I am rather excited this week because I placed my order for Chilean grapes from M&M Produce in Hartford, CT that will be delivered around the 2nd week of May. I ordered 270 lbs each of malbec and syrah grapes which should yield of 15 gallon of wine each. I'd like to produce a big, full-bodied red with a lot of concentrated flavor from both varietals. There's two ways to accomplish that. One involves barrel aging. The other is to remove some of the free run juice, which concentrates the tannins and flavors that are extracted from the grape skins by the remaining fermenting juice. Since I currently don't own a barrel (donations are greatly appreciated!), I can't do the first option. My current plan is to remove about 3 gal (20%) of the free run juice and ferment that separately as a rose. I haven't quite decided whether to ferment each of the varietal free runs separately, or combine them for a 50/50 malbec/syrah rose blend.
The rest of the details are still up in the air (yeast selection, cold-soak, extended maceration, etc). If anyone has suggestions for their favorite malbec or syrah fermentation practices, I'd love to hear them!
a Wine Student