Tin Lizzie Cabernet Sauvignon

tinlizzie10311We destemmed and crushed our Cabernet Sauvignon at Tin Lizzie Wineworks today. Kathy and I are making a quarter barrel. Actually it is a full barrel of which we will receive a quarter of the bottled wine. The grapes were from Stagecoach Vineyards in Napa. There was talk about this Cab being an after the storm Cab. The grapes were harvested and sorted after the multi-inch rains that pounded the Napa Valley on October 13th. We destemmed 18 lugs of Cabernet Sauvignon and two lugs of Merlot also from Stagecoach Vineyards. The Merlot was harvested prior to the storm and kept refrigerated.

Both grapes were in excellent condition. After the must was in the fermenter, Dave Zuchero had our group conduct tests and add mixtures to the must. We were asked to select a yeast. I suggested that we use Lalvin ICV D21 or Lalvin ICV D80. Our group chose the D80 in part because of the manufacturer’s claim of an intense, fine grain tannin sensation. We like tannins! Dave had one of the group members measure out a yeast nutrient and add to warm water. Next he measured the yeast and added to the water once the temperature dropped to 105º.

tinlizzie10312Our next tests were to determine the brix levels. I stirred, actually punched down, the must. We gathered some of the juice and measured the brix using a refractrometer. The brix level was at 24. An independent test done by an independent company had the brix of the Cab slightly higher. However the brix of the Merlot was lower. Adding the two lugs of Merlot could account for our slightly lower reading.

Dave then placed a probe into some of the juice and recorded the pH level of 3.75. He then had one of the group members add about 500 ml of tartaric acid to the must. Dave did the calculations and pointed out that he will add tartaric acid a little at a time, then take a reading after each addition and add more if needed. Dave will also calculate the TA later. Meanwhile some of the must was added to the pail containing the yeast. We wanted to gradually lower the temperature of the yeast to that of the must. We then added the yeast to the must.

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