Wednesday 9 November 2016

Our first Japanese Red

With thanks to F1 Ted (our man in the pits) Kravitz yet again.

The label says Merlot (52%), Petit Verdot (23%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), Cabernet franc (5%) grapes grown in Tomiko Hills Winery from garden grape 100% (Japan wine). Interesting.

Our 2016 (part 2)

Triomphe before

and after.
We have put

Wide-top fermenter

whole-bunches of Sangiovese in this wide-top fermenter as an experiment in carbonic maceration. It failed miserably. The grapes didn't ferment at all. They just became ever more stale. We called Ancre Hill winery in Wales who had made the highly successful Triomphe by carbonic maceration and the helpful person on the other end of the line told us we needed to have an ambient temperature of 27 degrees or thereabouts otherwise fermentation was impossible. We ditched the results without regret but learned a lesson.

The micro-vinification of Sangiovese, now a deep red colour. The muddy Trebbiano can be seen behind to the right.


The Sangiovese grapes was put through our 'fouloir-egrappoire' macerated for 3 days, pressed filtered  and placed in 5 litre jars for three or four weeks. We never saw a single bubble of fermentation but fermentation there was. We have now bottled these wines - without much hope. The one at the back is Trebbiano which is quite sweet and promising. There was not quite enough for the 5 litre jar so we topped it up with Sangiovese. Well, Chianti used to be made with Sangiovese topped up with Trebbiano. This may be a first (Talk about passetousgrains!). We've bottled that too (5 bottles only).

The 2 Speidel fermenters with the orange lids were filed with whole-bunch Triomphe under carbon dioxide
2 Speidel 60 litre fermenters full of whole bunch Triomphe grapes under CO2 for carbonic maceration and placed in a centrally heated room for 3 weeks. The grapes collapsed into half the original volume still under CO2 we think.

What free run juice there was after our Triomphe carbonic maceration dribbles into our wide-top fermenter.
The contents of the 2 fermenters smelled and tasted strange. We'll give it a go nonetheless without much more confidence than what happened to the unsuccessful carbonically macerated Sangiovese.

 'On ne sait jamais avec ces choses' though. This useful quote is from the gnarled old Maitre des Chaix at Chateau Lascombes who announced that they could declare a vintage of the 1963 harvest. A year when a majority of Bordelais didn't.

one 22 litre fermenter with free-run and pressed Triomphe juice, later transferred to our French Oak barrel (aged 1 year). It tastes very much like last year's; mean and lacking in fruit. Hopefully there will be still enough oak flavour to make the wine palatable to an extent.

compare the light colour of freshly broken Sangiovese grapes with that of the teinturier Triomphe

freshly-rodden Triomphe
It will be interesting to see if any of the results is an improvement on some of the vile wine we have made in the past.