Pressing the Zinfandel went well. We now have close to 450 gallons of nice wine that will be ready in a year and a half. We will rack it 2-3 times to remove the sediment and put it into barrels soon. We did some barrel tasting during a break in pressing. Yum! The wine certainly improves in the barrel. Our wines in the barrel from 2010 will be bottled in March 2012.
Looks like we will be crushing the Sangiovese on Monday, Nov 7th, and the Malbec on Nov 8th. I will be adding yeast and doing the chemistries on the following couple of days. These will be the final grapes to crush. What a year! We have never had to wait so long for the grapes to ripen, but so far so good. The flavors are great. It will be interesting to see what the final brix will be on these last 2 grape crushes. We have waited this long because both were at a brix of about 23.4, which is lower than we usually pick. However, we can't wait any longer with the cool weather and possibility of rain. Both of these varietals usually "brix up" overnight (meaning brix increases 1-2 degrees) , so we expect the wine to be fine.
I was out sampling grapes yesterday. What a beautiful time of year. As I go from vineyard to vineyard, the roads take me into the back country that few see and I only see once a year during crush. I have a great job. It looks like the Sangiovese and Grenache have a while to go. We will probably crush the Syrah next week. I will sample it again on Friiday
I sampled the Grenache from Vallecito Estates today. The brix was 24.2, Total Acidity 7.05 and pH 3.23. It looks like Thursday, Sept. 22nd is a go if Steve Collum can get the pickers. This wine is for the rosato so we will have to sort grapes, crush and press on the same day, which is a pretty daunting task. I also sampled the Syrah and Malbec from Canterbury Vineyards. The Syrah is a couple of weeks away and the Malbec more than that. I'll keep you informed.
Chrissy Cooper thought the Barbera and Zin from Dick Cooper's vineyards won't be ready until the end of October. The Brix is very low and the acids are high. This is very typical for Barbera and grapes from Amador County this time of the year. What is nice is that it spreads the crush out over a few weeks and gives us some breathing room.
As of now, I have sampled Syrah (brix 21) and Malbec (brix 17) from Canterbury Vineyards and the brix and acids are about where they were at this time last year. I think this means that we won't have an exceptionally late harvest but the grapes should ripen in the end of Sept and during October. So still a bit later than what we would think to be usual. The late summer warmth has speeded up ripening so I doubt we will have to worry about the temperatures dropping to a point where we won't get the flavors we want. Thus all is well. We will not be leaving for Europe or SoAM, so no worries if crush lasts a little longer. I will be sampling the Syrah and other grapes in a couple of week and can give you more info then. Talk to you soon.