Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wines I'm Making: 2010 Cabernet Bottled/2011 Cabernet Pressed

Yesterday (November 7) I put capsules and labels on the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc wine I bottled yesterday. The day before, I pressed the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc and transferred it to glass carboys. Yesterday, Monday, I inoculated the new wine with malolactic bacteria to start the malolactic fermentation. Malolactic fermentation converts malic to lactic acid, a routine procedure in making red wines. Malolactic fermentation is a bacterial fermentation that requires a little more warmth than the yeast-based primary fermentation. So, the carboys are wrapped in blankets in the living room with a small electric blanket between them to keep the temperature up. Malolactic fermentation is somewhat mysterious. It can take anywhere from three weeks to two months and it doesn't always show outward signs. The only way to really know what's going on is to do a paper chromatography test that shows the levels of tartaric, malic, and lactic acid in the wine. Sometimes tiny bubbles form at the top of the wine, indicating that some sort of activity is going on, but not always. I tend to take it on faith that the process is under way, but I'll be looking for signs the next couple of days.

The Sangiovese rosé fermentation is just about finished. I'll need to rack that wine off the gross lees soon--probably tomorrow. The wine is beginning to clear. Less carbon dioxide production means the suspended material is beginning to fall out of the wine. I think we'll end up with a very pretty pink. The harvest was so late this year, though, that I don't think the wine will be ready by Thanksgiving, as it usually is. We'll have some for Christmas though.

The 2010 Cabernet is finished now. I put the back labels on today. I'm pleased with the labels I designed for both the front and rear of the bottle. I decided red capsules would look best with the deep red of the front label. The capsules are on. The wine is ready to drink. The samples I tried while bottling and with dinner after bottling was done suggest the wine is good despite the cool summer last year. It seems a little soft compared with other years, which suggests it may not age as well as other vintages, but only time will tell.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails