RJ Cole Winery

Insights into the world of an amateur home winemaker.

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Cole Wines anagrams to Senile Cow.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Carm/Cab Update

This past Thursday night, July 6th, I racked my Carm/Cab to the primary bucket and back to the 6 gallon Carboy. I first cleaned and resanitized my carboy, once I had racked to the primary bucket. Then I racked it back, topped up to within 2 inches of the bung with a bottle and a half of my VR Merlot, and put it back in to wait 14 days to see if it clears.

One trick to checking for clarity in dark red wine is to take a flashlight and shine it through the carboy from the side opposite you. I did this, and could not see the light! I thought perhaps this was because the volume of the wine in the carboy was so great that it kept the light from making it through, so I put a bit of wine in a glass and held that up to the light. Still, total darkness. This was a black hole, letting no light escape through the wine.

I wasn't sure if this meant that it still had sediment in it which was oscuring the wine, or if it this particular wine was supposed to be this dark. So naturally, I went to Winepress with a question. I learned that the Carmenere is a dark grape, but that I should be able to see at least a little light through the wine. I was told that if I continue following the directions, which now say to wait 14 days, that more sediment should fall out and I'll be able to see through the wine then. So I'll wait and see what happens!

I did take a taste of the wine as I was racking it. My goodness, this is going to be a great wine! It was already complex, full-bodied, round, and smooth. I noted oak, earth, tobacco, pepper, vanilla, plums, and berries in both the nose and the palate. It had a long tannic finish, which was perfect! And since this is supposed to be a "big kit", it should only get better aging for a year, a year and a half, 2 years... of course, I'll have to see if I can wait that long for it!

Just a note that I plan to start the blackberry wine next Sunday, the 16th. I read on Winepress about some folks doing "2nd run" wines off of blueberries. A 2nd run wine is when you used the pulp from the used berries to make another wine on. This wine would be lighter bodied, but still have flavors of the fruit. Since I have so manky blackberries, I thought that I could make a good one this way. We'll see how that goes!


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