Friday, June 08, 2007

A Chat with Sparky Marquis of Mollydooker

At a recent dinner where the 2006 line of Mollydooker Wines were being unveiled, I had a rare chance to spend a few minutes in conversation with Sparky Marquis, CEO and Winemaker at Mollydooker. Since he and his wife Sarah make some of my favorite wines in the world, and since I followed some of his unusual winemaking techniques with my own 2006 vintage, this was a wonderful opportunity for me.

Specifically, the unusual thing I did was to begin a cool (basement) fermentation right after fermentation took off at room temperatures. Link is here. What I have noticed is that the color and extraction levels of my 2006 vintage just don't seem to be up to the level of prior vintages. This is true even though I allowed for several weeks of extended maceration.

So, in speaking with Sparky, I asked about his use of temperature during fermentation of red wines. He explained that although he moves to cool temperatures for the bulk of fermentation, he does begin a good, strong fermentation in warmer temperatures. That makes sense to me, and the early warm fermentation may add to extract and color levels. The wonderful aromatics associated with the Mollydooker line may be accentuated, in turn, with the longer time spent in cooler temperatures.

OK, sounds like a plan is emerging for the 2007 vintage. Grow grapes, grow!

My postings on wines tasted at the dinner are linked here:

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