Continuing my theme of indoor projects during this New England heat wave, I decided to bottle the 2009 Blueberry last night. The wine has been crystal clear ever since I racked it off the oak cubes back in December and with a pH = 3.13 and free SO2 = 54 ppm back in March, it should have plenty of antimicrobial/oxidation protection. I really should have measured the free SO2 again, but I only need about 18 ppm at that pH and I highly doubt that the levels have dropped that much in 3 months. Plus, I figure there will be a little SO2 bump from the residual sanitizer solution in the bottles.
So I broke out my Enolmatic bottler, sanitized some bottles, and got to work. I'm still having issues with the vacuum level on the Enolmatic. It's either too low and has trouble sucking the wine out of the carboy, or it's too high and wine gets sucked into the reservoir while the bottle is filling. I finally found a relatively happy medium and got all 4 gallons bottled. I used Amalgo Deluxe corks for the closure. Chose those for a couple of reasons: 1) they just need a quick dip in sanitizer instead of extending soaking, and 2) I want a slow amount of O2 ingress to help the wine age a little faster. Not a lot, just a little to add some aged characteristics and aromas since I wasn't able to barrel age this wine.
I'm pretty pleased with the end result. After I cleaned up I was able to relax and watch my favorite "Pirates of the Carribean" movie while enjoying the couple of glasses-worth of wine that got sucked into the reservoir.
Color: Dark, deep garnet (awesome color extraction)
Aroma: Fresh blueberries, vanilla, citrus finish
Flavor: Good body, fruit forward with slight cocoa notes, and a lingering after taste. Good tannin strength on the tongue with a silky smooth finish. Dark fruits & vanilla.
I do think this is my best dry blueberry wine yet and the closest approximation to a red grape wine that I've come up with. The American Wine Society competition is coming up this fall, and I do think this will be a worthy entry!