Yesterday (October 27, 2013) I racked this year's Sangiovese rosé off the gross lees. Moving it from a mostly full 5-gallon carboy to a new 5-gallon carboy, which I then topped off with a couple of bottles of last year's wine. I didn't sulfite the wine as it seems to be still fermenting a little--although not very much. Still, I thought it best to let it go a little longer. Yesterday was day 21 of fermentation, which is on the long side, but I want to be sure it's gone completely dry before sulfiting the wine and cold stabilizing it. Cold stabilization amounts to leaving it out in the cold for a few days. That usually causes a layer of tartaric acid crystals to form over the fine lees that will have settled to the bottom of the carboy, making the final racking very easy with the lees trapped under the tartaric acid crystals. The first photo here shows the murky wine before racking, full of carbon dioxide and yeast. That soupy raspberry colored liquid will be crystal clear in a few weeks through the action of gravity and time. The photo below shows the gross lees left behind after racking.
So far, the wine looks, smells, and tastes good. I think it will be tasty this year. Five gallons will make 25 bottles--a little more than usual because the vines set a lot of fruit. If all goes well, there should be some new rosé ready at Thanksgiving--or by Christmas at the latest.
Meanwhile, the Cabernet continues to ferment in the living room, but it will soon be dry and ready for the addition of malolactic bacteria to begin malolactic fermentation.