Archive for November, 2015

The cabernet long-soak: Day 46 & Press

This thing is ready. What was increasingly bitter and awkward tannins have, like a caterpillar, transformed into a smooth, silky butterfly almost overnight.

There’s still some EA in the cap, but since EA is a surface dweller (it needs oxygen to survive), we scrape off the top 1-2″ before press. Then we let the free run drain from the bottom of the fermenter before shoveling out the grape must into the press, setting it aside so that even if the pressed grapes are still stained with a bit of EA, we’ll at least have clean, lovely free run.

But as far as we can tell as the actual press progresses, we’ve scraped off any compromised fruit: this stuff tastes and smells fantastic!

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The Cabernet long-soak: Day 30

As of today, we’re approx 28-32 days out from sealing the Cab away. So now that we’re close to our guess about when it’ll turn, we need to start really paying attention.

Of course, we’ve been tasting/smelling the Cab every 4-5 days. We’re getting some EA on the surface – a little disturbing, for sure – but a stern talking to with argon and sulfite sprayed over the cap seems to have really knocked it to its knees. In fact, when we bellows’d the plastic this morning, it actually smelled close to pretty straight.

And the wine itself, below the cap, continues to be totally clean. But it has been changing — today it had evolved more of a planty, stemmy aspect, something we both felt was interesting (that is to say, not a defect). Maybe a bit more richness.

Still, it’s hard to say where this thing is in its evolution. The acidity is high enough, that for me at least, it’s hard to get a read on the tannins. Right now, they taste just fine to me, though they should be getting increasingly astringent up to the turn. We’ll definitely keep an eye on it…

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