Zinfandel thoughts

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CoastalEmpireWine

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Good evening. This year I pre ordered some “Zinderella” Zinfandel grapes. 3 lugs. I am torn between two yeast selections. What I currently have is RC-212 and VRB. I have heard that both make a great Zin. VRB is recommended by Lanza - Musto.

What I like about both RC-212 and VRB is the low Volatile Acidity production, very good MLF compatibility and high alcohol.

I don’t see a downside to either. My goal is to build a big bold fruit bomb Zinfandel (try anyway). MLF strain to be VP41. French Oak med +
 

CDrew

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Avante yeast would be your friend here. No possibility of H2S and super clean fast fermentation. Ideal for a fruity zin. Read up on the Renaissance yeasts. They are way better for home winemakers (and likely for commercial guys too).

And, Medium+ oak is way too much. You risk it tasting like a camp fire. Medium in low doses for a short time will get you what you want. Please believe me on this.
 

CoastalEmpireWine

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Avante yeast would be your friend here. No possibility of H2S and super clean fast fermentation. Ideal for a fruity zin. Read up on the Renaissance yeasts. They are way better for home winemakers (and likely for commercial guys too).

And, Medium+ oak is way too much. You risk it tasting like a camp fire. Medium in low doses for a short time will get you what you want. Please believe me on this.
I don’t have any experience with that yeast brand but I have heard good things.

Thank you for the oak suggestion. I happen to have extra medium toast oak I can use. I will save the med + for another batch.
 

CDrew

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I don’t have any experience with that yeast brand but I have heard good things.

Thank you for the oak suggestion. I happen to have extra medium toast oak I can use. I will save the med + for another batch.

With Zinfandel and Primitivo, keep the oak light. It's good without oak, so make sure you're improving the wine and not using oak because someone said you should. Have a light touch here.

RC212 yeast for what I see here is chancy in terms of H2S. I've never used it, but would not want to, because there are better alternatives. Avante yeast, on the other hand. is great in terms of trouble free fermentation, and the fruity fresh flavors you want. It is not capable of H2S production, and takes that risk off the table.

If you want to use a traditional yeast, let me recommend D21. Very low nutrient needs, great fresh flavors and trouble free. Perfect for a "big" Zinfandel.
 

CoastalEmpireWine

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Avante yeast would be your friend here. No possibility of H2S and super clean fast fermentation. Ideal for a fruity zin. Read up on the Renaissance yeasts. They are way better for home winemakers (and likely for commercial guys too).

And, Medium+ oak is way too much. You risk it tasting like a camp fire. Medium in low doses for a short time will get you what you want. Please believe me on this.
Only downside to Avante is that it is not readily available in my area under 500 grams. I found one place online that repackages it to small home winemakers but charges 20 dollars to ship.
 

CDrew

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Only downside to Avante is that it is not readily available in my area under 500 grams. I found one place online that repackages it to small home winemakers but charges 20 dollars to ship.

Try Lodi Wine Labs. They tend to have reasonable pricing and shipping is also fair. Failing that, send me a PM.
 

CoastalEmpireWine

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Try Lodi Wine Labs. They tend to have reasonable pricing and shipping is also fair. Failing that, send me a PM.
That’s who I found. I am on the Eastern coast. Shopping for just the barrel amount of yeast costs more than the yeast 🤣
 
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French Oak med +
What type of oak product? Chips, cubes, spirals, etc?

If you want a fruity wine, I suggest going with American oak. French tends to impart a sour flavor, which works great for Bordeaux/Meritage blends, but it's the opposite of what you intend.

And, Medium+ oak is way too much. You risk it tasting like a camp fire. Medium in low doses for a short time will get you what you want. Please believe me on this.
I am using smaller quantities of cubes and leaving them in neutral barrels for a full year. After ~3 months the cubes are extracted. I haven't conducted a formal experiment on the subject, but it seems like leaving the cubes in longer produces a smoother flavor.

Only downside to Avante is that it is not readily available in my area under 500 grams.
I purchased this last fall, after experiencing H2S in a wine the previous year. I split the batch with a member of our local grape purchasing group. The remainder is in the fridge, sealed, as it's good for several years if stored properly.

Purchasing a smaller amount was, indeed, expensive. Now that I have the bag, I'm using it for everything. 😉
 

CoastalEmpireWine

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For future use consider Bosagrape in Canada, they sell smaller packages of Renaissance yeast, shipping takes a while due to customs tho.
I went with Renaissance Avante from Lodi Wine Labs. I looked into the shipping of the other yeast I was going to go with and it was about a 6 dollar difference. Figured for an extra 6 dollars I’ll try it out. Everyone raves about it so it can’t be bad.
 

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