Friday, May 29, 2009

New red wines: Love VQ-15 (VQ15, Rockpile) Yeast!

On my 2008 vintage dry reds, the Rockpile (VQ-15, VQ15) yeast is blowing away the Assmanshausen (AMH) and Bordeaux (BDX) yeasts. It provides a deep, sweet fruit; overall chocolate edge; silty tannic style to the mix.

According to the wholesalers, VQ15 is a recently isolated Californian strain that was selected from spontaneous Rockpile Syrah fermentations by Vinquiry in collaboration with winemaker Jeff Cohn. VQ15 is a moderate rate fermenter with average nitrogen demands. Due to its' ability to develop a structured yet lush and balanced mouthfeel, VQ15 is said to be suited to making rich, concentrated reds. Initial winemaker feedback has indicated that VQ15 does well with emphasizing varietal flavor and red fruit character. In addition, with careful hydration and nutrients, VQ15 delivers good mineral and spice notes to wine. VQ15 is recommended for Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best results from 59 to 90 degrees F, with an alcohol tolerance to 16%.

My own findings are that it seems to be outstanding on syrah, and excellent for providing a lushness to cabernet sauvignon, at least in its youthful stages.

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