weak color

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Tonyd

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Racked my cab for the first time and found the color very light. Wine was made from California grapes, juice was with the skins for 8 days, pushed down cap on regular basis. I don't think I "over"crushed the grapes, but in any case, the wine does not look like Cab.
Any idea what could have gone wrong?
Am I over reacting... my first time making Cab.
Is there any way to add color to this wine?
 

Wade E

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Some wines wll lose color easily and why some people use color stabilizers. Post tanins can also help in the stabilization of color. Did you filter or use a fining agent?
 

Tonyd

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Wine was pressed in mid-september so it's still clearing on its own.
 

Wade E

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Thats strange that you didnt get good color extraction. Did you use a mechanical crusher or some other type of method?
 

Tonyd

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I used a old hand crank crusher. I tried just break the grapes open, I didn't mash them up. I also make a merlot at the same time, the color looks better, but it's not great.
 

Wade E

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Where are the grapes from? Maybe they werent as ripe as they should have been as this year was not a great year in some places as varaison started very late and maybe the grapes didnt get as dark as other years. Did you use pectic enzyme to help with extraction at all?
 

BBarnes

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I had the same problem with similar processes. I did a cold soak for five days, punched down four to five times daily, did a light crush with a newer crusher and a malo fermentation. It is the barrel now. I blended but the bulk of my grapes were cab sauv. which were low in sugar and my have been a little green. I added sugar to bring the brix up on the cab. I left it on the lees for a month before barreling. Did I rack it off the lees too soon or is the light color a combination of the greener grapes? Also, will it darken in the barrel significantly and add complexity to the taste. How long before it starts tasting like decent wine in the barrel? It does not have any off flavors. From this point on can I add anything to help the overall flavor of the wine or just let it sit in the barrel?
 

TB1

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If you have them, throw in a handful of dried elderberries. will also give it body and make it look a whole lot better. Raisins will also work but would my second choice.
 

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