2019 Zinfandel

October 2019

This is Old Vines Zinfandel from Lodi, CA. It should be interesting.

I could not identify the vineyard, but the shipping label reads “Linderella, The Perfect Fit”. The logo is a woman’s high heel shoe.

April 2021

I decided to relabel some of my older wines with my current style label, which uses a graphic as the background. I took the graphic from the original label, faded and stretched it.

Grape 180# Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi, 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

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. Was not visibly fermenting the way the Merlot was, so added another package of rehydrated yeast.

Cap is punched down daily, will not check SG again until Friday. Added 1 tsp acid blend per day for 3 days to increase acid without shocking the yeast.

SG 1.110
Drained free run juice and pressed lightly. Moved to carboys. Pomace used for second run wine. 10/27/2019
SG 1.008
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 0.994
Racked, added 1/2 tsp K-meta and 10 total tsp acid blend as pH is still around 4.0. Total volume is a bit over 11 gallons.

Blending has begun! The last gallon jug was not full, so I added 1 bottle of Malbec and half a bottle of Merlot to fill it.

SG 0.994
Did a pre-tasting, doing some blending. 10% of this blended with 10% Malbec and 80% Merlot produced the best Merlot. This one is second behind the Merlot. 01/18/2020
SG 0.994
Racked. Added 1/2 tsp K-meta to entire 10 gallons.

Added 4 oz medium toast French oak cubes to demijon, none to the 3.5 gallon carboy.

SG 0.995
Racked, removing oak cubes. Homogenized the two containers by racking half of each in separate primary fermenters. Moved the wine into 5 gallon carboys, as the demijohn is harder to work with. Added 1/4 tsp K-meta to each carboy. 06/28/2020
SG 0.995
Racked half into separate fermenters, homogenizing the 2 carboys. Added 1/4 tsp K-meta to each carboy and bottled. 08/21/2020
SG 0.995

Yield 51 bottles
Alcohol 15.6%
08/21/2020 The taste at bottling is great! It’s still green-ish and needs another 6 to 12 months aging in the bottle. That said … I’ll probably crack a bottle at Christmas.
05/19/2021 I am very pleased with this one. When I poured a glass, the color had deepened and the nose is fruity. The first taste is very fruit forward — but not the “fruitiness to the point it tastes sweet”. That faded into an oakiness that is still a bit rough. Totally drinkable now, but another 1 to 1.5 years will make a huge difference.
06/13/2022 A year later? The aroma is definitely Zin! If I think about it, the oak is a bit stronger than I prefer, but overall the oak blends well into the fruit and the ABV. I was concerned early on as the wine tasted hot — it no longer tastes hot, but anyone drinking it need to keep in mind that it’s 25% stronger than a typical 12% ABV table wine.