About a month ago, I discovered that my wine had developed a terrible funk. The smell could be described as burnt match stick with a touch of smoke. This “funk” is often caused by H2S production or Hydrogen Sulfide. This can occur because grapes were sprayed with chemicals too close to harvest, or leaving the juice on the gross lees too long amongst other reasons. After doing a little research I decided I need to rack right away. And that did help, but the Sang/Cab. blend had quite a bit of “funk” so we racked again and that seemed to do the trick! Which is great, because that means I didn’t have to add Copper Sulfate or add more SO2. Few! I was worried that the wines were ruined beyond the point of no return!
Lab Numbers Update: As of 12-11-11, the pH and TA for the Petite Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon blend are 3.44 and 6.75 and the Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon blend are 3.25 and 7.2. It appears that secondary fermentation has taken place with the P. Verdot blend as the pH as gone up and TA down. But it’s hard to tell with Sangio blend because it looks the pH dropped and that doesn’t make sense. I will have to re-test pH, and TA in the next few week. Hopefully I will be able to test for SO2 content as well as run the wine through MLF (malolactic fermentation) chromatography.
That’s it for this update. Now to think of some names for the wines while they spend the winter in our new wine shed. Will have to post pictures of that soon!
After finding a homemade press on Craig’s list, Ella and I press off the fermented grape juice. The large carboy gets the Sangiovese from Brad of Gecko Cellars, plus most of the Cabernet Sauvignon I obtained from Rob of Finn Hill Winery. The Petite Verdot goes into the 3 gallon carboy with the remaining Cab. Sauv. Dexter helps out as well! Now that I’ve finally added some ML bacteria that I got from Scott Greenberg of The Convergence Zone, it can now do its thing for a few weeks. Boy, does it take a “wine village”! I’ve ordered some more oak chips and few other wine additive “goodies” on-line. Can’t wait to see what I ordered! Will have to post some more lab numbers next time!
I now have some Cabernet Sauvignon from Double Canyon, that I acquired from Rob Entrekin of Finn Hill Winery last Saturday (the 23rd) and some Petite Verdot that our class picked from Red Haven Vineyard on Red Mountain the next day on the 24th.
The Sangiovese is still cooking along and is now at 6 Brix. The Cabernet Sauvignon. however, is almost dry at 0.5 Brix! Unbelievable! The Petite Verdot is now at 17.5 Brix with color that is stunningly dark! I can see how it could be used to color up lighter colored wines.
Needless to say, my laundry room smells like a winery now! Not bad. Next week we will be learning how to culture MLF bacteria in class, just in time to inoculate my own wine. Now to find a press.
Here’s a video of our class field trip to Wyckoff Vineyard to pick about 3 tons Chardonnay and Red Haven Vineyard on Red Mountain to pick about 1 ton of Petite Verdot.
I have some of that Petite Verdot at my house fermenting away as I type!
This visit out to the property is very special because for the first time we have both running water and electricity! It’s amazing! You turn a light on in the trailer and it actually comes on! Sounds silly I know, but we have been roughing it there for over 2 years! I finally got around to bring out some paint samples. Think I am going with the middle shade of yellow. Now if I can convince Jay on it. And on a sad note, all of the vines I planted are pretty much dead. Oh, well, I guess I will have to wait till next spring. Now if I could finalize what to plant. As of right now, my thoughts are Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah and perhaps Petite Verdot. Still have to research the last two. Sometime in July is our next trip. Hopefully to paint the garage and to clear out more sage brush and less on the weed control!