I'm sitting here tonight immediately after racking the Maple "Icewine" that I started a couple of months ago. I haven't seen any activity in the airlock for at least a week or so, the foam at the top of the carboy has dispersed, and the lees are collecting in a nice thick layer at the bottom of the carboy while the wine is beginning to clear, so I'm thinking the yeast has given up the ghost. My hydrometer says that in the past 3 weeks, the specific gravity has only dropped by 0.5 Brix. After considerable thought over a glass of David Coffaro 2007 Carignan, I decided to rack and sulfite.
I ended up with a 3 gal carboy, a 1/2 gal jug, a 750 mL wine bottle, and a 375 mL wine bottle full of these thick, golden yellow liquid. Before I finished cleaning the carboy, I sat down with a small little tipple to examine the product in motion. The aroma is enticing--maple syrup, pineapple, and raisins. The golden yellow color is fetching. All in all, looks & smells pretty darn good. Big, round, lucious mouthfeel with a zing of a finish. I personally think this is calling for a big bowl of ice cream to drizzle over.
Wow, I think this is pretty good stuff. Alcohol is still a little low, but pretty nice balance of sweet, alcohol, and taste. Perhaps a little tart, but I think that will age out. Perhaps next time, I'll aim for a slightly lower acid level.
The wine is in the carboy. After it sits for a few days, I'll start the filtering process to remove the residual yeast cells. In the meantime....