Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yeast Comparison: Pasteur Red & Syrah

I'm in the process of putting together my yeast schedule for 2008 Brehm grapes. For the 2007 Chez Ray batch, I had an opportunity to ferment Stage Gulch Vineyard Syrah from Petaluma CA separately in Pasteur Red and Syrah yeast.

Here are my tasting notes as I consider which to pursue for this year:

Pasteur Red yeast:
Color: brick, lighter
Aroma: muddy, meaty
Palate: structured, old world, muted, grainy

Syrah yeast:
Color: deep, purple
Aroma: violets, bright
Palate: plum, lively, some layers

All in all, I would have to give the nod to the Syrah yeast if I needed to pick one. Although, truth be told, I do believe the Assmanshausen yeast may be the most interesting top-note yeast for syrah and zinfandel. Perhaps I'll mix that with a VQ15 or a BDX for the coming batch.

For most of the 2007 vintage, I mixed two yeasts in each bucket, punching the cap more or less straight down to stop the yeasts from intermixing too soon. That actually seemed to work fine for the most part. Good ferments, no stuck fermentations.

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