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I racked wine today and I have some results from an experiment started last fall (2021). I started two batches of Pinot Noir (frozen) from Chehalem Hills, Oregon. I had seven 5 gallon buckets. One bucket I fermented alone and mixed the other six. The yeast for the one solo was Prelude for 4 days and then finished by Avante. The yeast for the six was AMH. All other conditions were exactly the same.

Today, I sampled each wine, which has been completed since November 14, 2021. The differences are amazing, actually.

AMH: Classic Pinot Noir in color, aroma and taste. Not much needs to be said.

Prelude/Avante: This is where things really get interesting. The wine doesn’t present any Pinot characteristics. Color is darker, body is much fuller. Nose of currant, spice (spicy) and black fruit with pronounced tannins. The palate is more black fruit and spice. You would have a very difficult time convincing me these two wines were from the same harvest if I hadn’t been the one who made it.

I think I prefer the AMH. Not because it has better flavor, color or nose but for the simple fact that the other wine lacks any resemblance to Pinot.

I wish you could experience the differences...
 
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CDrew

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I suppose AMH is the "classic" Pinot Noir yeast. There is also a Renaissance yeast specific for Pinot Noir that might be worth a try too. Good experiment. What do you plan? Mix it together for bottling?

 

crushday

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Drew, I’m going to keep them separate. Any present differences will become more and more pronounced as the larger batch went into a French barrel today. The duel yeast batch was racked to three 1 gallon jugs with 15 French oak beans each.

It’s going to be fun to track more differences.

Thanks too, for the yeast recommendation. I’ll try that this fall with this years Pinot.
 
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@crushday, how long will you bulk age?

If it wasn't Pinot Noir, would you like the Prelude/Avante? Something to consider at bottling time is bench testing -- add 5% or 10% of the Prelude/Avante to the AMH to see what that does. I would do this mostly out of curiosity, but it might produce an interesting result.
 

crushday

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@crushday, how long will you bulk age?

If it wasn't Pinot Noir, would you like the Prelude/Avante? Something to consider at bottling time is bench testing -- add 5% or 10% of the Prelude/Avante to the AMH to see what that does. I would do this mostly out of curiosity, but it might produce an interesting result.
Brian,

Thanks for the question. I'll barrel the Pinot for 6-7 months. Since it's a 56L barrel, that seems to be the sweet spot for that volume.

Blending is a good idea and not one I'd considered. I'll certainly try that as I have 3 gallons of finished wine. I was planning on keeping the two separate and in doing so I'd likely never drink the smaller batch from the bottle out of uncertainty of what to pair it with. Because of where I live, we have ample supply Pinot Noir grapes and a generous supply of salmon - lucky me...

Thanks for the direction.

And, to satisfy any curiosity on the use of Prelude/Avante - this past season that's the yeast combination I used for my Cab Franc. Because I had some extra Prelude and couldn't shake the wild hair, I pulled off the Pinot and went for it. The Cab Franc is great right now and will be bottled this fall. It's so good, I decided to take it up a notch on the bottle and label. The image below is me testing the aluminum labels ($0.86 shipped) on empty bottles to get a visual. The reason there's no year or ABV on the label is because I had a minimum order of 500 and only have 200 potential bottles. I'll attach the vintage and ABV on a separate smaller label...

I'll likely try the combination on more wines this fall. Early indications have shown it's not a good combination for Pinot Noir, according to my taste. And, BTW, I'm just a home winemaker... : )


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Because of where I live, we have ample supply Pinot Noir grapes and a generous supply of salmon - lucky me...
Yes, you are!!

And, to satisfy any curiosity on the use of Prelude/Avante - this past season that's the yeast combination I used for my Cab Franc.
That's another option -- look at blending with the Cab Franc. Neither option may work out, but it's fun trying!
 
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