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The 2013 Wine Season Going Out with a Big Bang

2013 November 9

OK Get ready here we go….. Today the M&M Wine Grape Company delivers once again and for the last of the 2013 season. This time it is a half ton of Rutherford’s Siverado Six Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Needless to say… well…can we say?…. BStuffer? Yep. That won’t google I hope. And a very nice surprise which I did not expect. Instead of the Paso Robles Petite Verdot we were expecting we received the Atlas Peak Petite Verdot. This represents a first. The first time making Napa Petite Verdot. I am very excited about this surprise development.

Keep in mind personal matters required these two varietals to be crushed and frozen under the direction of Frank K of M&M otherwise know as Frankie Juice. Under his care these grapes were treated with So2 at the crush. Having them taken out of the deep freeze 3 days ago they arrived thawed with some slush at a temperature of 38 degrees. Both varietals dark as night and having the ability to stain your hands with simple contact foretells the future.

Like many grapes this year the numbers are not ideal and will require some adjustment. The samples were raised to 70 degrees for the following tests.

Siverado Six Cab Sav Brix 27.5 PH 3.98 TA ( are you ready for this?) .33
Atlas Peak Petite Verdot Brix 25 PH 3.96 TA .40

Expecting a TA Rise after fermentation and not really wanting one we are going to leave the acid alone. Yes we are not happy with the PH. That goes for both. We expect to adjust later.

We watered back, no acid , to 25 brix.

The yeast selection is still up in the air as we try to raise the temps in the winery with a heater to get these vats in the 60’s.

More to come …….

161 Responses leave one →
  1. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 10, 2013

    Dan wrote….

    Gene et. al. regarding the Silverado: let’s recap…
    I have mine defrosting at the moment. Gene, did you get yours today? I’m still in Putnam Valley so I haven’t done any tests..I’ll try to test tomorrow.
    I have the AP Merlot, and the Silverado Cab….

    My plan is to split both batches and do 1/2 of each with D80, and 254, and blending them.

    From what I read on the Llalemand site they are both “moderate’ speed fermenters, tolerate up to 16% alcohol, and have “medium” N requirements… any concerns here?

    Regarding the Silver, I’m getting conflicting ideas regarding acidulating or not acidulating the watering back. I’m thinking I’ll water it back and then monitor TA as it progresses.. I don’t want to turn it into lemonade like I did my Las Amigas Merlot last year. got fooled big time.

    Gene, what were your pre-and post ferment numbers with the AP Merlot? See more at:

  2. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 10, 2013

    We will get to all of this in the morning. On the 5th olive as we speak. BTW Nice job in the Locker Room dude!

  3. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 10, 2013

    Yeah a little tweak would get it in the zone, you ahve a little lower TA and higher pH but it may shift when well equilibrated A gram per gallon Total Must volume would be a good pre ferment start. Does it explode with flavor (if you find any mostly intact berries)? This Napa fruit really blows my mind!!

  4. tjn permalink
    November 10, 2013

    you always have to watch out with acid addition for the frozen stuff. fresh grapes 24 hours after crush I got 29B, TA 3.9, pH 3.9 for the cab. really thick stuff, watered back to 26.5 and adjusted the pH down to to 2.75. I’m assuming M&M got you their testing results as a guide for YAN?

  5. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 10, 2013

    I will ask for the YAN numbers on Monday. I believe they have them and I think Puppy had them and they were low. I am expecting that anyway.

  6. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 10, 2013

    To address some of Dan’s questions. I see no problem with the yeasts you pick but I don’t care for such small batches. I understand many Amateurs make small batches but Not only don’t I have experience with that it makes me uncomfortable. You have 3 lugs of Merlot and you want to split them. Let me assume some of that Merlot will end up in the Silverado Six Cab so if you use one yeast for it and another for the 5 lugs of Cab you will get the complexity you are looking for. But 4 batches for 8 lugs of grapes, nope not me. Keep’in it simple my advice.

    I did not add any acid because I really don’t trust the TA results when the grapes are this cold. Even though we heated the sample. So we got the brix down and we have a pretty crummy PH but a TA in the toilet. Which on the face of it is a blessing. As the grapes warm up and the plan is to build cultures on Monday Evening, the hope being we get this stuff in the high 50’s we will then retest and decide to add A BIT of tartaric.

    I cannot provide you with any post Atlas Peak Merlot Numbers. Mine is blended in a tank with Lake County Cab. Dave can give you numbers. The initial numbers were Brix 26
    Ph 3.61 TA .75

    Also I have decided to inoculate at 2 brix and build super cultures for the MLF

  7. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 10, 2013

    No, I had the Yan for AP Cab, but I think another post was for the YAN for Silverado, but it had nutrient issues I believe, according to Mr Wines post.

  8. Dave O'Brien permalink
    November 10, 2013

    I will run the numbers after everything is done with MLF.

    Racked the Malbec and Gamay today and tucked away for the winter. No off odors coming from the Malbec…

  9. MrWines permalink
    November 10, 2013

    For convenience, here is the info I got from m@m on the Silverado cab was as follows:

    Brix 28.04
    PH 3.74
    TA 4.46 g/l
    Ammonia 43 ppm
    N-OPA 56 ppm
    Total YAN 99 ppm

    I definitely had an H2S issue after about 24 hours with a small dap adjustment. No problem after further adjustment!

  10. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 10, 2013

    Thanks MrWines I do remember you mentioning you had low YAN numbers. And 99 is low for sure. Not that we have not discussed this before and not that we haven’t pulled our hair out with the Scott Lab’s Nutrient Chart trying to get a YANC up to 325 for a 25 Brix Must. Pretty hard to accomplish without DAP. I feel my pain. I wish I had a 3.74 PH I hope tomorrow ours will be lower as we prepare the Yeast Culture. At the moment I am leaning to using BDX for the Cab and D254 for the Petite Verdot. Since all of us use PV for topping, blending and rescue functions I think the Lallemand description “Lalvin ICV-D254 promises high fore-mouth volume, big mid-palate mouthfeel, intense fruit concentration, smooth tannins and a mildly spicy finish” is good enough reason to pick this yeast. Besides I have 2 bricks of the stuff.

  11. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 11, 2013

    Ok, Gene, I agree. I’ll do the Cab with one, and the AP Merlot with the other. One question I have regarding your post: you report pH 3.98 and TA .33, and say you expect a TA rise after fermentation, and don’t really want one, so you didn’t add acid.

    With a TA of .33, and a pH of 3.98, why would you not want a TA rise ?

  12. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 11, 2013

    I said,

    ” I did not add any acid because I really don’t trust the TA results when the grapes are this cold. Even though we heated the sample. So we got the brix down and we have a pretty crummy PH but a TA in the toilet. Which on the face of it is a blessing.”

    Yes I do hope in spite of past experience we do not have a rise in TA. If this is true this leaves lots of room to add Acid and drop PH without the TA getting in the range as you put it of Lemonade. Contrarily if the TA rises at the end of Fermentation and the PH stays more or less the same there is less opportunity and room to lower the PH and as a result thereby raising the TA by adding Acid without affecting taste. So at this point and at the end of fermentation the lower the TA remains the better it is because the PH sucks.

  13. Anatoli permalink
    November 11, 2013

    You’d be surprised by how much pH moves down as fermentation goes along. I got 4 different frozen must last week from Suisun and Washington, 3 out of 4 had pH 3.6-3.9. All lowered towards the end. I had to add acidulated water to lower Brix with 6g/L TA.

  14. tjn permalink
    November 11, 2013

    yep, the #s MrWine posted were the ones I got. Expect my actual YAN may be even worse with the higher Brix and pH. Dumped a fair amount of DAP and the standard FermK additions during the ferment and was able to keep H2S at bay until a Brix of 6 with BDX as yeast. May have to reach for the copper as it looks like a couple of splash racking has not gotten rid of all the H2S. Yield was less than 2 gals per lug. With all that said, the wine taste great for being 2 weeks young.

  15. MrWines permalink
    November 11, 2013

    I added about 350 ppm YAN, which may have been aggressive, but a miscalculation first started me off at adding only 100 which was clearly not enough, but I quickly recognized the problem.

    My final yield is about 9-9.5 gallons from about 15 gallons of must, which was from 4 lugs (144 pounds) and a few liters of dilution. it’s about what one would expect for the 60% yield in Cabernet, so I was pleased. I did have a tremendous amount of gross lees though, which was about 2 gallons (not included in my 9-9.5 numbers above. I even settled that for a second day and could not get any more off of it.

  16. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 11, 2013

    Gene, on the cab, what is your nutrient plan, given the YAN numbers?

  17. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 11, 2013

    I’ll give you my plan and you can tell me what you think…YAN is 99 (you’ll have to explain to me the significance of the breakdown between Ammonia and N-OPA),

    and I’ll shoot for 260 or so, so I’ll be adding about 160ppm

    10ppm from the GO-Ferm..leaving 150 needed, of that 150

    about 30% from Fermaid O =45ppm

    50% from Fermaid K = 75ppm

    and 20% from DAP = 30ppm

    I’ll put the O in when I pitch the yeast,

    first 1/2 of the K in at cap formation,
    2nd half of the K at 1/3.

    Having been warned of the prospect of a smelly ferment I’ll sniff carefully at punchdowns and SG tests, watch the temp carefully…probably add the DAP in smaller increments unless I need a temp boost…

    No DAP, No K once we are at 10Brix or less…only O after that…if needed for smellies.


    For the AP Merlot, I was just going to follow the same percentages, but shoot for an addition of 110ppm, assuming the YAN at 150…any warnings about the AP Merlot from those who have already fermented it?

  18. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 11, 2013

    looking at that, I am thinking I better check my supply of “O”…I may want to use less O up front so I don’t run out at the end if I’m needing more…

    I may go with something like
    15% O
    25% K
    60% DAP

  19. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 11, 2013

    Dan I hope you don’t think you are talking to yourself. I have been busy today and will try to post my plan tomorrow.

  20. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 11, 2013

    sometimes I’m all I have. Just keeping myself company…

  21. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 12, 2013

    LOL well Dan for the first year and a half at the beginning of this blog I thought the same thing. WE ARE HERE. trust me we are here for you.

  22. Dave O'Brien permalink
    November 12, 2013

    Potatoes and grapes yield the same wonderful libation…just add the olives. No Yan, ph, or TA…just add olives. A little ice, a few friends, a plan for the future, and some olives. The food wasn’t perfect, but the company was. While we toiled over yeast, added some water, and made the cultures, we planned for the future and solved some world problems. Thanks for a great night team… We can resume normal programing tomorrow!

  23. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 12, 2013

    Dan, sounds OK but really go big on the punch downs, as they are going to deal with any production you have by getting rid of it before it becomes permanent. Really as much as possible or necessary. Also you can spread out the additions of DAP over many smaller additions as this keeps the yeast from getting a rebound effect and giving off more H2S.

    Don’t worry about the AP Merlot much, as it did not give me any issues, and minimal nutrients were needed.

  24. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 12, 2013

    Thanks Puppy, that’s the plan..should be able to punch down and keep an eye on it 6-7 times a day. Pitched the yeast last night, and this AM we have a little action..

  25. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 12, 2013

    The achieving Scott Lab’s YAN content is nuts without large amounts of DAP. Just sayin. more on this later.

    Well Puppy is right! After sitting in a vat since Saturday the Silverado Six achieved a 3.87 PH all on its own down from 3.98 Temps still in the low 50’s As Dave said the Cultures were built and will be tempering in the vat this morning. Brix on the other hand remained a challenge. After lowering it to 25 from 27.5 It was up to 27 again last night. We reduced it to 25 again and truthfully that’s it. As we approach lag phase I will test PH again but this is how we ride with BDX.

    Out buying olives today. Jeez these guys really like olives.

  26. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 12, 2013

    I added enough water to get it down to 25, and this morning it was back up to 28. My first measurement I did with a refractometer, just to see if I was in the ballpark with previous reports.
    This morning I used the glass, but there are so many solids in there I’m sure it’s not right on the money either.
    I’m planning on watering back again, theoretically to 25…

    Gene, what about acid? Did you add any with all of that watering?

  27. Gene Fiorot permalink
    November 12, 2013

    The liquid in the must is almost like a thin syrup. I have never had to water back to this extent. Not a comfortable feeling.

  28. Gene Fiorot permalink
    November 12, 2013

    I have not added acid. And as I stated the ph dropped. It could still go further on its own. Who knows? But there will be ample time to adjust when an accurate Ta is available . Btw further proof distilled water does not raise ph that I like I have no idea what spring water would do. But I would guess it could change the ph maybe for the worse.

  29. tjn permalink
    November 12, 2013

    I watered back in two step to get me from 29B to 26B. Ended up adding ~15% water of the total quantity of wine I ended up with. I had a fair amount of raisens in the must, M&M crushed the grapes so I couldn’t pick them out, for me so the first addition of water barely moved the Brix downward. The second adjustment got me to where I expected to be. The wine doesn’t seem thin with all that water but I would have love to ferment the must as received and see what type of body that would have produced.

  30. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 12, 2013

    Even if it climbs to 26 or so you are in good shape. Not to worry about adding more H2o you should be concerned about the H2S only.Otherwise enjoy the ride!! I can smell the concentration fro m here. O nce you get to 16 Brix, that syrupy look is gone and it just looks dense, but not thick. You will love the density if it goes the same route as the AP Cab which it sounds like it is a carbon copy.

  31. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 12, 2013

    @tjn Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge comes to mind.

    So how does one raise the YANC 200 ppm? Me a Scott Labs follower have to say, based on their 2013 Fermentation Handbook page 32, they have gone bats. Why? Look at the PPM gain in YANC additions on Page 30 of the same handbook. What does that tell you. Only one thing as far as I am concerned. Well two things. 1. Double up on Fermaid O, I see no downside there. 2. Plan on using DAP in multiple additions as Puppy recommends but plan on using it. Period. Oh Shit who was the last guy who said Period? Right that asshole. Enough returning to Olives now……signing off for now

  32. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 13, 2013

    Things were pretty slow to get rolling yesterday, but this morning I have a nice cap on both the AP Merlot and the S6 Cab…Temp 75 F, The Merlot Brix is 21, so I expect to give it the 2nd dose of Fermaid K today…and it’s smelling delightful.

    The S6 is smelling just fine so far, but the above reports suggest that around 1/3 depletion it will start to smell. Brix this morning at 25, but who knows what that means? It started at somewhere between 26 and 30, but with the bouncing around?? Anyway, it’s definitely happening, and I’ll be punching it down several times today and sniffing like a hound. The heat is off, kept it unblanketed last night, just the sheet to keep the crap out…was worried about the run-away freight train getting away from me while I slept.

    @tjn, I’ve added water to just about 15% of the “expected” volume of juice. I have a cap, and have been slowly fermenting for over 24 hours, and I’m at 25Brix now! Curious.

  33. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 14, 2013

    Pitched Yeast yesterday morning. Temp was 60. I hope to see a little action this morning. I am worried about the room temp varying between 62 and 68. I am using the electric heater and hoping I don’t have to resort to the propane. The whites (juice) in the tanks are blowing water out of the Air Locks even at these temps and feeling warm. When I see that action over the hump I will wrap them and let the fermentation go dry under the heat they produced. Same goes for the vats. As soon as I see the temps of the vats higher than the room temp I am going to insulate them as well and try to hit 85.

  34. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 14, 2013

    Things progressing swimmingly well in Elmira. The AP Merlot has been bubbling along slowly and steadily, hit 12 Brix today. We are well into day 3, and temps have been steady in the 70s. Going to give it some heat to see if I can spike a fever into the 80s to take this one home. Smelling wonderful.

    The S6 just hit 19 tonight, and I gave it its 2nd dose of Fermaid K. I’ve been giving it 5 good punchdowns a day, and no trace of a foul smell yet. Temps steady in the 70s…my hope is to let it continue at this pace, and around 12 Brix, a bit of DAP and some heat and hopefully bring it to a feverish climax.
    I’m not going to co-innoculate. I’ll make a Marty Yule Superculture, and inoculate after I press off the gross lees.
    I’m going to contemplate my next course of action with a Manhattan.

    Gene, great idea having the Bachawhatever on a Sunday! I am fully expecting to be there.

  35. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 14, 2013

    Are you referring to the The Bacchanalia were Roman festivals of Bacchus, the Greco-Roman god of wine, freedom, intoxication and ecstasy. They were based on the Greek Dionysia and the Dionysian mysteries. They arrived in Rome c. 200 BC via the Greek colonies in southern Italy, and from Etruria, Rome’s northern neighbour. Like all mystery cults, the Bacchanalia were held in strict privacy, and initiates were bound to secrecy; what little is known of the cult and its rites derives from Greek and Roman literature, plays, statuary and paintings.[1]

    Livy, the principal Roman literary source on the early Bacchanalia, names Paculla Annia, a Campanian priestess of Bacchus, as the founder of a private, unofficial Bacchanalia cult in Rome, based at the grove of Stimula, where the western slope of the Aventine Hill descends to the Tiber. The Aventine was an ethnically mixed district, strongly identified with Rome’s plebeian class and the ingress of new and foreign cults.[2] The wine and fertility god Liber Pater (“The Free Father”), divine patron of plebeian rights, freedoms and augury, had a long-established official cult in the nearby temple he shared with Ceres and Libera.[3] Most Roman sources describe him as Rome’s equivalent to Dionysus and Bacchus, both of whom were sometimes titled eleutherios (liberator).[4]

    Livy’s account of the Bacchanalia has been described as “tendentious to say the least”.[5] He claims the earliest version as open to women only, and held on three days of the year, in daylight; while in nearby Etruria, north of Rome, a “Greek of humble origin, versed in sacrifices and soothsaying” had established a nocturnal version, added wine and feasting to the mix, and thus acquired an enthusiastic following of women and men;[6] Livy says that Paculla Annia corrupted the Rome’s Bacchic cult by introducing the Etruscan version, with five, always nocturnal cult meetings a month, open to all social classes, ages and sexes—starting with her own sons; the new celebrations and initiations featured wine-fueled violence and violent sexual promiscuity, in which the screams of the abused drowned by the din of drums and cymbals. Those who resisted or betrayed the cult were disposed of. Under cover of religion, priests and acolytes broke civil, moral and religious laws with impunity. Livy also claims that while the cult held particular appeal to those of uneducated and fickle mind (levitas animi), such as the young, plebeians, women and “men most like women”, most of the city’s population was involved, and even Rome’s highest class was not immune. An ex-initiate and prostitute named Hispala Faecenia, fearing the cult’s vengeance for her betrayal but more fearful for her young, upper class client and protegé, told all to the consul Postumius, who presented it to a shocked Roman senate. Once investigations were complete, the senate rewarded and protected informants, and suppressed the cult “throughout Italy”—or rather, forced its reformation. Seven thousand were arrested, and most were executed.[7][8]

    We the are the descendents of this secret society. Join us for the December 2013 Bacchanalia. Email me!!!! A day to remember.

  36. Gaetano permalink
    November 15, 2013

    Thanks for the history lesson, sounds a lot like the little parties that Caligula threw.
    How do we email you?


  37. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 15, 2013

    Email sent let the debauchery begin……AS the Atlas Peak Petite Verdot and Silverado Six begin to develop a cap. My of My let me say this. Don’t miss this Christmas Party. didn’t get an email? let me know here.

  38. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 15, 2013

    a link to a photo from the last Bacchanalia

  39. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 15, 2013

    Dan we do not divulge the secrets. But for sure the debauchery will occur. In spite of the detractors. Where ever they are……

  40. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 15, 2013

    Well, I might be able to deal with the “violent sexual promiscuity”, but I do hope that mine won’t be among the “screams of the abused drowned out by the din of drums and cymbals”…
    probably worth the risk if I get to taste Westchester’s finest wines.

  41. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 15, 2013

    The dark one 2nd from right, with the big ears, isn’t that Marty Mule?

  42. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 15, 2013

    Gee Puppy you must need glasses that’s Wineman 2008 heck you need a new eye doctor.

    Punched down this evening of day 3 Huge Cap , nice smell, still only 65 for the Cab. The PV is a bit hotter at 70 nice cap as well. I have to say if you need to make Petite Verdot the Atlas Peak fruit is amazing. There is some berry shot however. I would have loved to see these grapes before they were crushed. Hoping for mid 70s tomorrow. Room temp averaging 70 degrees today

  43. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 15, 2013

    all of this talk about debauchery has my grapes all hot and bothered. Huge cap on the Cab is right! Hit 12 Brix today, hit 80F after the 2nd dose of Fermaid K… smelling good. Based on the YAN numbers, I decided at 12B to give it a little nudge of DAP, since by tomorrow it will be below 10…If I didn’t know the YAN, I’d not do it…I think this will get us to the finish line with some heat and gusto. If not, I have plenty of “O”. It smells amazing.

    The AP Merlot is right on the money, B 5.5 tonight…smells great as well.

  44. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 16, 2013

    Good call Puppy.. that is Marty Mule…

  45. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 16, 2013

    I’m coming down the homestretch with the S6, and rethinking my decision to NOT co-inoculate.

    It seems it would be advantageous to get it started before maximum OH levels, yet I’m still concerned that those big OH numbers could get me stuck…and from what I read in the Scottslab Manual, co-inoculation +Stuck Ferment= Problems


  46. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 16, 2013

    Picking on Marty will get you nowhere. I agree Dan about MLF.

  47. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 16, 2013

    You are still planning on inoculating at 2 B? Any reason not to inoculate sooner? say, 5, or 10?

  48. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 16, 2013

    Yes 2 brix to get it in and established for the guys. I don’t think at 2 brix the bacteria has enough going for it to interfere with AF.

  49. Dave O'Brien permalink
    November 16, 2013

    Anyone else rack their Pinot Noir yet? Any comments?

  50. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 17, 2013

    Dave, I racked mine 48 hours after pressing. After the Malbec, I wasn’t taking any chances. I came home with 3 5 gallon carboys, and after racking I wound up with two 6s, and a 3….No clue how that worked out.

    Last I checked pH was 4.03…I did some tasting and pH trials, blending a bit with my ’12 Las Amigas Malbec, which came out at 3.3pH last year..I thought I’d bring the pH down a bit.

    I felt it pretty much overwhelmed the PN, so I dont think that’s the ticket. After I get through this fermentation of the Silver6 and AP Merlot, I’m going to do some bench trials with straight tartaric, and see if I can bring the pH down without overwhelming the PN.

    I also have some slightly lower pH Syrah, I may try, but that’s not going to move the pH much.

    are you noticing any problems with your PN?

  51. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 17, 2013

    I think you have a much greater chance of changing the taste profile with other varietals on the Pinot Noir than using Tartaric. I think you might change the mouth feel with the acid but not really alter the varietal profile or nose at all.

  52. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 17, 2013

    My Atlas Peak Merlot is at .3B, and the Siverado 6Cab is at 5…I checked pH

    The S6 is 3.68, and the Merlot is 3.27….WTF?? I didn’t add any acid to either one.

    Racked the Malbec off the Noblesse…so to recap the Malbec since pressing:

    Splash rack of the gross lees, Reduless, vacuum rack, ascorbic acid, .5ppm CuSO4, Noblesse, stir every few days for 2 weeks, rack of Noblesse,

    and it still smells nasty…I’ve got it sulfited, and another dose of Noblesse. I guess I’ll just leave it alone for 6 months. I’m not optimistic.

  53. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 17, 2013

    Hoping your PH readings are correct but I am not fully convinced when testing while still fermenting. You have to heat and degas the sample and then….

    Waiting to hear about Al’s Malbec he was also having problems. He attacked again with ascorbic and further CUSo4 A point about stirring every day. I think you, the Micro Manager, could be missing the point. The Noblesse is supposed to act like a fining agent. By stirring you are defeating the purpose. You are trying to let the Noblesse drop the copper to the bottom. Stirring puts everything back in suspension.

  54. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 17, 2013

    Something to keep in mind from an excellent winemaker some of you know…

    “The only time aeration (splash racking) is beneficial is during the production of H2S during the ferment. The longer the H2S appears after the ferment, the less effective aeration will be. Once the H2S has set in, aeration is a bad thing. The O2 will aid in the conversion of H2S to mercaptans and disulfides which are much harder to remove from the wine.”

  55. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 17, 2013

    Gene, regarding the stirring of the Noblesse, Zac suggested stirring it for a week, and then letting it settle for a week before racking.

    However, he also said “assuming no signs of H2S”, then proceed with the Noblesse as described above. THEN, after racking, add Noblesse again and let it sit for 6 months.

    I believe I was overly optimistic…I’m not sure what I’m smelling, but it ain’t good. I have a 6 gallon carboy, and 3 one gallon jugs, treated in the above manner. I may retreat one gallon and see if I can get rid of that damn smell.

    I’m getting a TA on the Pinot Noir right now….back in a moment…

  56. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 17, 2013

    I would let it settle for 2 weeks but Zac gave you good advice. And yes we are following that protocol as well. But I think you meant to say Reduless here instead “regarding the stirring of the Noblesse, Zac suggested stirring it for a week, and then letting it settle for a week before racking”. it’s the Noblesse I would let settle.

  57. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 17, 2013

    on the Pinot: pH=4.1 TA=.48

  58. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 17, 2013

    on the Pinot: pH=4.1 TA=.48

    on the Malbec: We are confusing each other…

    Here is a “cut and paste” of my first post (a few posts ago) on the subject of the Malbec:

    “Racked the Malbec off the Noblesse…so to recap the Malbec since pressing:
    Splash rack of the gross lees, Reduless, vacuum rack, ascorbic acid, .5ppm CuSO4, Noblesse, stir every few days for 2 weeks, rack of Noblesse,
    and it still smells nasty…I’ve got it sulfited, and another dose of Noblesse. I guess I’ll just leave it alone for 6 months. I’m not optimistic.”

    is that clear as mud now?

  59. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 17, 2013

    Nope have to wait until morning. Need I say w?h?y?

  60. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 17, 2013

    olives and cherries

  61. Gaetano permalink
    November 17, 2013

    Just out of curiosity, have you let another wine maker smell that wine to give you an outsiders view of it?
    I find myself being overly critical of my wine. I don’t doubt for a moment that it smells foul, but sometimes taking a step back and having “fresh eyes” look at it might be beneficial.


  62. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 17, 2013

    Good idea, Gaetano…and I have someone in mind. I’ll get back to you on that.

  63. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 18, 2013

    This may be the best advice yet given.

  64. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 18, 2013

    If it hasn’t cleared up by the tasting dinner/lunch I would be very interested in having a go at a small sample.

  65. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 18, 2013

    The important step is reacting what H2S is present with the copper . After that step, it is insoluble, and for the most part inert, although you want to get it out of the wine, as it is copper, insoluble or not. You want to remove the risk of accidental ingestion of the insoluble copper. As long as you let it settle, and remove it, you can do it any way you want. Stirring gives it a chance to be bound better with the compound used to treat, but it will settle out anyhow if given some time. As long as not overdosed with copper sulfate, all copper should react and then end up on the bottom of the carboy or tank.

  66. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 18, 2013

    thanks Puppy..If I understand you correctly, if indeed what I’m smelling is still H2S, (mercaptans or polymercaptans)and I treat it with yet more copper, and it responds favorably, I don’t have to worry about how much copper I used, as long as I don’t use more than needed, and as long as I get it out once it has settled.

  67. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 18, 2013

    To a point then the wine gets very bitter and I don’t think it gets better when you drop the copper out.

  68. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 18, 2013

    Any treatment alters the wine quality. It is a choice3 of the best of two evils. Ascorbic acid also takes a toll. At a point you need to let it go the way of ageing and see how that will play out, as you can’t kn ow until then. Also, you probably want to consume it sooner than full ageing as all the splashing racking, etc take a hit. I also think some of the funk may be the varietal Malbec from this region of chile. Mine all had mild issues of H2S but still had a base funk which I thinh is varietal. It blows off quickly and then the wine is good.

  69. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 18, 2013

    It’s a bitch because you don’t want to over treat for something that is going to self rectify, but if it IS H2S, not treating it makes it more difficult, if not impossible, to rectify later.

    I’ve wondered if what I am smelling is just the “varietal funk”…whatever it is, I don’t like it. I’ve never run across it in any commercial Malbec I’ve tried, but I’m not sure I’ve every had Chilean. Couldn’t find any Chilean the other day when I looked.

  70. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 18, 2013

    So today the Atlas Peak Petite Verdot was at 6 Brix from 12 yesterday and the Silverado Six was down from 20 yesterday to 15 brix. All smelling good the PV got some Yeast Cells and the Cab got the last dose of Fermaid K.

    Addressing the H2S issue. In past years if we has slight H2S instead of treating it we ignored it. Yes I know the Mercaptan Movie but we were not such experts of that either. So many times after the winter in the garage and/or 6 months in a Barrel the problem was gone. I once entered a favorite wine in a competition one judge commented he thought the wine had mercaptans. Maybe it did. I couldn’t tell. But I know rotten eggs when I smell it. In 2011 rain forced a late spray of Lanza Zinfandel and it developed a problem. There was no mistaking it. It wasn’t varietal funk. We treated it with ascorbic, reduless and opti red. Case Closed. This year the Malbec was even beyond the zin of 2011. This one had a real problem. All those with the wine so far with the exception of Dan and Al have reported the CuSo4 worked. It is a good idea to have a person not associated with the wine to taste it. Look Rotten Eggs is a very noticeable odor it doesn’t require over thinking to notice it.

  71. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 18, 2013

    Gene, does your Malbec smell OK now? Mine is not a rotten egg smell. Almost a barnyard smell. I have a friend who is a pro, I’ll ask him to smell it.

  72. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 19, 2013

    As far as I am concerned it is nice. But I had a few of the boys ( Dave and Anthony) take the lid off the tank to smell and taste. They brought out a sample for me to taste outside of the winery. I thought it was great. They agreed. As far as we all were concerned the problem was put to rest. I am glad I have other issues Atlas Peak PV and $$$$$$ Silverado Six. Truthfully who gives a crap about some Chilean Malbec. I am done with Chilean grapes for GOOD. PERIOD!!! Yeah PERIOD. YOU OBAMAPHILES may not understand PERIOD. Don’t be confused PERIOD MEANS PERIOD to this winemaker.

  73. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 19, 2013

    PERIOD!!!! oh,those are exclamation points. EXCLAMATION POINT!!!!!!!

  74. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 19, 2013

    As of last night, my AP Merlot was at 0 brix, and the S6 was at 1.4. Hoping to press Wednesday night after work. So far everything smells just grand. Both batches had a couple of days in the mid-80s, looking like a nice 8 day ferment, with no problems, assuming I can get through the last 36 hours.

  75. Al Battista permalink
    November 19, 2013

    AH-H-H-H , Chilean A “PERIOD WINE” lol

  76. Al Battista permalink
    November 19, 2013

    OK Guys just came from my cellar. Malbec smells pretty good. No funky smells. I have a total of 50 drops of copper in each carboy, also Ascorbic acid.. in a week I’ll add 6 grams of Nobeleese to each then wait 2-3 weeks then RACK CAREFULLY. Hopefully that will be it for my Malbec.

  77. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 19, 2013

    Al, would you send me your picture. I want to make a wine label with your face on it, so I can remember you every time I drink it. IF I ever drink it.

    I have set aside a gallon, I’m going to add more copper.

  78. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 19, 2013

    PV this morning 5 brix Not happy with that or I read yesterday wrong. Cab down to 11 brix I am ok with this.

  79. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 19, 2013

    Are you still planning on pressing on Friday?

    BTW, my AP Merlot dropped the cap this morning….not planning on pressing until tomorrow evening. Should I cover the wine with saran wrap?

  80. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 19, 2013

    For less than 24 hours covering at this point is not really necessary, but it is easy enough to do.
    Also it will keep the CO2 level up at the air/wine interface. If it is a simple process I would do it anyway, as it can’t hurt.

  81. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 19, 2013

    Thanks, Puppy.. real easy…done…

  82. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 19, 2013

    Our plan is to press on Friday November 22. We reached 82 on the PV this morning and 80 on the Cab. Hoping to see a bit more rise on the cab but I can’t see getting past 82 if it happens. At least we got to 80 I am happy with that. Based on our pressing date I think we will have to resort to the plastic skin cap too. Dan when you said cover, I assume you meant you laid the plastic wrap on top of the wine not on the top of the bucket.

  83. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 19, 2013

    yes,,on top of the wine, like skin.

  84. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 20, 2013

    CORRECTION November 29 for pressing Sorry for the confusion.

  85. carmine Frattaroli permalink
    November 20, 2013

    Gene will must last 9 days after fermentation without pressing if it was me i wouldn’t let it sit that long.

  86. carmine Frattaroli permalink
    November 20, 2013

    Did you say that fermentation has finished?

  87. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 20, 2013

    We were at 5 for the PV and 11 for the cab yesterday. Have not yet checked today. There is no problem going 9 days many winemakers extend maceration for 21 days. I will start the MLF and that will add to the Co2 being produced by the last of the sugar. Additionally even though it was frozen there are a good number of whole berries in the Cab which is making that ferment go much slower. The PV will be done I assume by Tuesday.

  88. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 20, 2013

    I noticed the same thing about the whole berries. I think some of the berries are just so small they passed through uncrushed. I am expecting a rise in Brix after pressing.

    I am planning on pressing tonight. The cab must is so muddy, I’m not even going to try to sieve or strain the must coming out of the press. I’d spend hours just cleaning the sieves as they clog up. I’m going to just go straight to a carboy, and let it settle, and rack after 48 hours, and try to recover some from the racked lees…I’m expecting a relatively low yield, between the huge cap and the solids in the must…

    but tasty!

  89. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 20, 2013

    If you have a huge cap formation after punching what is the rush?

  90. JSC permalink
    November 20, 2013

    Hi All…
    it’s your newbie wine maker…

    first post – so thank you for welcoming me to the group…
    I look forward to meeting the rest of the guys and their family’s at the dinner…

    I am off this week, so the 22nd would work for me.

    unfortunately, as it stands now, I have to work the 28th and 29th, no holidays for us…
    I will have to do work some shenanigan magic for that Friday off…we shall see how it goes.

  91. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 20, 2013

    Hoping you can make it along with your Partner Phil. Welcome to the blog John.
    be sure to sign in with the same name and email address to avoid moderation by me.

  92. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 20, 2013

    Gene, the cap is not still huge..I was referring to the original cap. Looks like about 1/2 of it had sunk this morning. Brix is at zero, (or less) and tonight’s a good night for it.

  93. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 20, 2013

    My point about the cap was that with that big of a cap, a relatively large part of the original volume is not going to be juice. Hence, I’m expecting a relatively small yield.

  94. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 20, 2013

    Well there is no problem if you press. Just came up from the punchdown and we are at 2 with the PV and a decent cap I was a bit concerned yesterday because we had only dropped 1 point from the prior day. The Cab has dropped to 8 from 11 yesterday typical for BDX. Both are at 82. The Cap on the Cab is about 10 inches thick. Now you would expect this at 15 brix but not at 8. I can’t recall having a Cap this huge at 8 brix. It is still actually hard to punch down. Lots of whole berries and as Puppy said of rehydration there are lots of semi rehydrated raisins. Also it does not resemble a Must that was frozen. The PV does but not this Cab.

  95. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 20, 2013

    Dan your last comment needed moderation. Did you use a different email address when sending it?

  96. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 20, 2013

    I don’t think so…just the one that shows up on this page…unless I inadvertently altered it…

    we’ll see if this one needs moderation… I thought I’d offended you…you being so sensitive and all…

  97. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 20, 2013

    You might have more luck if you increase the frequency and the intensity of the punchdowns, as I have been doing this with the whole berry ferments. You have a higher percentage of uncrushed as the berries are smaller and thicker skinned than normal. If you didn’t use enzymes you really need to get your exercise now! I expected a real low yield, so I used a bit more Lallzyme Ex than usual, and didn’t get any less yield.

  98. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 21, 2013

    I wound up with just a hair less than 15 gallons, from 5 lugs, which I figure at almost 60%, which is about right. So the yield was better than I expected from pressing, however, part of my expectation from a low yield was based upon my expectation of a lot of gross lees…we’ll see…

    There were lots of whole berries, as I progressed, and it got me to wondering about whole-berry ferments. How do you know when you are done?
    It seems to me the more whole berries you have, the more unfermented juice in the berries, and your readings from the juice are not representative of the entire ferment.

    So, how do you know when to press?

  99. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 21, 2013

    Hence the vigorous and frequent punchdowns, and a bit more enzymes, depending on the skin thickness. They usually take a few days more, but in the end they fully break down. A rise of less than 1/2 brix is not unusual.

  100. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 21, 2013

    On closer examination this morning, I got out the refractometer for a few tests. First I started looking for really solid whole berries. I tested some of these and while they looked whole there was no juice inside them. Just a thick skin. As I kept looking I found a few more they looked a little plumper and a few had juice which read 30 brix. There were not a lot of those. In these whole berry ferments a lot of the fermentation takes place inside the berry some explode others especially thick skin varietals don’t as is the case here. As far as knowing when to press that question as it refers to whole berries for me would be Cap Generation. I don’t know if I would call it a rule but if you are fermenting whole berries and you still are making a cap I would wait to press regardless of the hydrometer reading. But a Big But, Often times whole berry ferments are designed to make a more fruit forward wine and pressing early only enhances that effort .

  101. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 21, 2013

    Gene I noticed the same thing as I pressed. The berrys looked whole, but there wasn’t much to them. And when I chewed them, they tasted dry.

  102. crazy run ranch permalink
    November 21, 2013

    With largely whole berry ferments, a 0 Brix reading doesn’t mean much. I press based on the cap thinning out but before it all sinks. The fruit flies will also let you know when not much CO2 is coming off.

  103. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 21, 2013

    I must have hit it just about right, then..the cap was thinning but not sunk, and I saw a fruit fly. First fruit fly I’ve seen in weeks.

  104. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 21, 2013

    For the record and for the interest of the conversation you could still take a hydrometer reading now.

  105. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 21, 2013

    I meant to and I forgot. Thanks for reminding me. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few days. I have been busy cleaning up the enormous mess I made in the basement pressing last night.

    20 degrees out this morning, and my garden hose was a 50 foot icicle.

  106. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 21, 2013

    It is times like this when a plus 5/ minus 5 hydrometer is essential. One thing they are fat and barely the clearance makes it in the tube. You have to be sure there is only liquid in the tube when using them or they will stick.

  107. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 21, 2013

    Only liquid?? I use the +5/-5 (you convinced me some time ago)…I pull a sample, and strain it through a sieve… I fart around with it trying to make sure it’s not touching the sides…I spin it..

    but this SilverSix, it had so much “stuff” floating around in it , it would just stop spinning, in a way that just isn’t natural.

    when you take your Brix readings, how far do you go to make sure it’s only liquid? a coffee filter? (careful what you tell me… you know I always take things too far)

  108. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 21, 2013

    Naw not a coffee filter just a VERY fine cooking strainer. Nothing that can stick to the sides of the tube or the hydrometer. As far as Silverado Six having stuff. Well dude welcome to making really excellent fruit. Thanks to M&M Grape Company and Frank Musto. Unabashed plug.

  109. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 22, 2013

    I’m not complaining.

  110. Gaetano permalink
    November 22, 2013

    I have to agree with you, Frank is committed to providing the best fruit available, and he stands behind his product 100%.
    It’s almost ironic, early in the season I followed this blog like it was a religion, based on the reviews of various grapes that you guys were posting, I and others that I know were able to make educated decisions on which grapes we would buy, unknowingly, you helped to steer me in the right direction, so a thank you is in order!
    The Westchester Amateur Winemakers club is by far the most educated wine makers that I’ve followed.
    I really look forward to meeting you guys at the Christmas Wine Tasting Party!


  111. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 22, 2013

    We can’ wait to meet you ! And thank you for your thoughts. We hope to be what you expect. But we always keep in mind we have a lot to learn. But we learn together. That is is point.

    @ dan, You complain ? Where did you get that idea?

  112. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 22, 2013

    Just took the Brix on the Silver6…24 hours post press, -0.8… I was getting a reading of 0.0 when I decided to press. 24 hours of settling and the wine is wayyy clearer than prior to press.

    I was expecting a rise in Brix, before I pressed because of the intact berries. On the other hand there was a lot of schmutz in the sample prior to press, leading me to think the Brix was lower than I was reading……anyway…looks good, and not nearly the amount of gross lees I expected…

    life is good.

    (what??me complain?)

  113. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 24, 2013

    The Sunday Morning Line….. So the PV was at minus 1 yesterday and this morning I found the cap finally sunk. I covered the wine with food ( stretch tite) plastic wrap in two directions. I also wrapped the lid of the vat to the vat with industrial stretch plastic wrap. Since we have to go until Friday I am contemplating metering in some C02 inside the lid. On the Silverado Six Front the ferment continues as well as an 8 inch cap. So there is plenty of Co2 being produced however it is a very slow go, losing only 1 point a day for the last few days. A little nail biting on my part but we arrived at plus 2 this morning and all smells great too. I think the yeast may be a bit tired but they seem to be holding up so far. If things go as they are we should hit minus numbers by Wednesday making it a great day on Friday for a press.

  114. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 24, 2013

    I have racked off the gross lees, and recovered an extra bit from the originally racked lees…not much…Yield, post racking, is a hair over 14 gallons, out of 5 lugs…actually not too bad…better than I thought I’d get.

    My watering back reached a total of 2 gallons, about 14% of final yield. I did not add any acid. It does not taste as if it needs any. OFf to the MLF chamber..

  115. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 24, 2013

    Dehydration Rules!!! Glad to hear all is well. I suspect it will be a stellar wine, as will the Atlas Peak Cab.

  116. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 26, 2013

    Plus 3/4 this morning. Don’t give up the ship BDX.

  117. Proud Puppy permalink
    November 26, 2013

    Gene, that measure is after punching or before? Or are you not punching still?

  118. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 26, 2013

    After punching there is not a good way to get a sample as the cap is still 4-5 inches thick! I have never seen this before at this level of brix.

  119. carmine Frattaroli permalink
    November 26, 2013

    I am a big fan of Bdx and I noticed the last 5 to 6 brix takes forever. Don’t jump ship yet might take another day or two to finish.

  120. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 26, 2013

    Pinot Noir Update: I added 2.1 g/L in a small test batch…It brought the pH to 3.77. I like the way it tastes at this point. I am going to wait another week , taste and test again before I do anything.

    Anybody else done any acid adjustments on this wine?

    Has anyone finished MLF on the the Petite Sirah, or the Lanza Sangio?

  121. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 27, 2013

    @ Carmine where can I jump? Crap I just want it done. It gets pressed on Friday. If it gets stuck before zero then we won’t press. But we have a very big cap so I am pretty sure we will get there and beyond with this strain of yeast. Hoping in my voice as I type.

    @ Dan This comment could cause a stir. Adding 2.1 grams/litre will require Cold Stabilization to avoid diamonds. What I find surprising is how you can taste and be so sure so early in the game. My Petite Sirah is blended with the Zinfandel and it looks finished with accuvin. Sangio is blended with Lake County Cab and it is not finished but close according to Accuvin.

  122. Dave O'Brien permalink
    November 27, 2013

    According to chromatography…the Lake County Cab is done, done. The Merlot is not even close. The Petite Sirah and Sangio look done, but I am going to give them another week to be sure.

  123. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 27, 2013

    Gene, who said I was sure? I’ve never acid adjusted post-fermentation before. But I’m not crazy about having this wine sitting around at a pH above 4.

    What is the alternative strategy?

  124. Al Battista permalink
    November 27, 2013

    Dan, My Petite Sirah & Lanza Sangio are still going as is the Merlot.

  125. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 27, 2013

    @ Dan If you think the wine was flabby it probably could use acid that is for sure. Did you have a TA for it. This is where I personally like to know the TA. I realize others don’t think that is necessary but for me it is a guide as to additions. I don’t trust my taste with a wine this early in the game. But if you got it down to 3.77 that is pretty fine. What I would like to know is what was the TA at 3.85 or what is it now. I tend not to like the acid in reds over .7 knowing it is the PH that is giving you the perception of sour all the same it always seems to me .675 is the sweet spot.

  126. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 27, 2013

    My TA # before additions was 4.2. pH was 4.0

    I did warm my samples up before testing… I did not take a TA after additions. I added 2.1 g/L

    Being that I don’t have a variable capacity tank I have a bunch of odd-ball sizes, so I only added acid to a 1.5 L bottle. I added in 3 increments, about .7g/L at a time.

    My plan is to let that sit for another week or two, re-taste, take a new pH, and if I still like it, I’ll adjust the entire batch to that amount.

  127. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 27, 2013

    With that initial TA gives you plenty of room to adjust and I am not surprised you like it better adding 2.1 grams per litre. It must have had a pretty flabby taste to begin with at .40 . Now you should be at .61 getting close to my magic number LOL But at .61 I am sure it is very approachable.

  128. November 27, 2013

    the cap seemed to last forever with my Ten brink can from Frank. the small berries went through the crusher and i ended with about 60% whole berries. I used RP15, but it was the longest ferment i have recorded. used pectic enzyme, no cold soak, no extended just staright ferment hit 80+ and it still took 14 days till the cap fell with 7 lug batch. This is the first year all my ferments just seem to be going longer, looks to be a great year for home wine making.

  129. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 27, 2013

    With the Silver 6 I did not wait for the cap to completely drop. I was at 0 Brix before pressing, and -.8 after pressing and settling a bit, but before I racked off the gross lees. I used 257 for my 5 lugs.

    regarding the Pinot, Gene, I’ll take new pH and TA in a week or so and let you know. Yes I thought it was flabby. Seems pretty tasty now, though.

    My Sangio has NOT finished MLF…neither has the P. Sirah

  130. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 27, 2013

    We made Tembrink Cab Sav in 2008 in a blend with Koch Cab and Lanza Cab. We called it Trio. I remember distinctly when tasting the grapes at the crush the Tembrink had a unique flavor profile. It would be interesting to taste a Tembrink 100 percent Cab Sav. Besides medals our Trio ended up to be a very nice Cab Sav. When finally bottled, Paul Gatti , a Commercial Winemaker said he thought our Trio was the best amateur cab sav he ever tasted. good luck with yours!

  131. Gaetano permalink
    November 27, 2013

    Gene, that trio sounds real nice, and nice compliment from a commercial winemaker.
    I’ve had the pleasure of tasting a few of Glenn’s wine, not one of them was less than outstanding.
    The Yakima Valley Cab that I got from Frank M. was very interesting, the berries were not much larger than a blueberry, a large % of berries went through the crusher, I’ve only tasted Cab Sauv grapes once before, the Yakima berries didn’t have that strong varietal “green pepper/vegetal” taste on the palette like the last batch did (forgive me for being vague, it was several years ago and I cannot remember where in California my buddy purchased them from), I was surprised to see just how dry and raisin like the pressed berries were, unlike the Lanza Sangiovese, after a moderate pressing, the Cab berries were dry as raisins, I don’t know if this was due to the addition of Lallezyme Ex at crush, 5 day cold soak, Opti-red at the beginning of fermentation, or the slow ferment with BDX, either way, it seems like the Cab gave up everything it had!
    I look forward to blending the Cab, the Lanza Sangiovese and Merlot for a real nice super Tuscan, but that is down the road sometime, as we speak both the Sangiovese and Cab are currently enjoying a MLF.

  132. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 28, 2013

    Getting back to the Silverado Six we arrived at Plus .5 this morning. Fingers still crossed. Still a 4 inch cap with no signs of sinking. Yet

  133. November 28, 2013

    Time will tel and I hope to wait about two years or so. I also picked up a new french oak barrel from frank to age it properly..

  134. JSC permalink
    November 28, 2013

    Happy Thanksgiving all…

    I’m all prepped, cleaned all my bottles and equipment in the basement this morning where it is nice and warm…

    Dress warm and I look forward to seeing you in the morning…


  135. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 28, 2013

    Happy Thanksgiving to all! And reached zero this morning. I should run the railroads.

  136. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 30, 2013

    How did the pressing go?

  137. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    November 30, 2013

    It was a cold day to be pressing that is for sure. We did run hot water out from the cellar to make it a bit easier on the fingers when washing equipment. The Petite Verdot pressed out very nicely and for a PV the yield was impressive. The Cab was at minus .5 and still had a cap 4 inches thick. A half ton usually fits in our press in one shot. This was less by about 200 pounds and it did not. It required two pressings to get it all done. In the end the yield was very respectable but remember we did add water. I did check the brix on the press and it was a plus .5 so there is still sugar left to ferment out. So keeping this one warm is a requirement.

    The Petite Verdot was smelling wonderful with great potential. The Silverado Six was delightful. By chance and surprise Paul Gatti showed up. I had to make him taste the Silverado Six. He was impressed and he added it had all the character of dust known in Rutherford. To quote him, ” You have a winner here.” What else could you ask for.

    We cleaned up and we were done by 1 pm after a slow start at 9am. And as we say in the business that’s a wrap for 2013. But there will be much more to tell in 2014. But before we get there don’t forget our Christmas Bacchanalia.

  138. Dan Lodico permalink
    November 30, 2013

    Congratulations, and thank you Gene, for your hard work. And also to all of the guys who showed up to press today, and all of the other work days.

    I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and tasting some wine next week.

    BTW, my Petite Sirah appears to be through MLF.

  139. Al Battista permalink
    December 1, 2013

    Dan, I racked my Petite Sirah yesterday. Sangiovese, Almost ready. Atlas Peak Merlot still got a way to go.
    Brought home my Silverado Six Cab and Petite Verdot…
    In another week going to rack the Malbec and add more Nobelse and let it do it’s job till spring racking. see you at the dinner.

  140. Dan Lodico permalink
    December 1, 2013

    My friend, the pro, smelled the Malbec. His word was “fecal”. His diagnosis is “reductive, not microbial”. Given what I’ve already done to it, namely, adding all of that Copper, he recommends racking it every month or so, to give it a little air. Letting it age for a while. Some time in a barrel may help. He said if it ever smells nice, bottle immediately.

    and in his words, “there is always hope”…

  141. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    December 1, 2013

    OK Mister Pro Let’s hear all the cures for reductive I am all ears. Fecal Shit you can’t save and mine ain’t shit. Pissed. To say the least.

  142. Dan Lodico permalink
    December 1, 2013

    Mine smells like that. I was thinking “barnyard” myself. Don’t forget, I didn’t get mine racked off the gross lees as fast as the rest of the club did. I’m still suspicious that’s why mine hasn’t responded as well as the rest.

    Why are you pissed?

  143. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    December 2, 2013

    Really? yours smells like shit? Barnyard is Brett. Kinda early for a 8 week wine. Pissed ? Tell your Pro he has is nose up his ass. Sorry but I don;t think he knows what he is talking about.
    Anyone else want to chime in on the shit factor? Please do.

  144. Dan Lodico permalink
    December 2, 2013

    I’ll bring some next weekend. Puppy had mentioned he wanted to take a whiff of it.

  145. Don permalink
    December 2, 2013

    Horrifying Event – would love to know the ideal setup for carboy/demijohn storage of wine post AF, i.e. during MLF or initial storage for 1st/2nd racking off lees, etc. Alternatively I can be persuaded to stay the course if there is an extremely low occurrence of somewhat spontaneous 5gal glass carboy explosions out there…thats right, in gently carrying and then placing a carboy down on a waist-high table…”tink” the thing just dropped out, straight up cracked/exploded, and 5gal of Cab slammed onto the floor and sloshed up against the walls like a wine-tsunami. We lost a tenth of our product 11/24. Do most small batch guys use glass until ready to age in barrel or SS tank? How do I get around glass in this phase – is plastic acceptable? Apologies for interjecting here, but I’d like to know the tried and true methods for storage throughout the process and figured you might not mind the rookie question given the story behind it.

  146. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    December 2, 2013

    The bottom line is Carboys rule. With a caveat they must be placed in a protective basket or bucket. What you describe is not uncommon with a naked carboy. But with a protective carrier there is no better vessel for keeping wine before bottling. Some use the Better Bottle Plastic but vacuum racking makes using them impossible. Besides no one can convince me you can really clean them. Having once owned 120 carboys the need to go to Stainless Tanks is two fold. One you are making copious amounts and or you have arthritis. Washing large numbers of carboys is back breaking even with the Carboy washers we have developed. I have never lost 5 gallons of wine but I have lost a few carboys when washing. The only one exception to all of this was this past weekend a carboy being washed was raised about 2 inches in the basket and when it went back down the famous tink could be heard. It could have something to do with the cold weather and cold water. Anything on your shelf a small pebble or material could cause the pressure point to break the carboy. That is why you do not move them with out a protective basket. Stick with glass carboys is the best advice I can give you . Now if you want to hear about another really Horrifying Event stay tuned to the blog ……

  147. Dan Lodico permalink
    December 3, 2013

    Don, you’ve given me another thing to worry about. I have about 10 or so carboys full right now. Some 5’s, 6’s, 3’s…I’ve never heard of them just breaking without having been dropped.

    I “generally” have them in milk crates, or baskets, just because I can’t lift them otherwise. I have never considered Gene’s scenario of placing one on a pebble, and having it fail. When I vacuum rack I have wondered if there were some unnoticed imperfection if one would implode.

    Glass is a pain in the ass as far as I’m concerned, for a variety of reasons, one being trying to fit a volume of wine…I wind up with, for example, a 6, a 5, a 3, two 1 gallons, and then start filling up individual wine bottles, and then at racking, or blending you have to anticipate the math and do it all again.

    Also, I don’t know how you do it, but I like to test each container…But the volume I do, a variable capacity tank is not workable, especially if I want to do more than one wine…and reading Gene’s post on his recent problem, they are not without their pitfalls.

    I can tell you this; when I break a carboy full of wine in my basement I will be looking for a new wife, a new hobby, and a new place to live…

  148. Dan Lodico permalink
    December 3, 2013

    Gene, I am re-reading my post on the Malbec and I think I may have made you misunderstand what’s going on. It’s not as if when we open a container the first thing that hits you is a sewer smell. In fact, with the rackings, the copper, the Noblesse etc. it is much much better, but there is something still there. As I have reported, it moves around. Sometimes, the longer I smell it to try to give it a name, the less I can smell. It’s faint, but definitely noticeable. Sometimes kind of like a rubber bung, sometimes like maybe rotting vegetation wayyy off in the distance, and sometimes just the faint smell like you might smell on summer day in the Finger Lakes when the wind is blowing just right from a far away farm…
    Also, I forgot to mention that my friend said he poured a glass and let it sit for a few minutes and the smell definitely diminished.

    A few posts ago, Gaetano I think, suggested that I get another nose on it, just to make sure that I wasn’t being overly critical, and so that’s what I did. So I got two things out of it: One, I got confirmation that it still isn’t right, and 2, I got encouragement to stop messing with it, leave it alone, and let time do it’s thing.

    So if I gave you the impression that he said “it smells like shit”, I apologize. That was not what he said, nor what I intended to convey.

  149. Gene Fiorot permalink
    December 3, 2013

    Dan. Explain you like to test . Baskets are essential. No naked carboys filled ever. No divorce either. The container issue has been discussed ad infinitum. The same conclusion is arrived all the time , for the small amounts Amateurs make glass is the wisest choice for a variety of reasons.

    Regarding Malbec. Lets everyone bring a sample on Sunday and we can compare what we have. I reacted to fecal because I have experienced old zip wine like that. Chateau de Poop. Really !

  150. Dan Lodico permalink
    December 3, 2013

    What I mean is that if i have a batch of wine, in a 6, a 5, a 3, a 750ml , i.e. the same wine but in 5 differently sized containers, I like to test each one during MLF, and every once in a while for pH and SO2 levels, so it’s 5 tests each time, rather than the one test it would be if all of that wine were in a single tank.

    From now on, no naked carboys for me. Another valuable piece of information from TWAWC!
    I’ve been living life on the edge of the abyss and didn’t even know it. Although I never move them that way.

  151. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    December 3, 2013

    Holy Cow! Look if you have a 5 gallon carboy that is completed you can be almost 100% positive the smaller ones are completed as well. I never test all the carboys. One is enough. That Dentist is creeping in here I think.

    Living on the edge is what you have been doing. Sometimes even sliding one across a shelf and 2 carboys will just touch and that is enough to break one. BASKETS !!!!!!!

  152. Dan Lodico permalink
    December 3, 2013


  153. Don permalink
    December 3, 2013

    Where does one get these so called “baskets” anyway? My googling has turned up nada. BTW I think that is what happened with us, the one carboy on-deck in the racking line, barely and I mean barely, touched the empty carboy on the side. That was all it took.

  154. Glenn permalink
    December 3, 2013

    I use the original cardboard boxes they were purchased with. I find it protects the carboy not only from the clink, but repels sunlight especially with the whites.

  155. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    December 3, 2013

    You have a few choices to get the proper crate. Make friends with a Water delivery guy they used to be on his truck but they changed the system for the truck. The warehouse has them for people who like to stack the bottles on their sides in closets in their offices. Bribe him.
    You can make them out of wood. The old ones used by the water companies were wood.
    A company Aquamax sold new ones I was not able to find them on the internet this time.???
    Google Carboy Crates and you can explore there. In a pinch use 6 gallon juice buckets but build up the bottom for foam so the carboy doesn’t get stuck in the bucket or use the smaller milk crate. Anything to keep the carboy off the floor and avoiding them touching by accident.

  156. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    December 3, 2013

    Oh and last resort get a water delivery contract and request the crates they will bring them to your door.

  157. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    December 3, 2013

  158. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    December 3, 2013

    This company sold them and is closing its doors at the end of this year. They may still have them.

  159. jsc permalink
    December 3, 2013



    that is exactly what I heard the other day after cleaning a carboy and putting it back into an older (apparently mismatched) light blue water carrying case… TINK…
    after a lengthy close examination, I can see what appears to be a hairline crack running up the length of the body…

    I am going to bring it by either Phil’s or Gene’s for a second opinion…until then — it’s out of service for that one

    I guess I am off to the hardware supply for some wood and going to build my own carboy cases…
    I found the following link for a guide…

    see you guys on Sunday!

  160. Dan Lodico permalink
    December 10, 2013

    Before the Bacchanalia on Sunday, I picked up a carboy of the Petit Verdot, and the Lake County Cab from Gene.

    Does anybody have post ferment pH and/or TA on these? I can get them, it just means I have to break into the “MLF Tent”…

  161. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    December 10, 2013

    I have not a number on these yet.

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