In the previous year I felt the Zamora Cab wasn’t that great, so I thought I would try 100% Syrah. On October 3, 2006, I drove to Alexander Vineyards and bought a 1/2 ton of Syrah grapes.
Jim and I crushed the grapes that day, and I purchased another tank to make sure I had room for all of them this time. I didn’t want to throw any away, and I knew I needed the extra for topping later.
We pain-stakingly went through each of the 3 tanks, one small bucket at a time, to remove stems and leaves and wasps that had been left in the must by the crusher/stemmer. It took us more than 5 hours just to get it as clean as possible.
I checked the sugar, and we had 26.5 Brix. TA was .38 so I added 10 oz. of tartaric acid to each tank of 35 gallons of must. TA after adding was .67, and pH was 3.57.
I added a 5 gram tablet of SO2 to each of the 3 tanks to inoculate the must.
On 10/4/06 I tested the pH again, and it had gone up slightly from the night before. I decided to add a little more acid to get the pH down, so I added another 4 oz. of tartaric acid to each tank. The pH went down to 3.33. The ideal pH for reds is 3.5, so I had gone a little farther than I intended, but I was still between pH of 3 and 4, so I left it after that.
I added 6 packets of Pasteur Red (Red Star brand) yeast to each tank at 4:30pm. This time I mixed the yeast in tap water instead of distilled water.
|10/5||65F||9am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm||High crown (14″), lots of foam|
|10/6||68F||4:30am, 10am, 3pm, 11pm||Strong sulphur smell in the room|
|10/7||72F||6:30a, 1p, 6p, 11:30p||Sulphur smell not as strong|
|10/8||70F||5:30am||Sulphur smell gone|
|74F||11pm||Sugar: 7 Brix|
|72F||10pm||Sugar: 1 Brix|
|70F||11:30am||Almost no activity less than 1″ crown.|
|74F||5pm||Sugar: 0.5 Brix|
|10/12||62F||10:30am & 11pm||Low actvity|
|10/13||10am & 10pm||left on skins with 2x per day punch down through 10/16|
10/17 – I rented the 40 gallon press (#50), and Jim and I pressed the must and pumped the wine into the barrel, 2 each 6-gallon carboys, and 2 one gallon jugs (74 total gallons of wine). I used barrel #0816, and decided not to use the other barrel again because it may have contributed to the S2H in the 2005 vintage.
At the time of transfer we had Brix = 0, Alcohol of 14.5% and pH of 3.64.
10/19, There was some boil-over in the 2nd fermentation, but on 10/20 it had stopped so I added the malolactic starter to the barrel of wine. (Vinaflora OE NOS, UC Davis culture).
I used the extra wine from the gallon jugs to top the wine through January 2007.
1/6/2007 – I noticed a sulphur taste in the wine so I added 0.3g of CU++.
4/12/07, Michael Richmond tasted and tested the wine. He said it was good, but to remove some of the bitterness I could add 4-6 egg whites to the wine. He found 0.4 residual sugar. He used “Clinitest” tablets. One tablet to 0.5 ml wine.
7/9/2007, I racked the wine to the new barrel Anton Pestun got for me from Robert Mondavi winery. It is a 1 year used barrel. I added 2 each of 5-gram SO2 tablets to the barrel (10g). I lost 10 gallons to lees, and use the two carboys of extra wine to top the barrel.
I have decided to age this vintage in the barrel for at least another 6 months to a year to see if some more of the bitterness will age out of it before bottling it.