Barrel Tasting a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon: Grapes from Paso Robles

The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon made with grapes from Arciero Vineyard in Paso Robles has been aging in French oak since it was racked to the barrel last November. Recent data from Virginia Tech indicated that malolactic fermentation is complete. At present the wine has a slight dark berry aroma and taste. There are oak nuances and good tannins on the finish. The pH level was at 4.1, a bit high, so we experimented with adding one gram of tartaric acid per liter. After one gram of tartaric acid was added to the wine, the fruit aroma and taste began to become more prevalent and tannins deminished. At two grams of tartaric acid per liter of wine, there was more fruit on the aroma and taste. A softer mouth feel was noticeable. The wine was becoming too crisp for a Cabernet Sauvignon after the fourth gram of tartaric acid was added to the trial liter. We experimented with adding aging tannins. Three different aging tannins will be added to the barrel. The wine is quite young and will remain in French oak for another year.

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