Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Here it is the middle of June and my Marquette vines are seriously kicking butt this year.  We had some rain during flowering, which is never good, but I would say that only 1/3 of the vines show clusters significantly affected by the rain.  The result are clusters with vastly different sized grapes on them.  The unaffected clusters all have similarly-sized (and generally larger) grapes.  But the big news is lots of clusters on lots of vines!

There might be more clusters than the vines can ripen.  We'll have to see about that as the summer goes on.  I'm mostly pretty pleased with the growth so far and I am hoping I can get 100 pounds to make a decent batch of wine.

In other news, I drove down to M&M wine today and picked up my Chilean pinot noir, which is a month late compared with last year.  They had a very late harvest and mine was on the last ship.  It actually looked darned good.  I'll get some measurements in the morning on the must once it has had a chance to warm this evening.  I destemmed and crushed it this afternoon, and threw in some Lallzyme to aid with extraction.  I'm going to experiment this time with fewer punchdowns and a cooler ferment to attempt to preserve aromatics and fruit.  Previously, I have been using the Burgundian technique of a single extreme temperature spike to aid in extraction and I really think I'm losing aromatics when I do that.  I'm hoping to replace that action with enzymatically-assisted extraction instead.

My 2011 fall "Bordeaux" (which I'm calling Meritage to be politically correct) is in my barrel and tasting pretty good.  It has a Syrah-like spice/pepper twang to it that is really cool.  I will likely bottle it in the fall when this Chilean pinot noir is ready to be barreled.  If you are really nice, you might get a bottle for Christmas.


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