Thursday, March 27, 2008

2007 Roberts Road Pinot Pressed

Yesterday I pressed off the Roberts Road Pinot. The Pod readings were -3° Brix and 65° F. The cap was still up and I did not mix it before starting, other than putting a hole through it with my hand to pull out the Brix sensor before installing the press ram.

The pressing went routinely. As before, I set the unit to heavy press and then switched to manual mode on completion of the auto program. In maunual pressing mode I took the ram to maximum pressure 1) every 30 seconds for 16 cycles, then 2) every 60 seconds for 9 cycles, then 3) every 5 minutes for 7 cycles.

The last two 5-minute cycles the motor tripped out immediatley, indicating I had pushed the ram down as far as it was going to go without really long waiting between cycles. This is improved performance compared to my prior pressing of the Napa River Ranch Cabernet. I attribute the difference to using enzyme on the Pinot.

Yield was about 10.8 gallons. This time I don't know exactly what the final volume was because I did not rack the wine back into the Pod after pressing, where it is easier to measure. I filled a 3-gallon carboy, filled a 30 L (7.9 gal) Vernou M+ toast barrel to within 3/4" of the bunghole, and collected about 2/3-gal of heavy lees for settling.

In my commercial production I usually press Pinot Noir to tank and then move immediately to barrels before extensive settling. I believe that the presence of the extra lees in the barrel result in increased aromatic complexity and improved mouthfeel.

Today I will take a sample to the lab for analysis. Once I confirm that the alcoholic fermentation is complete I will inoculate for malolactic in the barrel and carboy.

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