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Which yeast for Malbec?

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dinolan

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I'm waiting for my two buckets of Chilean Malbec juice to come in. In reserching yeasts, I see people are using FX10, D254, F15 or D80. I'm thinking of using D80 for one bucket, D254 for the other, then blending. Anyone have any suggestions, and why?

Thanks,
Mike
 

robie

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I would go with Tom's experience.

As a side, Brehm Frozen Grapes recommends D21, as Malbec is a hot climate grape:

http://www.brehmvineyards.com/grapes/malbec.html

(From what I can tell, in Argentina they let the natural yeast do the fermentation, but don't ever try this at home as it likely would be a total disaster.)
 

dinolan

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Thanks for the suggestions. As of right now, I'm gonna use D80 in one, D254 in the other, and blend.
 

Tom

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I'm not sure why you want to blend 2 yeasts. Let them both finish and bottle separately. Then "Taste" the difference.
 

robie

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I can't speak for Dinolan, but blending the results from fermentations of multiple yeasts can give you the advantage each yeast has to offer, all in the same wine.

One yeast may tout good mouth fill, the next fruit forward. Blend the results of these two and you could have a wine with both qualities. Typically, this sort of thing is left to the professional wine makers.
 

dinolan

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First, Tom, I'd be blending the wines, not the yeast. And as Robie said, I'd like to see if I can get the benefits and characteristics from both the D-80 and D-254. If you look at the Lalvin website you can see what they are, and they in fact suggest doing that with wines made from these two yeasts. I'm far from an expert, but I'll give it a shot. The winemakers at M&M have been very helpful, so I know I can get help if I need it.
 

robie

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Dinolan,

Some yeasts require a starter like Go-Ferm and a yeast nutrient like Fermaid K, just to name two.
If your two specific yeasts require such or any other supplements, you need to make sure you have what they require or you could very easily have a stuck fermentation on your hands.

You also will need to watch the temperature, because 82 degrees F is the max temperature for both the yeasts you are going to use.
 

Lurker

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Wow, I don't know much about diff. yeasts, but if blending gets all of the advantages, it will probably get disadvantages also.
 

dinolan

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I'll find out! In reading the descriptions of the yeast characteristics, the D80 and D254 make wines that go together pretty well. It will be a matter of figuring out the right %'s of which wine to put in. Taste, taste, taste is what we'll have to do.
 

Rock

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I can't speak for Dinolan, but blending the results from fermentations of multiple yeasts can give you the advantage each yeast has to offer, all in the same wine.

One yeast may tout good mouth fill, the next fruit forward. Blend the results of these two and you could have a wine with both qualities. Typically, this sort of thing is left to the professional wine makers.
This is what i do with very good results.
 

Lurker

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Wow, what an ordeal all that tasting must be. I really feel sorry for you, in fact, I am offering my help in order to releave you of that problem.
 

Finnbheara

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Yeast for Malbec

The idea of using different yeast for different batches of the same wine is a time honoured tradition. The winemaker can then, prior to bottling, make decisions about blending. I often keep some of the original fermentation and then blend some. It all depends on how much you like the various blendings.
The last time I made Malbec, I used D254 and D80 on two separate batches.
Both had subtle differences. You can read about the various yeast effects on the Lalvin site. I then tried various proportions of blendings, glass by glass. It's a difficult task, tasting all these blendings, but it's a calling and if my liver survives, I shall continue my crusade. In the case above and in many others, I kept 50% separate and blended the other half.
Over time, as it has matured, I find I prefer the blend.
Just a note. The original poster spoke of waiting for his pails of juice.
I cannot stress enough the potential for improved product by using grapes instead of juice. The skins provide infinitely more potential for successful product. Alas, one needs a crusher and press to achieve this.
 

dinolan

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If I had to go back and do it over, I would have used grapes instead of the juice buckets, for the reasons you stated. But, I have what I have, I'll make the best of it. I did use two yeasts, F15 and FX10, and the batches are bulk aging. Later in the spring I'll start tasting, and maybe add a tannin supplement depending how they taste. and blend, too. I like your blending strategy. Mike
 

homer

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Why not do both, bottle half each one then mix the two and see what you like better. bk
 

robie

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If I had to go back and do it over, I would have used grapes instead of the juice buckets, for the reasons you stated. But, I have what I have, I'll make the best of it. I did use two yeasts, F15 and FX10, and the batches are bulk aging. Later in the spring I'll start tasting, and maybe add a tannin supplement depending how they taste. and blend, too. I like your blending strategy. Mike
I haven't tried your particular yeast varieties on malbec before, so I'm very interested in how it all turns out. I'll bet you are going to be surprised at the differences in taste the two yeast varieties bring.

Please, let us know about each and their differences; which one you like the best and if the blend is even better than the better single. For me, it's this sort of thing that makes wine making lots of fun.
 

dinolan

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I haven't tried your particular yeast varieties on malbec before, so I'm very interested in how it all turns out. I'll bet you are going to be surprised at the differences in taste the two yeast varieties bring.

Please, let us know about each and their differences; which one you like the best and if the blend is even better than the better single. For me, it's this sort of thing that makes wine making lots of fun.
I can't wait to do bench trials and see what they taste like. I only tried brief tastes when racking and stuff is still a little young. I'll let you know when I get into it.
 

MontyPython

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Resurrecting the thread, as I'm about to start a bucket of Chilean malbec next week, and researching yeasts.

How did the blending workout?
 

bzac

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I would agree , splitting ferments of the same vareital is a good way to build in complexity . With my pinot noir I can use 4 or 5 yeasts.

With a juice pail splitting the ferment and using two seperate yeasts is a good idea as juice pails can always use help in building some of the complexity lost from not having skins present.

D80 and D254 are classically paired in new world wines and are high compatable for post fermetnation blending , and sometimes a third parter is used , that partner is d21.
 

bzac

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ICV-D80 was isolated by Dominique Delteil of the ICV in 1992 from the Cote Rotie area of the Rhone Valley. In addition to its' ability to enhance tannin structure, it's know for being able to ferment musts high in sugar and polyphenols. With proper nutrition, aeration and fermentation temperatures below 82 degrees F, ICV-D80 will ferment up to 16% alcohol. ICV-D80 brings high fore-mouth volume, big mid-palate mouthfeel and intense fine grain tannin to reds. It is one of the best strains for contributing big tannin volume in a blend. ICV-D80 is characterized by concentrated, dark fruit, smoke and a licorice finish. When blended with wines fermented with ICV-D254 or Syrah, wines fermented with ICV-D80 bring more tannin intensity to the blend. In short, this yeast is truly great for the structural support it can bring to a wine. However, if the winemaker is looking for highlighted fruit and ethereal top-notes as well, it often may not be the best choice when using a single strain in the vintage. Therefore, it may help to think of it as usually needing a companion strain to help bring everything to a finished wine.

Lalvin ICV-D254®: For mouthfeel in Mediterranean-style reds
Lalvin ICV-D254 was selected by the ICV in 1998 from Syrah fermentations in Gallician, south of the Rhône Valley. In red wines, Lalvin ICV-D254 promises high fore-mouth volume, big mid-palate mouthfeel, intense fruit concentration, smooth tannins and a mildly spicy finish. Red wines made with Lalvin ICV-D254 may be blended with Lalvin ICV-D80 or Lalvin ICV-D21 to create more concentrated, full bodied wines. In unripe reds, ferment 25-50% of the lot with Lalvin ICV-D254 and the balance with Lalvin ICV-GRE to help mask vegetative character. As a complement to Lalvin Bourgoblanc CY3079, winemakers in North America use Lalvin ICV-D254 for fermenting Chardonnay with nutty aromas and creamy mouthfeel.

Lalvin ICV-D21®: The ‘terroir’ yeast
Lalvin ICV-D21 was isolated in 1999 from Pic Saint Loup Languedoc “terroir” during a special regional program run by the Institut Coopératif du Vin (ICV)’s Natural Micro-Flora Observatory and Conservatory. Lalvin ICV-D21 was selected for fermenting red wines with stable color, intense fore-mouth, mid-palate tannin structure, and fresh aftertaste. Unlike most wine yeasts, Lalvin ICV-D21 contributes both higher acidity perception and positive polyphenol reactive polysaccharides. Strong interactions of the polysaccharides with the floral and fruity volatile compounds (β-ionone, ethyl hexanoate) contribute to a more stable aromatic profile in the mouth. These attributes avoid the development of cooked jam and burning-alcohol sensations in highly mature and concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. During fermentation, Lalvin ICV-D21 produces very few sulfides and it is also noted for its good fermentation performance even under high temperature and low nutrient conditions. It allows for the expression of fruit from the grapes while reducing the potential for herbaceous characters in Cabernet sauvignon. When blended with wines fermented with Lalvin ICV-D254 and Lalvin ICV-D80, Lalvin ICV-D21 brings fresher, sustained intense fruit and lively sensations beginning in the fore-mouth and carrying through to the aftertaste. Lalvin ICV-D21 is also used in very ripe white grapes, barrel-fermented to develop fresh fruit aromas, volume and acidity which compliments wines fermented with Enoferm ICV-D47 in blends. Rosé wines fermented with Lalvin ICV-D21 have enhanced red fruit, fore-mouth volume and balance, making it the perfect blending complement to Rosé wines fermented with Lalvin ICV-GRE.
 

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