Sunday, January 27, 2008

Moving Into Extended Maceration

At today's punchdown, -3° Brix at 75° F – no surprise. The cap is still buoyant, but barely. I expect it to be down tomorrow. The plan remains to take a sample to the lab for analysis, and to inoculate for malolactic.

Note that I have done 14 punchdowns so far in this ferment. I plan to do no more than 18 total. It is my firm position that most red wine ferments receive excessive cap manipulation. Three punchdowns a day for ten days? Why? In my experience this kind of over-manipulation just causes problems. With fewer punchdowns I get better color and less harsh tannins.

I consider that this lot started "cold soak" the day after I received the grapes, January 12th. Right now I expect to press it off on February 2nd, after 22 days total of maceration. Malolactic should be complete by then, and the taste should be close to perfect after this amount of time at 75° F.

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