Wednesday, December 14, 2011

First Vintage

We have just bottled the first vintage from the experimental vineyard.  The wine is a rose' or blush as some say, and is a blend of Leon Millot and Ravat 34.  We had enough Leon Millot to make a small batch of wine but the Ravat quality was mixed due to the difficult growing conditions this year (drought) and that I over cropped these vines this year.  See this years growing season.

The Leon Millot had 18brix, 3.0 ph and 11.0 g/l acid.  The Ravat was mixed and in the end I sorted out the best clusters and tossed alot of it (the very under-ripe).  It had must brix of 15, 2.8 ph and 16 g/l acid.  These were blended approximately at 33% Leon Millot to 66% Ravat pre-fermentation.  Collectively the must tested at brix of 15.5, ph of 2.9, 15g/l acid. 

The grapes were collectively crushed, sulphited with 30mg % potasium MBS, and cold soked overnight.  Juice was siphoned off and the grape skins pressed the next day, chaptilized to 18.5 brix and inoculated with K1-V116 and fermented at 20c till dry - about 2 week.  Then the wine was racked off lees, additional 25mg % sulphite added and cold stabilized for 3 weeks at 0 to -2 c witch precipitated some tartatic acid crystals on the bottom of the carboy.

The wine was then racked and sulphited with 25mg % and sorbate added and stirred in.  The wine was sweetened with 22g/l sugar dissolved in a small amount of the wine then it was added back to the carboy and stirred in.

The wine was bottled and sampled and can be described as salmon pink in color with orange hues not unlike vivid padparascha sapphire.  It has approximately 10% alcohol, 2.9 ph and 1.3 g/l acid.  The aroma is primarily strawberry and a slighter aroma of honeydew melon.  The flavour is that of slightly under-ripe strawberry (tart strawberry), plum and very slight but sweet gooseberry.  The wine is too be drank young and the sugar-acid balance is quite appealing however next time given the same parameters I'd add a little less sugar - perhaps 15-17 grams per litre.  While the sweetness brings forward the fruit flavour at 22g/l the sweetness slightly overpowers.

Given the condition of the Ravat, I am quite happy with this first turn out.  This blend is very nice and over all the wine is quite appealing.  One thing about the Ravat that I have noticed over the past 3 years is that even at 14-15 brix it develops varietal flavours so while this year it was not completely ripe, this did not harm the blend that much.  Secondly, the Leon Millot really showed its value in its' fruity aroma and taste characteristic.  These come through and compliment nicely despite being only 33% of the blend.  We also had some fun making up the labels.