Just a quick update on the chardonnay. The free run and 3rd press fractions finished fermentation after about 36 days of bubbling away in the basement. It's been a cool spring here in MA and my basement has refused to warm above 60 °F. Which has meant that the chardonnays have undergone a nice loooong and cool ferment without me having to chill them in an ice bath! Thank you Mother Nature!
Anyway, free run and 3rd press fractions finally reached Brix = -2.6 on May 23 and had started to drop the gross lees. I racked both into new carboys with 75 ppm SO2/gallon. It's been almost 2 weeks, and I have to say that both of these wines have almost cleared already. I'm very hopeful for both of these because the flavors so far are awesome. The free run fraction fermented with ICV-D47 yeast is very light in color, good body, and a tremendous load of citrus aromas & flavors. The 3rd press fraction (Cote des Blanc yeast) is a much darker yellow with a more pronounced apricot aroma & flavor. I added lysozymes to both of these to prevent MLF.
The 2nd press fraction is my late-bloomer at the moment. The CY3079 yeast has lagged behind the others and only reached Brix = -1.8 on May 30. I decided to go ahead, rack off the gross lees layer, and add the MLB. I figured bringing the carboy upstairs to complete the MLF would let the yeast finish their job at the same time. I used a new MLB that I haven't used before--Viniflora CH35, which is supposed to have been selected specifically for MLB in white wines with a clean and fruity profile. True to the hype, MLF commenced within 23 hours. The carboy is currently sitting in my guest bathroom bubbling merrily away!
A MA Winemaker