Monday, 26 September 2011


The red wine has finished alcoholic fermentation. In fact, it had largely finished after just 6 days, a bit quicker than expected. We have just got the analysis back from the lab and figures are 13,64% alcohol, pH 3,53 and total acidity (expressed as sulphuric) 4,87. The wine hasn't gone through MLF yet.

We did 2 pumpovers a day during fermentation and left the lid off the tank all the time to stop the must from getting too hot. Average fermentation temperature was 27°C. We also carried out délestage (rack and return) twice at the height of fermentation. This process helps extract colour and fruit although to be honest the colour was very deep anyway. It also oxygenates the must and keeps the ferment going. Another reason why we did délestage was to control the temperature. Also, it was interesting to see how much free run juice there was.

People often remove pips during délestage but as the grapes were mostly whole there weren't any pips to remove. Did put a filter (yes, it is an Ikea bin!) in the bac and had a filter on the hose going from the bac to the pump but, no, there weren't any pips. Just lovely, deep coloured, fragrant fermenting juice.

The wine is now macerating on its skins. The cap of skins is still at the top and I do a daily pumpover to keep the cap moist and aid gentle extraction. Then the lid is put back on the tank to keep those pesky fruit flies away.

The grapes have gradually broken up during vinification and more pips are in evidence. I taste the wine twice daily to check its evolution. The colour is v deep and there are nice cherry fruit flavours. Black cherry. Over the last few days the tannins have become more pronounced, the flavours have filled out mid palate and there is more length of flavour.

Not sure when we will press. With such a small volume I don't think that a really long post ferment maceration is appropriate. We'll just keep tasting and see.

1 comment:

  1. Juliet, I keep waiting for a follow-up, thinking you must have produced a good quantity of wine. You had an immaculate process going, did something unforseen happen? If you made some good wine, I'll come by next week for a taste test. ;-)