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Thin Merlot

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FreddyC

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I've got 40 gallons of Paso (actually Santa Margarita Lake) Merlot in a Variable Capacity Tank right now and I am concerned that it seems a bit 'thin". Little history, 500 pounds of grapes came in in October at 28 Brix, on a 100* day, so I added acidified water to get them down to 24 brix. I hit them hard with k-meta and dry ice to chill them down to 56* then did a 4 day cold soak before fermenting with 3 yeast strains. I added no enzymes but did add grape tannins, nutrients, and opti-red. Finished fermentation in 10 days, Malo in another 3 weeks and now it is sitting in my VC tank with a pH of 3.58, TA of 5.8 g/L and alcohol of 13.6% all calculated by me and double checked in the lab. So the numbers look really good IMO. The wine right now has great color and is all fruit (nose and taste) only problem is it seems a really thin. Kind of like a second run wine I did years ago. I originally thought I miscalculated the water addition which is why I got the alcohol % from the lab. Should I worry about it and add something now, or is it most likely going to come around as it ages a year in my oak barrel from March-March?
 

Johnd

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I've got 40 gallons of Paso (actually Santa Margarita Lake) Merlot in a Variable Capacity Tank right now and I am concerned that it seems a bit 'thin". Little history, 500 pounds of grapes came in in October at 28 Brix, on a 100* day, so I added acidified water to get them down to 24 brix. I hit them hard with k-meta and dry ice to chill them down to 56* then did a 4 day cold soak before fermenting with 3 yeast strains. I added no enzymes but did add grape tannins, nutrients, and opti-red. Finished fermentation in 10 days, Malo in another 3 weeks and now it is sitting in my VC tank with a pH of 3.58, TA of 5.8 g/L and alcohol of 13.6% all calculated by me and double checked in the lab. So the numbers look really good IMO. The wine right now has great color and is all fruit (nose and taste) only problem is it seems a really thin. Kind of like a second run wine I did years ago. I originally thought I miscalculated the water addition which is why I got the alcohol % from the lab. Should I worry about it and add something now, or is it most likely going to come around as it ages a year in my oak barrel from March-March?
The only stroke you really missed was the opportunity to add an enzyme, but no need to dwell on that now. The wine is still young, and you should get some good concentrating action in the barreling process. Your post MLF numbers look pretty good. We're it mine, I wouldn't mess with it until after barrel time and some aging, if it's still tasting thin or flat after that, play around with some bench trials, adding tartaric acid and / or some finishing tannins to see if you can improve the mouthfeel.
 

sdelli

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Merlot is a thinner wine... Nothing like a Cab. Couple more things you could of done before the ferment if that is the finish you were looking for.... Now just age it out and let it condense down some in the barrels. A small blend of up to 10% a thicker Cab or PV in it would help as well..
 

NorCal

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@sdelli beat me to it. Some cab, cab franc, petite syrah, petite verdot will give you some color, structure and perhaps solve the thin issue.
 

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