2023 Sangiovese

October 2023

Fall 2022 I got the brilliant idea of adding the pomace from my grape wines to a couple of kits. So I purchased two Finer Wine Kits Tavola Merlot kits and reconstituted them. To one kit we added the pomace from 8 lugs of Grenache, and to the other the pomace from 8 lugs of Tempranillo. These wines were bottled last August, and proved to be a success.

This fall we are trying something slightly different — instead of kits, we purchased two 23 liter Sangiovese juice buckets. The plan is to divide the pomace from this year’s CA grapes — 8 lugs Cabernet Sauvignon, 8 lugs Cabernet Franc, and 4 lugs Merl0t — and add a juice bucket to each.

Here’s a bit of background for readers who are not experienced winemakers:

Juice Bucket — vendors sell 23 liter (6 US gallon) bucket of grape juice for winemaking. For red grapes the juice is not as robust as fermenting with the skins and pulp, so it’s common to add things to the juice, including raisins, Zante currants, and dried grape skin packs, to add body.

Lug — typically 36 pounds (16.3 kg) of grapes.

Pomace — the solids produced after pressing the wine from grapes.

Wine Kit — a complete package including a bag of grape juice + concentrate, yeast, and other additives to make wine. Typically these reconstitute (add water to the juice + concentrate) to make 23 liters of juice, which is fermented.

Last year 23 liters of kit wine in the pomace of 8 lugs was pretty thick, hard to stir. This year we will have 23 liters of juice in 10 lug worth of pomace. This will be a chore to stir.

But … we will get  wine and flavor from the pomace.


Ingredients

Fruit 2 Sangiovese juice buckets, 23 liters each
pomace from 8 lugs Cabernet Sauvignon, 8 lugs Cabernet Franc, 4 lugs Merlot
Nutrient 10 tsp Fermax
6 tsp YAN
Acid
Fermentation Oak American oak chips present in pomace
Sulfite as needed
Yeast Renaissance Avante and Renaissance Bravo present in pomace
Aging Oak
Glycerin
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Method

Received the buckets at the same time as the grapes. Put buckets in 20 gallon Brutes and added 3 bags of ice to each.

Need to add ice every day.

Update: I later contacted Gino Pinto and the SG of the Sangiovese buckets was between 21 and 22 brix, so I used an average as the starting point.

10/28/2023
SG 1.090
One bucket was obviously fermenting. Unsealed the bucket, adding 2 tsp YAN and 2 tsp Bravo to that bucket to ensure the yeast I want is dominate. 10/31/2023
SG —
Smelled H2S from the second bucket, so unsealed and stirred. Added 4 tsp YAN, 2 tsp Bravo, and 1/4 tsp K-meta.

The other bucket at 1.055, so added 2 additional tsp YAN and 1/4 tsp K-meta to prevent H2S. Put both buckets outside for 4 hours as temperature was 32 F.

11/02/2023
SG 1.060
Medium pressed the grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot). The Merlot and CS were at 1.004, and the CF at 0.995, overall, fermentation not complete.

Divided the pomace between two 32 gallon Brutes, and poured a bucket into each. In the rush, I failed to record the SG of either bucket.

11/05/2023
SG —
Pressed the Sangiovese, grossing nearly 24 gallons. pH is 3.46 and SG at 0.995. 11/12/2023
SG 0.995
Racked the small carboy. 12/03/2023
SG 0.995
Pumped the wine from the demijohn into buckets for transport to my son’s house, along with wine from smaller containers. The demijohn had surprisingly little sediment, just a 1/4″ layer. Added 1/4 tsp K-meta to each bucket.

Barrel had 1 gallon K-meta solution in it. Drained it a couple of days ago and filled with 1 lb Barrel Oxyfresh and water. Drained for transport to my son’s house.

Added an additional 1/4 tsp K-meta to the barrel and filled it. We were short about 6 oz, so my son opened a 2021 Carmenere and we topped using it.

12/19/2023
SG 0.995
. xx/xx/2024
SG —
. xx/xx/2024
SG —
. xx/xx/2024
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. xx/xx/2024
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Notes

Yield ?? bottles
Alcohol ??.?% ABV
12/10/2023 Doing preliminary ABV calculations, the Sangiovese calculates as 12.90% ABV, and the CF, CS, and Merlot are 13.70%, 14.50%, and 14.70%, respectively. Since the pomace is a 2:2:1 ratio, the average ABV is 14.22%. The raw wine was just under 24 US gallons, so I took an average, which is 13.56%.

A lot of my main wines are well over 14% ABV — I’m happy to have some where it’s under. There is a noticeable difference after drinking a few glasses.

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