Monday, September 18, 2006

harvest experiment: minerality & ripeness

I worked it out with a vineyard manager I know this year to harvest 2-rows of a block of Chardonnay in Sonoma County "early" at about 22°Brix, and hold an additional 2-rows until 25°Brix.

The two lots of grapes will be fermented and aged separately, using the same yeast, stainless tank fermented, then each split in half early after primary fermentation, with half of each lot allowed to go through ML fermentation, while the other half will be sulfitted to keep it from going through ML. This will give me 4 wines - early pick, no ML; early, ML completed; later pick, no ML; later, ML completed....

After all is said and done, I plan to have 6~8 people taste them blindly interspersed with other Chards, and use their notes to draw some rough conclusions re minerality and acid levels. I think it will confirm my earlier position of ripeness (less acid due to more metabolism of acids in the fruit with greater ripeness) being the overall determinant in minerality within the same climate. Comparisons between different areas could then be extrapolated to the overall climate & ripeness produced of the crop.

I'll provide lab results of the fruit coming in from the vineyards for each pick, and analysis of the resulting 4 lots as well.
Results to follow...but not until a few months from now...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should get the 6-8 people stoned before the tasting. Now that's minerality!

September 18, 2006 11:28 PM  
Blogger caveman said...

can i come to the tasting?

September 24, 2006 4:25 AM  
Blogger St. Vini said...

Not likely Bill, it'd be a bit of a drive for you!

September 27, 2006 6:51 AM  

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