Just a quick update on the 2013 Pinot Noir. Yesterday I spent the morning racking off the lees (dead yeast). Started with 73.5 gallons and after racking ended up with 71.5 gallons, enough for 30 cases. The only thing left to do before bottling in 6-9 months is sulfur to prevent spoilage, taste and make any small adjustments for acidity. How does it taste? Wonderful for its age! It has transitioned from fermented grape juice to young wine.
For those unfamiliar with the term, racking is the process of separating the liquid on the top from the solids on the bottom. You do this for several reasons; you want to end up with clear wine so you rack to get rid of the sediment, you need to get rid of the dead yeast because if you leave it to long it might give you a funky smell/taste. However, for Pinot Noir, you don’t want to rack it to much as this variety does not liked to be handled. Last year I racked the wine 3 times before bottling and this year I’m hoping that the day after pressing and this racking will be sufficient.
Our 2013 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are enjoying the cold temperatures here at Turtle Vines. Not like the rest of the country, but cold enough for wine!
A lot of people ask…”What do you do in the winter?” Well, you need to rack off the dead yeast (lees), check pH and acidity, determine if secondary fermentation is complete, sulfur the wine so it does not go bad…and of course taste the wine and make sure something “funky” is not going on while you weren’t watching. Right now we don’t have all the equipment for testing, so we are sending it to a lab…here are the results and the actions we took.
By the way, did a blind tasting of our 2013 Sauvignon Blanc vs 2011 Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc and even as ours is only 3 months old 3 of 4 people preferred it!
Alcohol – 12.7%
TA – .375 … sulfured to 0.6 g/100ml
pH – 4.1 … will come down to around 3.9 after acid addition
Sulfured to 60ppm
Alcohol – 13.9%
TA – 0.465 … adjusted to 0.55 g/100ml
pH – 3.95 … will come down to around 3.85 after acid addition
Sulfured to 75ppm
What you see is our 2013 Sauvignon Blanc just after we have leafed it on Aug 2, 2013. I hope you can tell from the picture that we can see through all 4 of the rows. In order to remove some of the grassiness you need to remove most of the leaves. Should be a great crop this year!
But the real news…I took our 2012 Pinot Noir in for analysis to see what the alcohol content was and if I’m sulfuring correctly.
13% alcohol – 0.565 conversion from our 23% sugar content at harvest, about typical.
pH 3.88 – Very high, so just need a little extra sulfur
VA(volatile acidity) 0.65% – the lower the better, but below 0.7 is OK. You can taste the bad stuff above 0.6%
Molecular sulfur 0.42 mg/l – this should be 0.5 mg/l, so I have to add some this next week. This is what keeps the wine from spoiling.
Free sulfur 50 mg/l – this should be 60-70 mg/l to reach 0.5 mg/l molecular sulfur.
TA(titratable acidity) 5.5 g/l – perfect…this is acid content and between 5-7 is great.
All in all, I’m happy with the results and it tastes very good. In fact, I’ll probably serve it at my nephew’s wedding in a month straight out of the barrel!