Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wines I'm Making: 2010 Cabernet, Sangiovese Rosé (October 21)

The 2010 wines are coming along nicely. As of today, the Cabernet Sauvignon has been fermenting for six days (the grapes were picked on the 12th), following a three-day pre-soak--so nine days on the skins so far (above). The fermentation is slowing now. The must--by now it's properly called wine, I suppose--is no longer very sweet and the alcohol is apparent. I'll test it tomorrow. If the specific gravity is low enough, I'll probably press. The wine is a deep purple-black. It continues to smell wonderful. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to steal a real taste during pressing--far too early, of course, to know what the wine will finally taste like, but its general quality should be apparent.

The Sangiovese has been fermenting for four days now. If it goes at the pace of last year, it'll bubble slowly for another week or so (second photo). I'm hoping this year's rosé will be as good as last year's.

I never know what to do with the pressed skins. it seems such a waste to throw them out. Clearly a lot of pulp and juice remains. I thought I'd try to make another second-pressing wine. I soaked the leftover Sangiovese skins for two days in a small volume of water, pressed the "juice" that resulted (surprisingly, it measured 11 Brix, having been at 6 Brix initially) and then added sugar and yeast to see if a second pressing works better with rosé than with red wine (last year's Cabernet experiment was not very encouraging--but it's all interesting). Because of the soak, the second pressing (bottom photo) is much more deeply colored than the real rosé. We'll see what it tastes like. All three containers are fermenting in the garage while the cabernet sits in primary fermenters near the front door. It's supposed to rain tomorrow. I may have to press the Cabernet in the garage--a true garage wine.

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