...but well worht the effort. This year's grapes are exceptional! I think my favorite is the tempranillo, mine weighed in at 24.5 brix, I did a small acid adjustent, and it rocks! Big bold tannins, lots of dark berries and blueberry on the nose! We still have tempranillo, syrah, merlot and a bit of carignan. When you taste this carignan, you will know what it should be- rich dark, earthy and berry perfume...not the typical carignan from California to say the least!
Well, the only thing better than a fantastic harvest is getting the grapes! Every year, I bet on which will be the best grape from a group of fantastic options, and this year, so far my bet is on the tempranillo, after having tasted all varieties in the vineyard, and crushpad. When the grapae arrived, i too the opportunity again to taste the various pails of must that I thawed for my first winemaking run of the season, and yet again, my bet is on the tempranillo.
Of course, I am a big rosé fan, and I did manage to press 10 pails of grenache noir as soon as it was thawed, and have enough fantastic juice to make some great rosé. Check out the amazing color!
I am running with the natural yeasts, which are doing a fantatic job of fermenting. As of today, the gravity is 1.014, and the aromas are heavenly! At pressing, we had 26 brix, and a ph of 3.60, I dropped in acidualted water to bring my brix down to 24 ( a 14% rosé should be strong enough...) and adjusted the ph to 3.5.
Racking in a few days!
Two weeks spent harvesting fantastic grapes, and the containers are now in port waiting to get shipped to us. Since 2012, my personal favorite has been the merlot, but this year, harvesting tempranillo, and eating a few berries, of course, well, they tasted amazing. Bold tannins, sugars to give us 14 plus percent alcohol, and just amazing flavors. Now, the syrah fans out there will tell you it is always the best, as will the grenache noir and carignan fans. With excellently grown grapes, it really does come down to a question of preference, but really, wouldn't you want to make wine from these tempranillo grapes? I know all grapes will make fantastic wine this year, check out the double rainbow that arched over the town and its vineyards during the harvest!
Saturday, September 10 I land in Barcelona, and immediately drive about 100 miles to join our picking crew hand harvesting our grapes for your exceptional winemaking! With yet another great year at our mountain vineyards, we will be harvesting our usual assortment of exceptional reds for you...typical Catalan and Spanish varieties such as tempranillo, carignan and grenache noir, along with syrah, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. The pails of frozen must will be arriving in mid October and you will once agian have the opportunity to make award winning, extremely tasty libations. Cheers!
Well, the second run of pinot noir is done its malo, and the specs are pretty close to the first run done with the d-254 yeast. true to form the d-254 yeast pinot has a bit of a "spicier" edge to it, while he wild yeast shows fatter fruitiness, though at this point it is difficult to pinpoint which fruit descriptors are "more" in the natural yeast ferment. Both are sitting on some oak chips now, and I will report back later...
Our first run ofChilean pint noir has just finished its malolactic ferment. We pressed iy June 22, and added some oak chips to it. This batch was run with d 254 yeast, and I will be comparing it to my next run dun exclusively with the natural yeasts. finishing ph was 3.75, and the wine has great color- bang on for a pinot, loads of cherries and berries...I
Well, the modern rioja is blended and bottled. Tasting just prior to bottling showed a bigger fruit core than what is ususally expected in rioja. I miss the soft berry notes the grenache noir, but the fatter fruit sure makes this a great glass with my grilled flank steak...
If you look at a bottle of "modern" rioja, you will see that some producers incorporate a splash of cab, or merlot into the blend. to see if modren beats out traditional, I am making 2 rioja blends...the first being traditional blend, the second being the modern adaptation. The traditional blend is 60% tempranillo, 20% grenache noir, 20% carignan. The second one swaps ut the grenache noir for merlot. which one wins? Stay tuned, we will be posting some tasting notes as they becpme available!
A client asked about the viognier from Chile, and if we recommend doing a malolactic ferment. Everything of course is a question of style, but my preference would be to not do a malo. The beauty of viognier is is gorgeous fruit nose, and every time I have done a malo, for all its benefits, I always seem to lose some of the great aromatics, regardless of teh strain of bacteria I choose. So my vote is not, but feel free to please your preferences. After all, that is the beauty of winemaking!