2020 Zinfandel

October 2020

I like last year’s Old Vines Zinfandel from Lodi, CA, so I’m making it again.

I intended to bottle most as a varietal, but changed plans. This wine is going into the Meritage Plus blend. Yes, I know Zinfandel is not a Bordeaux grape … that’s the reason for the Plus.

This log tracks the fermentation and pressing of this wine. Post-fermentation I have 3 records to track:

Unoaked Zinfandel — I’m reserving 4 liters, which will remain unoaked, and bottled separately. This wine is for comparison purposes in future years, and will continue to be tracked in this log.

Meritage Plus – The second barrel contains everything else, and is roughly 40% Merlot, 20% Vinifera Blend, and 40% Merlot. This wine is tracked in a separate log.

Meritage — Free run Merlot and Vinifera Blend went in the other barrel.

Note: I’m using the name “Meritage”, which is copyright by the Meritage Alliance. This group was founded to create and protect a name for Bordeaux-style wines that does not violate French law regarding the use of the name “Bordeaux”. Commercial wineries pay a fee to the Alliance to use the name. I’m not commercial, my wines are not for sale, and will never be tasted by anyone other that family and friends, so I don’t feel bad about using the name. If I went commercial, I’d join the Alliance.

I bottled the the 1 gallon samples of the Merlot, Zinfandel, Vinifera Blend, unoaked Meritage, and unoaked Meritage Plus with a simple label:

Grape 144# Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi, CA
Enzyme 2 tsp Scottzyme Color Pro
Fermentation Oak 1 lb shredded American oak, medium toast
Yeast 2 packages Red Star Premier Rouge
Nutrient 12 tsp Fermax + 6 tsp Fermax
Sulfite potassium metabisulfite added at various points (see below)

Crushed & destemmed the grapes. Grapes at 52 F, have to warm up to 65 F before inoculation.

Added Scottzyme Color Pro for improved color extraction and 1 lb fermentation oak.

SG 1.090
Temperature rose to 67 F in the afternoon. Added 12 tsp Fermax and yeast. 10/11/2020
SG 1.090
Added 6 tsp Fermax. 10/14/2020
SG 1.058
The cap started to drop with fermentation ended, so I got little free run from this. Medium pressed the pomace.

I reserved 2 gallons, which will continue to be tracked in this log. The remainder is part of the Meritage Plus blend.

SG 0.996
Racked. I reduced this batch to a 4 liter jug and a1.5 liter wine bottle. The remainder is moved to the Meritage Plus blend. 11/20/2020
SG 0.995
Racked. I reduced this batch to a single 4 liter jug. The remainder is moved to the Meritage Plus blend. 02/25/2021
SG 0.995
Racked, added K-meta & glycerin, bottled. 09/28/2021
SG 0.995

Yield 5 bottles
Alcohol 12.9%
09/28/2021 As with the Merlot, this one is oddly tannic, while the Vinifera Blend is not. I’d expect the opposite.

1 Response

  1. February 25, 2024

    […] first section is an amalgamation of the starting of the 2020 Merlot, Vinifera Blend, and Zinfandel wines. 1 gallon of each of these wines is preserved separately so I’ll have 5 bottles of each […]