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My Affair with Barbara

2017 May 2
by Gene Fiorot


As you read below Barbara was a difficult lady to deal with.  Nevertheless undaunted we proceeded to do everything imaginable to correct her bad behavior.  We need to thank Zac Brown for his link to Lallemand.  Having battled incomplete MLF, VA odors, and then Brett this was the biggest challenge this suitor has ever encountered.

Happily I can say we tamed her completely and restored her to her original beauty.  There are a few lessons here, especially for neophytes and those without patience.  “Never give up on a wine”

But there are some other interesting things about this Barbera.   Our 2016 vintage exhibits the same problem.  Incomplete MLF.   We tried everything including re-inoculation.  Stuck at about 50 % complete.  Accuvin and Chromatography confirm this result.  I was talking to Frank Musto and I told him about the trouble with this Barbera two years in a row.   He shared he was not surprised as he has been hearing that from everyone too.

So what did Ron Lanza do to Barbara?   I would love to know.    Before you go off thinking the Ph was too low for MLF   it was 3.55.


2 Responses leave one →
  1. Ray Ambrose permalink
    January 15, 2018

    What year was this Barbera?

  2. Gene Fiorot permalink*
    January 15, 2018

    Hi Ray
    It was 2015. Subsequently doing a bit more research and having MLF completion issues again with the 2016 vintage. We used BM 4×4 which is a natural choice for Sangiovese and Barbera. While we never had issues completing MLF with Sangiovese there were a few occasions where it took quite a long time to complete. When we dug a little deeper into this yeast characteristics it is indicated a less than desirable yeast for MLF. So our conclusion is to stay away from BM 4×4 going forward and see if we still have issues completing. The Lanza Musto Barbera makes a beautiful wine and it it worth making again.

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