Three down

Syrah glistens on the press buckleWith the Pinot Noir now safely in carboys, the Franc ready to press tonight or tomorrow night, and the Cab nearly ready itself, Crush 2009 is starting to wind down. After the sound of rioting yeasts bubbling through wine all through the basement, the lower volume of finishing ferments is a little sad, like a sparsely populated dance floor at the end of a party.

But the light fantastic isn’t fully tripped yet. As I mentioned, the Franc is now weakly mustering a cap, a sign (along with hydrometer readings) it’s pretty much done and ready for the press. It smells terrific, like cran-raspberry flowers, if such a thing exists. We’ll probably press it tonight, from the looks of the sign-up sheet we’ve been using via Doodle.

Next is the Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s close to done itself, but I want to experiment with a short “extended maceration” on this big-shouldered wine, pulling more flavor and more tannin into it. Some wineries leave their wines to soak for more than a month after fermentation is finished, which contrary to what you’d think supposedly coaxes round, soft tannins from the skins. That requires better equipment that we have, since you really need to seal off the wine against the ravages of oxygen, now that the yeast is no longer producing a blanket of CO2 to protect the surface. But we’ll seal it as best we can and keep an eagle eye on it, pressing before anything heads precipitously south.

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