Mordazini 2006 Vintage – Syrah
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.
See post on March 19, 2008 for an update.
Miracle of Miracles!!!
After racking the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon today, I tasted this vintage to see how it’s coming. OH MY GOODNESS!!! It’s finally losing the bitterness, and picking up a peppery flavor, much like a good Zinfandel. The color is dark and rich line a Zin too. I am so excited about the progress it’s making, and happy I decided to leave it in the barrel another year.
I also decided that since the barrels are so old (already used 4 or 5 years) that I would add some oak staves to the wine. they are American oak, and have a medium toast. They are 14″ long and I put 2 on a hook attached to the bung with a zip tie.
I believe this one is going to turn out a lot better than I had thought at first. Like Jim keeps telling me “have patience”.
This wine making experience takes years, so one has to have a lot of patience from vine to bottle.