Tuesday, October 23, 2012
A storm blew in on the evening of the 22nd and gave us 1.15 inches of precipitation, the first rain we've had in the current rain year (the rain year begins on July 1 and ends on the following June 30). It rained again on the evening of the 23rd, adding another 0.05 inches, and then we got an additional 0.20 inches on the 24th. for a total of 1.4 inches so far. Normal annual rainfall in Santa Rosa is 36.28 inches.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Rather pale for a Viognier. A pale straw color. Not especially forthcoming on the nose, which immediately seemed suspicious given that Viognier is usually a very expressive grape. Most Vioginer wines are distinctively scented and even a small addition of Viognier to a blend often makes it smell like Viognier. This wine didn't really smell like much of anything at all. Sweet on the palate and with some presence--suggesting substantial alcohol--but not a lot of flavor. Some hints of honey, perhaps, or even honeysuckle (or is it beeswax?), but not a lot more. Fairly long finish, but not very distinctively flavored. Not faulty or in any way unpleasant, but seems rather one-dimensional. Oddly bland while at the same time being rather easy to drink. Hmmm..... I let the wine warm up quite a lot and tasted it again and it seemed to have gained some apple pie flavors, but still not compelling. Not a bad deal at only $5.99 at Grocery Outlet, but I don't think I'd buy this again.
(I have no financial connection with any producer or retailer of wine.)
The crushed, de-stemmed grapes yielded 11 gallons of must. I lightly sulfited the must to 53ppm (nine Campden tablets in the 11 gallons of must) and will let it sit for a few days before inoculating with yeast to start fermentation. The must tested at 25.0 Brix and a pH of 3.54. pH squared times Brix was 313. The specific gravity measured 1.108 by hydrometer at about 70 degrees F.
Meanwhile, the rosé from our Sangiovese grapes is ready to be racked off the gross lees. Today is the 15th day of fermentation, and the activity has slowed greatly. I will test with the hydrometer. If it looks completely dry, I will very lightly sulfite the new wine. In about two or three weeks it will be ready for another racking and should by then be mostly clear. Usually the rosé is ready by Thanksgiving.