Syrah and Franc, nice and… ripe

This morning I collected samples of Syrah and Franc and headed out to Newberg, where the wine analysis lab we use has an outpost. And just moments ago, I got the results. The highlights:

Syrah: 25.4 brix, 3.91 pH
Franc: 27.7 brix, 4.07 pH

In a nutshell, this is definitely ripe fruit! Now, Washington fruit always gives us numbers like this — high sugar, low pH — and we’ve rehydrated accordingly, to excellent results. But that said, I have to say these numbers are higher than I’d have thought after tasting them in the vineyard.

But that’s okay. First, the fruit tastes damn good. The flavors are mature and in balance — they taste right — and to me, that takes precedence over the numbers. Not to their exclusion, for sure, but definitely not picking solely by them.

Especially because, second, we can adjust those numbers downstream. And we definitely will: left as they are, the Syrah would be about 15% alcohol, and the Franc 16.5% – way too much alcohol for anyone but teenage boys. So we’ll be adding a few Jesus units (turning water into wine) to bring both down below 14%, and I’ll also be adding acid to bring that pH down into microbially safe territory.

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