2019 Merlot #3

October 2019 – This is my 3rd batch of Merlot this year. The first two were kits, this is fresh grapes from Suisun Valley, CA.

The group I purchased grapes with unloaded 10,000 lbs of grapes Friday morning and crushed 8,000 lbs Saturday morning. it was a helluva day.

Ingredients

Grape 180# Merlot from Lanza Vineyards, Suisun Valley, CA
Pectic Enzyme 60 drops liquid
Yeast 2 packages Red Star Premier Rouge
1 package Red Star Premier Rouge
Yeast Nutrient 2 tsp, initially
Fermentation Oak 8 oz American oak chips, heavy toast
Fermax 10 tsp
Sulfite potassium metabisulfite added at various points (see below)
Fining Agent 4 tsp bentonite
Acid acid blend added at various points (see below)
Aging Oak 4 oz medium toast French oak cubes

Method

Crushed & destemmed the grapes, let rest. 10/19/2019
SG 1.110
Added pectic enzyme, yeast rehydrated with 2 tsp nutrient, and fermentation oak. 10/20/2019
SG 1.110
Added Fermax, punched cap down. Fermentation is fine, but I added another package of yeast like I did for the Malbec and the Zinfandel.
Cap is punched down daily, will not check SG again until Friday.As with Malbec, acid is low but amount not accurately determined. Added 1 tsp acid blend at punch down 3 days in a row.
10/21/2019
SG 1.110
Drained free run juice and pressed lightly. Moved to carboys. Pomace used for second run wine. 10/27/2019
SG 1.012
Racked. Stirred wine to reduce CO2 and added 4 tsp bentonite and 1/2 tsp K-meta, as I have about 11 gallons. 11/11/2019
SG 0.995
Racked, added 1/2 tsp K-meta and 5 tsp acid blend as pH is still around 4.0. Total volume is a about 11 gallons. 11/24/2019
SG 0.995
Did a pre-tasting, doing blends with the Zinfandel and Malbec. Eric & I agreed that 80% Merlot with 10% each Zinfandel and Malbec produced the best flavor. 01/18/2020
SG 0.995
Racked. Added 1/4 tsp K-meta and 2 oz medium toast French oak cubes to each carboy. 03/01/2020
SG 0.996
Racked, oak removed. Added 1/4 tsp K-meta. 06/28/2020
SG 0.995
Racked, 1/4 tsp K-meta added. Homogenized carboys by racking half of each into separate containers, then racking half of each back into the carboys. 08/22/2020
SG 0.994
Added 10 oz glycerin (5 oz/carboy) for body. Bottled. 09/27/2020
SG 0.994

Notes:

Yield 50 bottles
Alcohol 15.8%
09/27/2020 The wine does not taste as hot as it is. The overall most and taste is great, although a year in the bottle will make a difference.

Note on the glycerin: We reserved a glass of wine, then added glycerin to the remainder. The wines tasted nothing alike. The glycerin makes a tremendous difference!