2022 Merlot / Grenache

October 2022

We are trying 2 experiments of the same type this fall. Our main batches are 8 lugs each Grenache and Tempranillo. We took the pomace from each and added to it a Finer Wine Kits Tavola Merlot kit. The intention is to see how much the pomace affects the Merlot, and how different the two resulting wines are from each other

Fruit Finer Wine Kits Tavola Merlot kit
pomace from 8 lugs (288 lbs) Grenache
Nutrient  7 tsp Fermax, split
Yeast Lalvin RC-212 and Renaissance Avante that is in pomace
Fermentation Oak oak remaining in pomace
Fining Agents kieselsol and chitosan (from kit)
Aging Oak 1 oz medium toast Hungarian oak cubes
K-meta as needed
Glycerin 7 oz

Reconstituted the kit to 23 liters. We decided to completely skip the additives in the kit, as the addition of Grenache pomace changes the situation so much.

The Grenache had 8 cups of medium toast American shredded oak and 3 tsp ScottZyme ColorPro added, so we added nothing other than 5 tsp Fermax.

The pomace from 288 lbs of grapes in a LOT, and 6 gallons of must didn’t break it up much. Stirring this will be an effort. Added no yeast as the pomace is full of yeast.

The SG listed is the SG of the kit before mixing. When calculating the ABV, we’ll use that to calculate the expected ABV of the Merlot kit, and average that with the ABV of the Grenache. The result should be accurate enough.

SG 1.100
Fermentation took off immediately — I could smell fresh fermentation within 3 hours of the original mixing (10/16). Stirring is VERY difficult as the must is so thick. I do my best to punch it down. I haven’t tried to take an SG reading.

Added 2 tsp Fermax.

SG —
Both of the kit/pomace wines fermented FAST. They were done by Thursday night, so we pressed on Friday.

Used my new pH meter and got 3.47, which is very satisfactory.

Added kieselsol and chitosan.

SG 0.998
Racked and homogenized the containers. Added 1/2 tsp K-meta. Racked back into 23 liter carboy plus smaller containers. Added 1 oz oak cube to the 23 liter carboy. 11/05/2022
SG 0.998
Realized I haven’t added K-meta recently, so added 1/4 tsp to the carboy. Made solution of 6 Tbsp water with 1/4 tsp K-meta, and added 1 Tbsp to each 4 liter jug. 04/07/2023
SG 0.995
Racked and homogenized carboy and jugs. Added heaping 1/4 tsp K-meta and 7 oz glycerin. Bottled. 08/10/2023
SG 0.995

Yield 42 bottles
Alcohol  14.3%
08/10/2023 In the past I wasn’t that impressed with this wine, but at bottling, I’m pleased. Interestingly enough, the Grenache flavor is predominant.
03/23/2024 As usual, I poured 2 glasses:

Unaerated: Not a lot of nose. Color resembles a typical Merlot. I can taste Grenache as dominant over the Merlot, which is a bit odd as this is a Merlot kit with Grenache pomace. Unfortunately, it’s like the Merlot/Tempranillo in that the taste is kind of flat. Some fruit from the Grenache, but basically meh.

Aerated: Nose is more pronounced, but it’s generic as I cannot get a reading for what’s in the glass. Pleasant, but nothing special. However, the taste is bright and fruity, with strawberry tones. There’s enough acid to give it a perk, which lingers pleasantly. As with the Merlot/Tempranillo, there’s essentially no perceptible tannin. This is good, as the strawberry lingers. I breathed out after swallowing and got a bit of tannin on the tongue.

Yet another advertisement for aeration and/or breathing. This is not the type of wine I typically drink, but it’s a very nice change.

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