2021 Super Tuscan
Eric & I intended to make an Italian blend using 4 lugs of Sangiovese and 1 lug each of different Italian varietals that are not normally blended. It was intended to be an experiment.
When our plans fell through, Plan B was to purchase 3 Super Tuscan kits from Finer Wine Kits, which arrived today.
Their blend is normally Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot (common for Super Tuscan blends). However, their supplier was unable to get Sangiovese (others reported the same problem, no idea why), so they substituted a blend of Grenache and Syrah to reproduce the character of the Sangiovese. So the “Super Tuscan” is all French grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are from Bordeaux, while Grenache and Syrah are from Rhone.
I have confidence that the folks at Finer Wine Kits and their supplier has done a good job of reproducing, as much as feasible, the character of Sangiovese, and that we’ll get the wine we expect from this.
One of the people on WineMakingTalk (Kraffty) is a photographer who posts interesting pictures. This one was a time-elapsed picture of stars, which I really liked. I asked his permission to use it, and performed a lot of experiments.
Unfortunately, his high quality photograph is dumbed down (resolution is lowered) by every label making program I tried, so it doesn’t capture the beauty of his original. However, the result is still acceptable.
This one also got a name — I’m NOT good at making up names, but this one popped from the photo, not the wine.
Note: The “fined” version of the wine has the word “fined” in between the dates and the ABV. It provides an indication without being obtrusive.
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.
|Fruit||3x Finer Wine Kits Forte Super Tuscan|
|Yeast||3 tsp Avante — the kit included 3x Lalvin Bourgovin RC 212, but we chose to go with the Avante.|
|Nutrients||3x Nutrient packet A (must)
3x Nutrient packet B (yeast starter)
3x Nutrient packet C (must)
|Maceration 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 & Seeds||6x grape skin packs AND 3x seed packs|
|Muslin Bags||6x bags (for grape skins)|
|Fermentation Oak||3x 1.5 oz packet toasted oak chips|
|Aging Oak||3x 1.5 packet toasted oak cubes|
|Fining Agents||kieselsol & chitosan (kits included 3, but I used only one as a test on 1 carboy of wine)|
|Glycerin||8 oz + 4 oz|
|Prepared the yeast starter by putting 3 tsp Avante and all 3 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.
Added Scottzyme ColoPro enzyme. Poured the concentrates into the fermenter; all were thick and partially frozen. Rinsed each bag 4 times using a gallon of water each. Added a total of 13.2 gallons of water to the must.
Added wine nutrient packet #A, grape seeds, and fermentation oak. Stirred well using a drill-mounted stirring rod.
Prepared the skin packs — each was dumped into a separate muslin bag, which was tied and dunked in the must. Punched them down so they are well soaked. Covered the fermenter with a towel.
Didn’t bother checking the must temperature — given the state of the concentrate bags, it’s way too cold, but should warm up by tomorrow afternoon. Checked the SG, but there was a lot of foam so didn’t look carefully at it — it appeared to be around 1.100, which is fine.
|Inoculated by pouring the starter down the side of the fermenter to spread it as little as possible.
I didn’t check temperature before inoculating — I checked after inoculation — the room was 67.4 F while the must was 62.8 F. In hindsight I probably should have let the must warm up more, but I have a lot more Avante if this one doesn’t start.
|The fermentation was really fast, down to 1.030 yesterday afternoon. I was supposed to add Nutrient Packet C then, but forgot. So I added it this morning.||11/22/2021
|SG was 1.000 yesterday morning, but we waited until today to rack. Then pressed the skin packs, producing just a bit less than 1.5 liters. The wine is now in a 54 liter demijohn and a 19 liter carboy.||11/24/2021
|Racked, adding 1 tsp K-meta. Like with the Rhone blend, the lees was fine lees (yeast hulls). I expected a lot more sediment, which is why I did not rack before now.
Moved the wine into the barrel.
|Topped the barrel with 2.25 bottles.||07/16/2022
|Topped barrel with 1.25 bottles. Added 1 tsp K-meta.||08/14/2022
|Racked the barrel and homogenized with 2+ other gallons (unoaked wine).
Drained dregs of barrel and small containers into 19 liter carboy. Added 1/4 tsp K-meta, kieselsol, and chitosan. Filled carboy from homogenized wine. This will set for 2 to 4 weeks, then will be racked and bottled.
Added 1/2 tsp K-meta and 8 oz glycerin to the homogenized wine. Bottled.
|Racked the wine and added 1/4 tsp K-meta. Reserved 3 bottles for making Port, and added 4 oz glycerin to the remainder. Bottled.||11/27/2022
|Yield||55 bottles unfined wine
22 bottles fined wine + 3 bottles reserved for making Port.
|As with the Rhone, the fined wine had a bit more sediment than I expected. The wine tastes good, and will be compared against the unfined in April or May.|