Saturday, September 17, 2016

2016 Cabernet Sauvignon

I find Cabernet Sauvignon a variable wine: sometimes good and sometimes just OK.  The grapes at the grape dealer were tasty, and so here we are.

Cabernet Sauvignon Recipe

108 lb Merlot grapes
Pressed grape skins from 72 lb of Cabernet Sauvignon
4 g pectic enzyme
11 g Yeast Energizer
packets of Red Star Montrachet

The grapes were sweet and I did not add sugar. It should make 13.5% alcohol. 

I squeezed the grapes and let them ferment for 7 days, and then pressed. The fermentation was pretty fast. 

The yield was 34 liters. 

2016 Malbec

The 2016 Melbec needs to begin with a nod to the 2012 Melbec, which being born in disaster and floundering over many years, finally turned out to be excellent. The new 2016 Melbec will be made with quality grapes rather than a weak juice from Chile & supplemented with fruit from the produce department.

I picked the Melbec because it had the best flavor of the grapes in the cooler at my grape distributor. The grapes were both juicy and sweet at 25.2 Brix for 13.2% alcohol which is fine.

The grapes were so juicy that the crates kept leaking juice on the floor.

2016 Melbec recipe

144 lb Melbec grapes (Coliveta, Stockton CA)
12 g yeast energizer
4 g pectic enzyme
2 packs Red Star Montrachet

The fermentation was very fast, and it was ready to press in just 4 days. Once it was in the carboy it hardly bubbled.

I got 38 liters, so pretty good.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

2016 Riesling

I got to the grape dealer early this year, and they had Riesling in stock. Other years they have been sold out.

These grapes were very juicy --so juicy that the crates left a trail of grape juice when I carried them down the basement. As you might expect with juicy grapes the sugar level was low at 18 degrees Brix, which will make 9% alcohol. On the low side for me. Other years I would add sugar to get to 12%, but having been chastised by Grace, my son's girlfriend, for making only over-strong wines, I decided to leave this alone this year. Rieslings are often on the weak side. This Riesling will be finished dry.

I also did not kill the natural yeast with sulfite so that my wife might potentially drink it. Being more natural this year, I hope I don't regret it.

Riesling Grape Recipe

144 lb Riesling wine grapes (Pia; Madera, California)
10 g pectic enzyme
16 g yeast energizer
1 Pack Red Star Premier Cuvee

Other years I have added oranges or orange peel, but not this year. In the past I have added potassium carbonate as well. I will watch the pH, or perhaps taste it after the initial ferment.

I let the grapes warm to room temperature, crushed them (about 90 minutes), then pressed them. I added the additives. The fermentation was rapid with vigorous fermentation within a few hours.