The frozen Brehm grapes for 2008 vintage have arrived, purchased from the terrific folks at Winemaker Products. Here they are, waiting patiently on the deck, in nice chilly 7 degree Fahrenheit weather. No hurry to get them underway.
It gives me a chance to consider yeasts and process. Here's my plan around the yeasts:
This year, like in 2007, I'm starting multiple yeasts in some buckets, but on separate sides of the bucket. They will mix at some point. And eventually one yeast will dominate. But some complexity seems to be achieved, based on my past experiements.
Here's the yeast schedule, with the associated grape and Brehm code:
534-07AWSS - 2007 Alexander West Side Syrah, Sonoma CA (SA8V)
731-08SGS - 2008 Stage Gulch Syrah, Petaluma Sonoma CA (SG8V)
526-07RMS - 2007 Rodger's Vineyard Syrah, Mendocino CA (SR8V)
705-08SLCS - 2008 State Lane Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa CA (CS8V)
731-08SGS - 2008 Stage Gulch Syrah, Petaluma Sonoma CA (SG8B)
705-08SLCS - 2008 State Lane Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa CA (CS8B)
540-07UMPN - 2007 Underwood Mountain Pinot Noir, WA (P8)
534-07AWSS - 2007 Alexander West Side Syrah, Sonoma CA (SA8A)
731-08SGS - 2008 Stage Gulch Syrah, Petaluma Sonoma CA (SG8A)
526-07RMS - 2007 Rodger's Vineyard, Mendocino CA (SR8A)
VQ-15 & BDX & Assmanshausen
526-07RMS - 2007 Rodger's Vineyard Syrah, Mendocino CA (SR8)
707-08CHCS - 2008 Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma CA (CC8)
720-08SRM - 2008 Suscol Ranch Merlot, Napa CA (MS8)
739-08LLZ - 2008 Limerick Lane Zinfandel, Sonoma CA (ZL8)
VQ-15 & Assmanshausen
309 - 06CGMB - 2006 Columbia Gorge Malbec, Hood River OR (MA8)
Cote des Blancs
100-05BOT - 2005 Botrytised Chardonnay/Chenin Blanc - Yakima Valley WA (B8 or B58)
328-06CGGW - 2006 Columbia Gorge Gewurztraminer, Underwood WA (G8)
This year, I'll incorporate Lallzyme EX enzymes into the red wine must before yeast innoculation, to drive higher color and polyphenols extract levels (except Malbec, which did not have Lallzyme EX added).
In addition to yeast, for the reds I'll incorporate about one ounce per pail of powdered American oak, and one ounce each of French and American medium toast oak chips. Fermaid-K yeast food will be added at rate of 1 teaspoon per pail about 6-12 hours after yeast innoculation, and 1 teaspoon when brix drops to 17 degrees (per the refractometer - actually about 12 degrees true brix).
All the Cote des Blancs pails (white dessert grapes) will be moved to cellar temperature once fermentation is underway. All other pails (red grapes) will ferment at (warm) room temperatures, and will be pressed as fermentation ends. Based on the test with fresh grapes earlier this (2008) season, I find that extended maceration seems to blunt both aromas and flavors to an extent that I do not favor.
Finally, for the reds, malolactic bacteria will be innoculated after the pressing and settling, at room temperature. There they will be left for an additional few weeks, so the bacteria can begin establishing before I remove pails to the cooler basement for aging.