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Vintage 2019

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Johnd

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Instead of just going straight to 6.0, do your bench trials and let your taste buds decide when you’ve got the acidity right. Let the pH fall where it may. Nice that you have some room to move your TA up before getting into the 6.x’s. I’ve seen @NorCal say several times that on his high pH wines adjusted post fermentation that it’s very easy to make the wine taste bad.

Very cool opportunity you have there to get such thorough testing results so quickly, and some measurements that are not normally part of my winemaking regimen.
 

CDrew

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Very cool opportunity you have there to get such thorough testing results so quickly, and some measurements that are not normally part of my winemaking regimen.
Yes. Agreed. Lodi wine labs is a great resource and quite friendly to home wine makers even though their focus is commercial wineries. Bench trials are not easy with what I have. If I remove enough for a concentration gradient bench trial, I'll need to top with something else. Which will likely have to be 2018 wine, which is all in bottles. I am slowly moving toward a "topping keg" situation and may need to move forward on that project.

I think tomorrow, I'll do TA 5.0 and TA 6.0 trials. I am for sure not taking the wine above 6.0 TA.

Very conflicted as to what to get testing wise. For $1000 I'd be completely set, but at $40 per test for relatively complete testing I may just keep doing that. But knowing TA and SO2 at any given time would be invaluable.
 

mbleill

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Just an observation on your sulphite levels. Your "Free SO2" and your "Molecular SO2" looks low for your existing pH. I would recommend using WineMaker's Sulfite Calculator utility to adjust your sulphites after you adjust your acid levels and measure your resulting pH level. If you do no acid adjustment, using your current lab numbers, you would need to adjust your Free SO2 level to by adding (30.9 g of KSO2) to achieve 152 mg/L and that would only provide only a .5 mg/L Molecular SO2 level. Here is the link: https://winemakermag.com/resource/1301-sulfite-calculator

Hopefully your bench trials and measured acid adjustment will correspondingly bring your pH down to a more stable level.

Cheers!
 

CDrew

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I investigated this a bit today. I did trials at 5, 5.5 and 6 TA (all values calculated since I can't measure TA directly at home. I honestly don't think the taste changed that much but with all the new wine smells and tastes it's hard to say. It didn't get worse or sour. It's a bit of a balancing act and even with TA of 6, the pH was still >3.8. So I committed to the whole thing at TA of just under 6.0. The pH ranges from 3.83-3.85 as we sit tonight so the tartaric addition did not change the pH much at all. I'll remeasure that in a few weeks too since by all accounts, it will creep back up..

Funny-this wine is only 6 weeks old and during the tasting today it looks clear enough to bottle. As an aside, I think the use of EX-V enzyme helps the wine clear much more quickly after fermentation. This is just an observation and may not be real but it seems pretty consistent.

I'll be racking in a few weeks and will adjust sulfite levels then, figuring things will have a chance to equilibrate. I see another trip to Lodi in my near future!

Anyway, measuring, dissolving (painful, heat is your friend), keeping track, tasting took all day today. I need to go back to work to get some rest!

Next year, the must gets adjusted and then that's it. I think scientific winemaking is a UC Davis invention, and since I'm an alum, I feel good about that!

I did look at the Vinmetrica 300 with the goodies looks like $669 at MoreWine. That sound about right?
 

Chuck E

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I investigated this a bit today. I did trials at 5, 5.5 and 6 TA (all values calculated since I can't measure TA directly at home. I honestly don't think the taste changed that much but with all the new wine smells and tastes it's hard to say. It didn't get worse or sour. It's a bit of a balancing act and even with TA of 6, the pH was still >3.8. So I committed to the whole thing at TA of just under 6.0. The pH ranges from 3.83-3.85 as we sit tonight so the tartaric addition did not change the pH much at all. I'll remeasure that in a few weeks too since by all accounts, it will creep back up..

Funny-this wine is only 6 weeks old and during the tasting today it looks clear enough to bottle. As an aside, I think the use of EX-V enzyme helps the wine clear much more quickly after fermentation. This is just an observation and may not be real but it seems pretty consistent.
My first go with EX-V cleared really fast too. So one more anecdote if you're collecting them. I am making EX-V a standard part of my winemaking procedure.
 

CDrew

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Did some racking/sulfiting today and have a question. The wine seems about right for this stage of it's life. It's clean tasting, fruity, good and very clean off the sediment. I credit the Pecitnase Lallyzyme EX-V for that. But racked today off of 2 months of oak cubes at a 35% level of "new oak". Definitely less oaky than last year where it was basically 100% new oak based on MoreWine recs. Although the 2018 is definitely toning down the oak with just a few months of aging after bottling. I'm finally thinking that it will be good a year after bottling.

But the question is, I can really seal it up. The sanitary fittings allow a total airtight seal in both directions. It's been vacuum racked 3 times now and very little CO2 in solution. But I am thinking that I will seal it until bottling. any down side to this? I'm thinking topped up, minimal O2, well sulfited, and minimal CO2 still on board, I can seal it up and bottle next fall. Appreciate any thoughts.
 

Chuck E

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Did some racking/sulfiting today and have a question. The wine seems about right for this stage of it's life. It's clean tasting, fruity, good and very clean off the sediment. I credit the Pecitnase Lallyzyme EX-V for that. But racked today off of 2 months of oak cubes at a 35% level of "new oak". Definitely less oaky than last year where it was basically 100% new oak based on MoreWine recs. Although the 2018 is definitely toning down the oak with just a few months of aging after bottling. I'm finally thinking that it will be good a year after bottling.

But the question is, I can really seal it up. The sanitary fittings allow a total airtight seal in both directions. It's been vacuum racked 3 times now and very little CO2 in solution. But I am thinking that I will seal it until bottling. any down side to this? I'm thinking topped up, minimal O2, well sulfited, and minimal CO2 still on board, I can seal it up and bottle next fall. Appreciate any thoughts.
Your wine is in the keg, I assume? I can't see a downside, but I've never done this either. I hope some more experienced wine makers weigh in.
 

CDrew

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Just to keep a diary of what's complete this year:

2 days ago, I did the final rack of the Syrah, Tempranillo and Primitivo. They are aging now and I won't open again until it's time to bottle next fall. The wine is clear and clean tasting. I had about 3 gallons each left of Primitivo and Tempranillo and so blended them expediently in a 6 gallon carboy. I have to say that right now, that blend is tasty. A bit of an unusual combo but not going to go to waste. THe oak is much less prominent than last year. I went for 35% of "new oak" with the stavin beans at medium toast and am much happier, at least at this point in the process.

The Mourvedre Rose got racked too. It is just ever so slightly pink-I may add some red wine to make it pinker. Right now, it's almost a Blanc de Noir. I had posted earlier that it was slightly hazy-it is not noticeable in a glass. It's good though and after tasting graduated samples with my wife, I decided to add 1 gm of Tartaric acid per liter. I'll bottle that in a few months one way or the other. I think I can get by with a "polishing" filter and maybe not even that.

I'll take about a 6 month vacation from winemaking and let the wine do it's thing. Hoping to be entertained by all you guys doing spring grapes from distant lands!

Final tally for 2019--
4 varietals-Syrah, Primitivo, Mourvedre, Tempranillo
1 Rose
1 blend
91.5 gallons

Goal for next season-Move forward with reliable SO2 testing, (and maybe a 30 gallon FlexTank). I have the TA and pH thing covered, time to up the game.
 

CDrew

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Sounds like a good year. I had the same issue with a Grenache Rose. Had to add some Petite Sirah to darken it a bit. Still very light though.
Did that change the taste at all? I have some nice dark Petite Syrah from 2018 that I could blend but don't want to alter it that much. I could also use my 2019 Tempranillo/Primitivo blend which is pretty dark without as much tannin. I see bench trials at bottling time!

I think this year I went about 6 hours on the skins, may go a few more this next year.
 

mainshipfred

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Did that change the taste at all? I have some nice dark Petite Syrah from 2018 that I could blend but don't want to alter it that much. I could also use my 2019 Tempranillo/Primitivo blend which is pretty dark without as much tannin. I see bench trials at bottling time!

I think this year I went about 6 hours on the skins, may go a few more this next year.
II went back and looked at my notes, it was a 2019 Chilean Pinot Noir I used. It's a darker Pinot and I didn't want to use too much for the same reason as you, I didn't want to change the taste. I think I used about 500ml in a 3.5 gallon batch and it is still a very light Rose.
 

CDrew

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I've been busy and not keeping up with my own thread, but I have some raw data to report. I recently set up my "wine lab" so I can do pH titrations quickly with a pH meter. It's incomplete, but what I have so far. I'm leaving the first two alone, but will likely "tweak" the Tempranillo by 0.5 g/L. None of the pH measurements are text book perfect, but the wine tastes good uniformly.

I should add, no Tartaric was added to the Primitivo or Syrah, they are what they are. I did add 1g/l to the tempramillo, and it tasted good (I've convinced myself better) even though the Tartaric was added after fermentation.

028116B6-FA9E-478E-AA35-C225D3DA43F1.jpeg

And next purchase will be an SC-100A. Time to get that right.
 
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CDrew

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Regarding the 2019-the only update is I bottled the Tempranillo. 30 gallons. Ended up with 12 cases and some tasters. The clean up took awhile but I'm clearing space to bulk age the 2020. Drinking the young wine tonight, and I'm thinking in a year, this will be a regular on the rotation.

And with 12 cases, I already gave one away to the guy that has been 100% reliable helping me pick grapes.
 

CDrew

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2019 update (I know it's 2020 but wine is a process, not an event). In prep for bottling, I racked 15 gallons each of Mourvedre, Primitivo and Syrah. So 45 gallons total. And I did a pressure rack with inert gas-so the gas was used to move the wine from one Intellitank(and a keg) to another. I could have used vacuum with the same set up. And some tasting notes.

Syrah-If you read this far, you know this(2019) was a difficult year in the vineyard. 2020 is/was far better. We had to search for good grapes. The 1 year old wine is HUGE. Lots of tannin, subtle oak(yeah!), extremely dark, but it's a monster. Maybe in a year or two it will settle down. I hope so. It's got good flavors but with a massive tannin hit at the end. I cut down my FT Rouge for 2020, I hope that helps. Maybe the EX-V was too much? Also, still has some residual CO2 effervescence. That was a bit of a surprise. I hope a vacuum rack prior to bottling in 3 days, takes care of that.

Mourvedre-Also if you read this far, you know I tossed 10 gallons of this that was fermented with RP15 that was just not good. The remaining 15 gallons (which has about 2 gallons of Primitivo and 1.5gallons of Syrah mixed in) is very good. Tastes like a Mourvedre. Not as dark as some of the ones I've had from California and Spain but similar to Chilean Mourvedre wines. Very subtle oak (a win!), moderate tannin, I think it's good in a year. It's actually pretty good now. This wine was definitely a problem child during fermentation, so happy I'll at least have a decent wine out of it. Actually 2 decent wines because the 2019 Mourvedre Rose is drinking pretty well now.

Primitivo-Dang, this is a good wine already. It's only 1 year old but already approachable. Could drink with dinner now. Wife likes it. So far, at 1 year, this is the best of the bunch. Definitely will be a mid week go-to after another year in the bottle. Interesting it's very well balanced tannin/acid/alcohol without being 1 dimensional. I have high hopes for this one. I'll drink and share. Just for reference, aged in a stainless steel 15.5 gallon keg for the full year.

Things I learned 2019:
-Have a light hand with the the oak, especially if using StaVin cubes. You can always come back with more later. I'm just going to recommend nothing more than Medium, and 25%-35% "new oak" equivalent according to the calculator on StaVin's website. Leave for 2 months not 3. Major improvement over 2018 when the M+ cubes had a campfire quality at 1 year, that is still present, though fading at 2 years. In truth, the 2018 Primitivo still has too much oak. Syrah and Petite sirah are just fine.

-It's ok to make tartaric/pH adjustments after fermentation. Do your major correction prior to fermentation, but it's OK to make small additional corrections midstream.

-Better grapes = better wine. Last year by far the best pick was the Primitivo. Great numbers out of the gate. Very well cared for in the vineyard too. 2020 if anything was even better in the same vineyard, so high hopes there too.

-Nice to have your own wine lab equipment. Good to know where you're headed. Especially helpful to be able to be able to measure pH and titrate TA. The free SO2 monitoring is good too.

-It's ok to minimize racking. I last racked these in February.

I'll update this with 6 month and 1 year tastings, but I plan to bottle later this week. Will also edit with pics.

Clean up!



-187DB69B-8F66-410A-81E6-B4E935C98E02.jpeg1D11B4C7-6E74-44C6-9B38-BC78F367C522.jpeg6D5FC7D4-5FD1-4A8E-9D64-94F739E31A17.jpeg
 
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Boatboy24

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-It's ok to make tartaric/pH adjustments after fermentation. Do your major correction prior to fermentation, but it's OK to make small additional corrections midstream.
+1 to that. I've had wines that were good, but I felt there was something missing. Sometimes, even a very minuscule acid addition completely woke these wines up.
 

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I am glad you posted. I am getting mouvedre this year and was thinking RP-15 since that is my go-to for petite sirah. I am going to have to rethink that now after our thread conversation last year. What yeast was the other 15 gallons fermented with? I have BM-45 and D-254 also on hand...
 

CDrew

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I am glad you posted. I am getting mouvedre this year and was thinking RP-15 since that is my go-to for petite sirah. I am going to have to rethink that now after our thread conversation last year. What yeast was the other 15 gallons fermented with? I have BM-45 and D-254 also on hand...
So I've become very fond of Avante yeast, which does not make H2S. It's a very versatile yeast as it tolerates high alcohol, high temperatures, and seems to power through any adversity. Seriously, read up on it but it's a great addition to what's available.

But there are many yeasts will do fine here. RP15 was not good for me, one time, but don't take that as anything more than 1 persons, one year experience. It's a fine choice for many.
 

CDrew

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This is on my mind as well. How many times did/will you rack and at what stages or indicators?
Warning: More laziness than expertise!

Sort of did the usual. Rack off the gross lees, then a month or two later when MLF has completed, Then in January or February to get it off the oak cubes. I just did a final racking just before bottling. The reason I didn't rack after February is that the wine was basically clear and good tasting then, and I did not see how it would benefit being racked 3 months later. I am no expert though, just being practical.
 

CDrew

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I'll just mention that virtually all the 2019 is bottled. I have about 20 cases if you count the Rose. But I have 2 carboys left of mixed leftovers. Mostly primitivo and tempranillo with a chaser of maybe 1 gallon of syrah. All unoaked. It's very good, and I wish I had not been so lazy and done the oak thing months ago, but I was saving it as a "topping" wine which I now don't need. So I lightly oaked the carboys with Medium French cubes, added sulfite fizzy tablets for the first time since Feb, and will bottle 2 months from now. I'm thinking it's going to be good, but I don't know what call it, though I have a suspicion, that situations like this is where "Meritage" comes from.

BTW-just a comment about the Tablets. There was discussion on another thread. They are very easy to score and snap in half for a partial dose.
 
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