Friday, November 5, 2010
Wines I'm Making: A Busy Time of Year (2010)
The turbid, fermenting rosé was beginning to clear as the action of the yeast slowed, and the wine tasted dry, so I thought it best to limit oxygen exposure by racking the wines into a single big container. I sulfited lightly (four Campden tablets in six gallons plus three fifths, or about 40ppm). Sulfite is supposed to kill any yeast still alive, but I suspect it wasn't enough because the wine continues to send up streams of fine bubbles, and the airlock is still percolating. That's just as well. The new rosé is now protected from oxidation at least to some extent by the sulfites and the lack of air space in the new container, and any ongoing fermentation will make the wine completely dry, the way I like it.
The 2010 Cab is still in the front room undergoing malolactic fermentation. Soon that will be done. It's been 11 days since the wine was inoculated. Activity appears to have slowed, but malolactic fermentations can be hard to judge. I will have to test it. I have every reason to hope the 2010 wine will be better even than the wine just bottled--the vines are a year older, I know what I'm doing now, the vines didn't suffer from mold or critter attacks (raccoons) because I've got the sulfur spraying, netting, summer trimming, and electric fence down to a routine now. As long as the weather cooperates. This year, we made good wine despite difficult weather. Should be ready for anything now--except the unexpected.