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mainshipfred

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Racked merlot Chilean juice from last year. Nice color good smell and still a young wine flavor. Still degassing in the 5g carboy.
I have a Chilean Merlot juice bucket from last year as well that was fermented with 7 lugs of Cab Sauv and 2 lugs of Malbec skins. It has been in a neutral barrel since 8-24-18. I'm not a huge Merlot fan and got it for blending but it's turning out very nice and without any oak. Debating whether to put it in a newer barrel for a while to get some oak but I don't want to ruin a good thing.
 

mainshipfred

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The winemaker from the winery I help out at is coming to see my set up and taste my wines today. A little nervous because he won't hold anything back in giving his opinion on the wines. The good thing is he will also let me know what I should do to improve them. Now I have 12 varietals so he's probably going to have a little buzz towards the end, so I'm wondering if I should let him sample what I think are the better ones first or last. LOL
 

Jal5

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I have a Chilean Merlot juice bucket from last year as well that was fermented with 7 lugs of Cab Sauv and 2 lugs of Malbec skins. It has been in a neutral barrel since 8-24-18. I'm not a huge Merlot fan and got it for blending but it's turning out very nice and without any oak. Debating whether to put it in a newer barrel for a while to get some oak but I don't want to ruin a good thing.
That’s exactly what I want to do next time to add body- ferment on some skins. What do you think about me using oak spirals in the carboy during aging in this one?
 

cmason1957

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Watching the Caps lose. Again! :s :m
Could be worse. You could be a Blues fan, one game they play like nobody can beat them, next game an old ladies beer league team could beat them and they couldn't score if the puck was at the top of the blue paint and no goalie.
 
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mainshipfred

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That’s exactly what I want to do next time to add body- ferment on some skins. What do you think about me using oak spirals in the carboy during aging in this one?
I think spirals, tannins or both couldn't hurt. Pretty sure that's what a lot of folks do.
 

mainshipfred

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What a great opportunity, Fred! Anxious to hear how it goes.
Well it was very interesting and longer than I expected. We spent 3 ½ hours tasting and talking about wine making. In a nut shell he was very complimentary about my basic wine making and science skills. What he said I should consider improving is the artistic side. Mostly making post fermentation adjustment earlier in the process. However he would always reinforce it’s a style thing and his may be different from mine both in taste and procedure but there are basics I should follow.

He suggested adjusting the acid and S02 immediately after MLF and always adjust acid before adding tannins. I can’t remember why but he related it to construction in you can’t build a wall before the foundation because it can’t be supported.

As far as oak and primarily barrel oak he is not a fan of an over oaky wine and would prefer to add body with tannins. His recommended tannin is Scotts Tannin Estate which he told me about earlier but I cannot find on any of our online sites. In the end though he emphasized style.

He was not a fan of racking with the AIO in the wines early stages because he feels it doesn’t allow enough O2 to be added to the wine which he says is very important. I explained the splash rack cane but his response is you were removing the air you were also removing the wines ability to absorb the O2. He did like the bottling feature though.

There’s lots more things we talked about but a couple interesting things were when he imports whites from the west coast he gets juice not grapes. This is something Jim and I were debating but I think I’ll still do grapes for whites. This unrelated to wine making but interesting, with the weather we had in Virginia last year resulting in an unusually poor harvest, the State increased the amount of imported fruit allowed to still call it Virginia wine.

P.S. there was no spitting, in fact just the opposite. Addition samples of several of the wines were poured. Afterward we opened a bottle of the Norton blend and sat and chatted. Next will be a private barrel tasting of his 2017 and 2018’s.
 

Ajmassa

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mainshipfred

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mainshipfred

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Very cool. Sounds like a great time. I like this guy. And not just because he also shared my thoughts on early o2 in the wine.
Fred, did he say why he felt it so important for the wine to absorb some o2 early on? Very curious of his thoughts on that.

Here’s Scott’s estate tannin (no small quantities available tho)
https://scottlab.com/fermentation-cellar/estate-1kg-015958?returnurl=/fermentation-cellar/?count=60
If I remember corectly he told me there is a lot of aerobic activity still going on ( if I said that the right way). Said MLF is an anaerobic activity so when MLF is complete a good splashing is required. He actually recommended empting the wine in buckets and pouring it back and forth then back to the carboy or barrel.
 

Ajmassa

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If I remember corectly he told me there is a lot of aerobic activity still going on ( if I said that the right way). Said MLF is an anaerobic activity so when MLF is complete a good splashing is required. He actually recommended empting the wine in buckets and pouring it back and forth then back to the carboy or barrel.
Currently bouncing around the “aerobic vs anaerobic” internet rabbit hole right now.

***I strongly advise you to NOT enter.***

(Google eventually dropped me right back in WMT circa 2012. In a very intense and informative debate involving this)

The chemistry is not debatable. But how it is interpreted to implore winemaking techniques can differ dramatically.
 

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