Friday, February 3, 2006

2005 Crush Summary

We crushed 7 tons of Merlot, 3 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5 tons of Petite Sirah.

I am really excited with the Merlot from this Vintage. The Merlot grapes were harvested from the creekside portion of the Vineyard. The soil is gravelly and allows for great drainage which is ideal. It was picked at a very high sugar which in turn means more alcohol (yeast eat the sugar and convert to alcohol.) The bonus to picking at a higher sugar level is it tends to give the wine more fruit and mouth feel. I always knew this Merlot could get away with higher sugars but this vintage blew my mind. The alcohol levels are hovering over the 15.5% range and there is no detection of "heat" or ethanol in the nose or palet.

This is the first vintage that I really experimented with yeast and used 4 different types from different regions for the Merlot. I used 8 different fermenters and kept them juice/wine seperate. The differences are dramatic as each yeast seemed to bring out different fruit and spice characteristics from the Merlot.

The Petite Sirah has been sold from our family vineyard the last couple of years to some small boutique wineries so I was excited to get some of this fruit this year. The sugar wasn't as high as I would have liked it but this wine still exhibits ripe fruit characteristics.

The Cabernet also came in late with lower sugars but as with the Petite Sirah it is showing some upside. The acid after fermentation is a little high and I might need to adjust this in the cellar later on.