2006 Nebbiolo D’Alba

October 2006 – This one has very specific instructions for how to make the wine clear properly. I will need to read the instructions through again before each step.

I did the colored background on the labels … and expensive decision.

This year I had to do a joke label for all (except the pinot, which I forgot):


Kit Winexpert Selection Speciale Series Wine – Nebbiolo D’Alba Kit
Bentonite yes
Sugar 3 cups
Oak Chips yes
Yeast package included in the kit, did not record what it was
Sorbate yes
Sulfite yes
Chitosan yes


Put 2 quarts water in primary — stirred in bentonite. Added concentrate, then rinsed bag with warm water and added to fermenter. Topped with cool water to 5-1/2 gallons. As with the Pinot Noir, this one called for 6 gallons but I topped to 5-1/2. Just as well – the SG hit right where I wanted it.

Added oak chips and yeast. Covered fermenter loosely with plastic wrap. I’m supposed to check after 5 to 7 days for SG of 1.010 or less.

SG 1.092
No activity 2 days later. Jump started it with an activated package of Lalvin EC-1118. Two wines had the same problem at the same time. 10/08/2006
SG 1.092
First racking — put in carboy with 750 ml top up in clean bottle. 10/16/2006
SG 1.002
Checked the SG after 2-1/2 weeks — the chart says it must be 0.992 and 0.996. It’s at 0.998 … so I decided to plow ahead. The SG only dropped 0.004 in 2-1/2 weeks, it’s unlikely to drop more. Besides — it’s below 1.000 which is the general cutoff.

Added metabisulfite and sorbate packs to carboy — used a drill-mounted stirring rod to mix it and drive out the gas. This produced a LOT more gas than I expected. Interesting thing is that the instructions specifically state to NOT rack the wine — the sediment must be mixed back in for proper clearing. Huh.

Added the chitosan and stirred it more. Put the airlock back on — it perked along vigorously for a minute or so, then slowed and eventually stopped. Looks like I have a good CO2 cushion.

SG 0.998
Racked. Lots of sediment, far more than I expected. Going to let this one set another month or so to make sure it’s clear. 03/19/2007
SG 0.998
Racked. Was going to bottle but accidentally stirred up a bit of sediment. Will wait another 2 weeks. Added 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite. 06/03/2007
SG 0.998
That two weeks lasted a bit longer than anticipated. I kept putting it off and putting it off … but finally got off my duff and bottled it tonight. 10/06/2007
SG 0.998


Yield 24 bottles
Alcohol 12.8%
04/28/2008 It’s got nice legs, but it’s got a bit of an odd flavor — I let it set on the lees and oak too long originally. But it will make an ok dinner wine.