2021 Rhone Blend

November 2021 – Eric & I are plowing ahead with our plans to make a Rhone-style wine this fall. While we had intended to do it with fresh grapes, that didn’t work out. So … we are making as close to a Rhone blend as possible. This should be interesting.


Ingredients

Note: This batch of wine is made using 3 kits, so all ingredients are tripled, e.g., a Forte kit normally contains 2 grape skin packs, so 6 are listed below.

Kit Finer Wine Kits Forte Syrah
Finer Wine Kits Forte Petite Sirah
Finer Wine Kits Forte Merlot
Enzyme 3 tsp ScottZyme ColorPro enzyme (this is not included in the kit — I purchased it to use with fresh grapes, but am using it here since I have it)
Grape Skin 6x grape skin packs
Muslin Bags 6x bags (for grape skins)
Grape Seeds 3x seed packs
Nutrients 3x Nutrient packet A (must)
3x Nutrient packet B (yeast starter)
3x Nutrient packet C (must)
Fermentation Oak 3x 1.5 oz packet toasted oak chips
Fining Agents 3x kieselsol & chitosan
Aging Oak 3x 1.5 packet toasted oak cubes
Yeast 3x Lalvin Bourgovin RC 212
Finishing Pack 3x packs — these will be disposed of, as there is no need for sorbate in a dry wine

Method

Prepared the yeast starter by putting all 3 yeast and yeast starter nutrient pack B in a 1.5 liter wine bottle. Added 2 cups water and shook to mix. Placed a a towel over it to keep stuff out. This will be used tomorrow.

Poured the concentrates into the fermenter; the Merlot was partially frozen. Rinsed each bag 3 times using a gallon of water each. Added a total of 13.2 gallons of water to the must. I started stirring with a drill-mounted stirring rod after the 7th gallon while Eric poured. Given the amount of must and the thickness of the concentrate, this amount of stirring was required.

Added Scottzyme ColoPro enzyme. When I saw the skin packs, I was positive the enzyme will help with color extraction.

Prepared the skin packs — each was dumped into a separate muslin bag, which was tied and dunked in the must. The skins are very dry.

Added wine nutrient packet #A, grape seeds, and fermentation oak. Stirred again, ensuring the skin bags were well soaked.

The must temperature is 60.0 F. This should be ready to inoculate tomorrow. Checked the SG — 1.092. This within the indicated range (1.090 to 1.110), but is disappointing. If it doesn’t increase, we will chaptalize to 1.100.

11/13/2020
SG 1.092
Temperature of the must rose to 64.4 F, while the room is at 62.3 F. I was hoping for 66 F, but this should be close enough, and with the room that cold, the must temperature won’t go up.

Checked the SG — after resting all night, the SG is up to 1.101, which is the target I was  hoping for.

11/14/2021
SG 1.101
Racked the wine. Pressed the skin packs. Moved to three 19 liter carboys, a 3 gallon carboy, and a 1.5 liter bottle. 11/19/2021
SG 0.999
11/xx/2021
SG
11/xx/2021
SG
11/xx/2021
SG

Notes

Yield ? bottles
Alcohol ?%
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