Sunday, April 19, 2009

A weekend of winemaking and tree hacking...

I've been procrastinating in the cellar and things have begun to pile up. Imagine my sense of urgency when I got a call earlier this week that my order of Chilean Chardonnay grapes is due to arrive on April 20. Which means the Chilean Syrah grapes will arrive in another few weeks, which means I'm screwed unless I get some work done in the cellar to free up space. To top everything off, I've also been procrastinating about cleaning up the tree damage from the big ice storm back in early January. Folks, procrastinating is bad--don't do it!

However, I found a solution to my procrastination. Friday was forecast to be an absolutely gorgeous day in Boston, so I decided late Thursday afternoon to take a vacation day and spend the weekend and winin' and a whackin'. I won't bore you with the details about the brush hauling and tree surgery--needless to say my biceps are measurably larger (at least in my imagination). However, I did get some wine work done as well.

Saturday found me filling the Hungarian oak barrel with the 2008 Chilean Syrah. Contrary to advertised statements, it turned out to actually hold just shy of 14 gallons, or almost 3 of the 4 5 gal carboys. Which meant, I had enough syrah left fill 6 bottles (I'll use those for topping off the barrel) and have a good taste. Folks, I'm pretty pleased with this wine. Big burst of black cherries and vanilla in the nose and on the tongue with maybe a little rhubarb in the finish. It's of medium body and light tannins, so it will definitely benefit from a little concentrating during the barrel aging. Keeping those fingers crossed...

The carboy of Syrah left over needed racking off the precipitated tartrate crystals and fine lees, so I did that on Sunday. I also decided to try an experiment and added 1.5 g of Laffort TanCor tannins to see if I could add a little body and bite. We'll see in a few months.

Also on Sunday, I pulled the 2008 Malbec out of the barrel and filled it with the 2008 Zinfandel. At that point, I had a lot of carboy scrubbing to do and it was late in the afternoon, so I quite. A little tired tonight. I'll write an update on the Malbec tomorrow.

MA Winemaker

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