I must admit, I was a little nervous handing over the reins to Emma Moody last week… I mean, what would “Senior Deputy Editor, Finance and Markets” at the Wall Street Journal with 29 years experience in journalism know about writing a wine blog?
Anyway, turns out she did a pretty good job! Thanks, Emma.
But, as she heads back over the Pacific to her home in New York, I am back with you to bring you all the latest from Vintage 2019 this week.
It’s been two weeks since the Sauvignon Blanc was machine harvested and pressed. It’s still fermenting away happily. It will be another few days before all of the sugar is fermented.
Rob tells me that the nose on this wine is wonderful. It’s lifted, peachy and intense. He is very excited about our 2019 Sauvignon Blanc!
On the right is a photo of what it looked like on Wednesday.
Pinot Noir for dry red
A week on from picking and our 2019 Somerled Pinot Noir is nearly completely through fermentation.
Rob tasted it yesterday afternoon and made the decision to run the wine off and press the skins.
There are some soft tannins already in the wine, so he can’t see any benefit in keeping it “on skins” any longer.
Also, you may remember from last week that a few hard, green berries were picked along with the ripe grapes. We’re happy to report that, as expected, those berries haven’t given the wine any “greenness”.
So, it went to the press late last night. I decided to let Rob have a sleep in this morning before I hassled him for an update on how it all went. You’ll have to wait until next week for that!
Pinot Noir for sparkling
The Pinot Noir which was hand-picked for our 2019 Sparkling two weeks ago has been taken out of the col room and warmed up. The yeast was added on Wednesday. As the photo shows the juice is still nice and clear because fermentation has only just started… it will get cloudier as it goes along.
Again, Rob is very happy with how it looks so far. Very nicely sweet, soft with very high acid. Another trophy winner perhaps Rob?!
Our Tempranillo at Kim Anderson’s vineyard in Charleston is still a little way off being ready to pick. Rob will be keeping a very close eye on the sugar levels over the next few days.
Let’s quickly re-visit what I mean when I talk about “fermentation”.
In basic winemaking terms, fermentation in the process of adding yeast to sugar (in the form of grape juice in this case) to make alcohol.
Simple, right? Well, yes and no. The process itself is simple, but getting it right isn’t. It takes a lot of skill to ensure fermentation runs smoothly. From choosing the right yeast to making sure the ferment is at the right temperature so fermentation doesn’t happen too quickly or too slowly (and at worst, stop altogether). Also, it’s important to determine when all the sugar has been used up and fermentation is complete.
You’ll remember that we use a scale called degrees Baume to measure the sugar in the grapes. This helps the winemaker determine when the grapes are ripe and ready to pick. Well, the same measurement can be used to determine how much sugar is left in the ferment. A result approaching zero indicates that the yeast has consumed all the sugar and fermentation is about to stop.
It’s important to keep in mind though that not all winemakers want the fermentation to go “all the way through”. Some wines and wine-making styles require a certain amount of sugar sweetness left in the final product.
That’s about it for now… and to be honest, I don’t know how Rob has fitted it all in. It’s been a busy few weeks for the Moodys. With Emma visiting, Fringe and Festival shows to attend, family get-togethers and regular appearances for a glass of something at the Cellar Bar. Lucky for us, Rob always finds time to concentrate on making truly amazing wines. And 2019 is no exception. We can’t wait to share them all with you!
Autumn Days & Chardonnays
What? That can’t be correct? It looks like we can squeeze a couple more seats at the long table for this not to be missed event!
If you’re a Somerled Chardonnay fan, you do NOT want to miss our Autumn Days & Chardonnays event this weekend.
From 2013 to the present, with even a barrel sample from *the future* – Rob is reaching into his home museum stock again to pull out these stunners (and it’s about time, to be honest!).
Get your ticket now…!