Vintage 2019

Discussion in 'Wine Making from Grapes' started by CDrew, Sep 15, 2019.

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  1. Sep 15, 2019 #1

    CDrew

    CDrew

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    I have no pictures to share, but 2019 got underway today with some California foothills Syrah, picked today about 7 am.

    Anyway, we arrived at a friend's vineyard this am at about 0630. He has 2.5 acres of vines a mix of Grenache, Syrah and Sangiovese. I was there for the Syrah. I had help and in about an hour we picked 300 pounds roughly of the Syrah. It was not as nice as last year, Many more raisened clusters, some powdery mildew (rare in Northern California). In the end, we found enough to make 300 pounds and went for it. For $0.50 per pound and the crusher, I was ok with it.

    Last year's Syrah from this same vineyard was great, and the 2018 vintage will get bottled in about 2 weeks. Preliminary tasting says it's excellent. But this year the same vines were obviously stressed in some way despite the heavy rain last spring,

    Some numbers: Brix 25-26, pH 3.7. I did not measure TA. But we crushed on site, and hauled it home in Brute trash cans. Roughly 30 gallons of must. Lallazyme EX-V added early and then yeast(Avante) added with GoFerm about 10 hours after the pick. Tomorrow morning I'll add Opti-red and some tannin for structure.

    This may be a challenging wine since the grapes were sub-optimal, but it's already looking like wine in the fermentor.
     
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  2. Sep 15, 2019 #2

    CDrew

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    Early morning here and the wine is already fermenting well, with good cap formation. So picking to cap in under 24 hours. Avante yeast seems strong and started fast. With the first punch down I added Fermaid O, Some Opti-red, and some fermentation tannin. I am planning 1 additional feeding of Fermaid at 18 Brix or so.

    I don't know if it's the influence of the Lallzyme or not, but the color is already a great deep purple.

    Planning 4x daily punchdowns to try and keep the heat down.

    I was planning to press next weekend, but with this quick start, it may have to be sometime this week in the evening.
     
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  3. Sep 15, 2019 #3

    mainshipfred

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    Even though you didn't like the look of the grapes the number don't look bad.
     
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  4. Sep 15, 2019 #4

    CDrew

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    It looks and tastes fine now, so I'll stay optimistic! Like last year, the color is outstanding and beautiful. I will also say we were fairly selective about the grapes we actually took, so I hope that is enough to make up for any problems.
     
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  5. Sep 16, 2019 #5

    CDrew

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    Just a pic of the very robust fermentation. This is about 18 hours after pitching the Avante yeast and already the 3rd punch down. It's at the point where the whole garage smells like a winery. As a bonus, it's cooled off about 15 degrees here lessening the heat concern.

    In case you're wondering, the 300 pounds of must is split into 2 cans to make it easier to move around and keep cool.


    8D8A584F-3855-4644-9BF9-904F915CA169.jpeg
    94FB0870-7580-4B63-A8F4-61400092AA3E.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  6. Sep 17, 2019 #6

    CDrew

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    Just an update. Fermentation has already peaked! Avante is a strong fast fermenter, and as @4score said, maybe too fast! And I'll likely be pressing in 2 days. I have to say that despite my initial misgivings, the wine looks and smells great. I was going to add CH16 MLB yesterday afternoon, but the LHBS was out, and so I drove down to Lodi Wine Labs for some this morning and added to the wine at 8 Brix.
     
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  7. Sep 18, 2019 #7

    Boatboy24

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    Moving along quickly, but it looks like you've already got great color extraction.
     
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  8. Sep 18, 2019 #8

    CDrew

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    Yes-Quite happy with it. I think the EX-V really helped with the color extraction. Brix is down to 4!!! I think for all intents and purposes, fermentation will be basically finished tomorrow. I can't press until Thursday night though. This is becoming a replay of last year when the wine has finished fermentation and I don't have time to deal with it.

    I'm really hoping the quick fermentation keeps any problems at bay, given the problems during harvest.

    I'm picking Zinfandel on Saturday, bottling some of 2018 on Sunday-makes for a busy time of year.
     
  9. Sep 20, 2019 #9

    CDrew

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    395D8827-7786-4A15-86B3-5FD0A2A8384E.jpeg D143A216-2889-436A-8640-3530B5DF3A92.jpeg

    FIst pic is the garage mess after press and clean up. I'm trying to dry everything since it's back in use Saturday,

    Pressed the Syrah at 1 Brix today. It's still fermenting but it's close enough to done that it was time. It tastes great, despite the slight sweetness I can still detect. It's still fermenting like crazy in the carboys, so I likely could have waited another day.

    Color and taste are right on. But the grapes were not that juicy and I got the 19 gallons you see here from almost 300 pounds of grapes. There were pressed to 1.5 bar on my bladder press.

    I hope to rack off the gross lees in 3 days, and also hoping the fermentation will be DONE by then.

    A buddy came by as I was finishing and pressed his 200 pounds of Syrah. The bladder press is quick. He wanted a 2 bar press, but I'm not sure that there is much wine left above 1.5 bar.

    First wine of 2019 feels good. Looking forward to the Zinfandel pick on Saturday. I'm hoping for about the same amount.

    Edit: I have a -5 to +5 hydrometer. It's very precise at the end of fermentation. Case in point-my buddy said he was coming by with +1 must after fermentation. It turns out, he was still at +5 and had very, very sweet wine. We pressed anyway, and he will let it finish up in Carboys. But given the lack of precision by normal and inexpensive hydrometers, the -5 to +5 are seriously helpful, and highly recommended.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  10. Sep 22, 2019 #10

    CDrew

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    Today was great. We picked Primitivo starting at 8 am today. It was chilly and cold when we started but warmed up as the sun came up. Friends of ours have 2 acres of Primitivo (and a bit of Syrah) that was in nearly perfect condition for picking. Brix were 26-27, pH was 3.6. So we picked about 1000 pounds over a couple of hours. The grapes were then crushed and we sat down to a great lunch of pasta, smoked salmon, crudites and wine. There were 3 other couples there and we all brought the wine we made from the same property last year. My 2018 Primitivo was very well received. I was happy about that. Very happy also, to make this wine again!

    Primitivo is slightly different from Zinfandel and ripens just a week or two earlier, but it can be sold as Zinfandel in California. To my tasting it's slightly less peppery than Zinfandel and more refined/restrained. I don't really know but the 2018 Primitivo is really good and will only get better over the next 1-3 years.

    I brought home 30+ gallons of must. I am not adjusting it at all. Right now, the EX-V is working it's magic and before bed tonight I'll pitch the yeast. I'm a bit torn between the Avante or the RP15. Likely will do the RP15.

    Big plans tomorrow. Racking the Syrah off the gross lees, and bottling 15 gallons of 2018 syrah. And looking at a property in Amador county.

    The forum won't let me upload photos-photos too large. Working on it!
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  11. Sep 22, 2019 #11

    CDrew

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    66F03A7C-2097-4E83-98C1-54B1B321960A.jpeg
     
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  12. Sep 23, 2019 #12

    CDrew

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    Racked the 2019 Syrah into an Intellitank and a few straggler gallons. It tastes like it will eventually be a very nice wine. All vessels labeled for safety.

    Also bottled the 2018 Syrah today and got 6 cases and a magnum. Plus 2 cases of the "Reserve". The Reserve came out of a 5 gallon carboy and got less oak, which honestly, I prefer.

    And the 2019 Primitivo fermentation is going like crazy. I pitched 24 hours ago and the fermentation is extremely vigorous. I did end up using the Avante yeast again. For a home wine maker it is great. No issues, no H2S, average nutritional demands, heat tolerant, and high alcohol tolerant. I'm a big fan. I'm going to pitch the MLB tomorrow after work. Thinking my Brix will be about 15 by then since it's going so strong now.

    Will edit with pics. 4CAE8D7B-2088-4A09-8198-123C47830F21.jpeg 79A1C314-A47D-46E2-B6C8-55909306C838.jpeg 73E3E1D7-A97B-4814-8CA8-501909326625.jpeg 5A2C58B8-8130-4D2E-9204-3D3018C2ED2C.jpeg View attachment 56472
     

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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  13. Sep 23, 2019 #13

    Craiger

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    I'm glad it's going well, and I'm particularly glad to hear the Avante is working good for you. I'm using it this year for the firs time. Several years ago it was a hassle to get rid of the H2S in my wine. I used Montrachet that year (never again), and every year I'm so nervous about getting the H2S again. So I was happy when I heard about Avante. Mine wine is fermenting with it right now. It seems like a strong ferment, and I definitely don't have any H2S present.
     
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  14. Sep 29, 2019 #14

    CDrew

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    2019 Primitivo racked from primary into secondary. I have 26 gallons total, but expect to lose 5 gallons or so racking down to the finished product. My goal is 15 gallons, plus a carboy. So maybe my 15 gallon Intellitank plus a 5/6 gallon carboy.

    Brix was 1 when transferred and still fermenting in the carboys. I likely will wait 3 days to rack it off the lees to give the wine a chance to finish up.

    92BC874A-FA8F-446D-8873-802106EB2CB0.jpeg
     
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  15. Sep 29, 2019 #15

    mainshipfred

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    The furniture dollies and milk crates make it look like my winery. They sure make life easier.
     
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  16. Sep 30, 2019 #16

    CDrew

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    They do, and safer too. It's much easier to pick them up if needed and generally better. I HATE setting down glass carboys naked on concrete. The furniture dollies mean they can be anywhere for racking or dealing with them. I'm only in glass for a few days. Once it's time to rack again, it will be into Intellitanks (15 gallons) and the carboys mostly go away.

    The wine is still fermenting now in the carboys. I want it to basically finish and then will rack again to a better resting place.
     
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  17. Oct 1, 2019 #17

    CDrew

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    So I am having wine with lunch today, which is unusual for me. Let me explain.

    Today's goal was to rack the Primitivo picked last Saturday and pressed 2 days ago. It's still fermenting a bit which is interesting. I started with 25 gallons on the gross lees. 2x6.5 and 2x6 carboys and the goal was to vacuum rack into a 15 gallon Intellitank and a carboy, hoping for 20 gallons more or less. I try and make this rack pretty clean, meaning it tends to leave behind a bit of wine, but there's plenty so that's what I do.

    So the initial 15 gallons went so smoothly, that I racked into a second Intellitank with the plan then to gravity rack down into a carboy. That let me use all sanitary fittings (love these things), and even the final downhill drain was just a matter of opening a valve and letting it flow in reverse into a clean and sanitized carboy. FInal result: 1x15 gallons and 1x6.5 gallons. Not a bad yield. But that's not all. The bottom of the intellitank had clean new wine in it, so I ran that downhill into a pitcher. There was more than I thought, and I'm having a glass of that with my wife for lunch. Still have a pitcher of new wine though, so I suppose that's a good problem to have.

    Anyway the tasting notes:
    -Great color. Deep, dark purple red. Some clean yeast smell in the nose
    -Firm tannin. a bit puckery but I'm sure that will fade
    -In your face ripe fruit. It tastes like the grapes we picked.
    -Decent acidity. That's sometimes an issue with these grapes, but this should be a great food wine in time.

    Anyway, the preliminary tasting says good to go.

    Some pictures of the immediate aftermath:

    7AD8104F-FC3D-4F73-9B1D-F2B8AD22F944.jpeg
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    FF3AAADD-A406-4DA0-A779-1EB218775E6A.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  18. Oct 1, 2019 #18

    Chuck E

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    Do you keep a spare Intellitank to rack into over your aging period?
     
  19. Oct 1, 2019 #19

    CDrew

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    Yes. I have 4 and one is always ready to go. Plus I can rack into kegs also which are 15.5 gallons
     
  20. Oct 2, 2019 #20

    Chuck E

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    I'm looking at moving into those. I have a lot of glass carboys, and 2 sixtel & 2 pony kegs. I love the sanitary fittings on the kegs and they're not so fragile.
     

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