Monday, September 06, 2010

Bottling the 2010 Chez Ray Whites - Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer

This Labor Day Weekend, I bottled the wines made in 2010 from frozen grapes from Brehm Vineyards... the 328-06 2006 Columbia Gorge WA Gewurztraminer and the 335-06 2006 White Salmon Vineyard WA Chardonnay.

Both were fermented cool - at about 60 degrees fahrenheit - using Cote des Blancs yeast.  Juice was fermented in the plastic pails that the frozen juice was received in, and settled for a few months in my wine cellar, with plastic wrap on top of the juice.  From past experiments, this did an excellent job of preventing oxidation during short- to intermediate-term aging.

The gewurztraminer and chardonnay were bottled separately.  I created a freeze-fractionated higher-sugar gewurztraminer (got to about 28 brix), which I have not bottled yet.

The remaining gewurztraminer which was siphoned off during the freeze-fractioning, ended up at about 21 brix.  I have also kept that in the bucket and am sweetening that lightly (about 3 teaspoons sugar per 750 ml bottle, or approx 1/10 teaspoon stevia) to create a summer white wine.

By the way, the stevia (used in powder form) seems to work quite well in this wine, creating no metallic off-flavors that I can detect.  It is a very clean, non-cloying sweetness.  For wine sweetening, my rule of thumb is to use about 1/30 to 1/50th the amount of stevia as I normally would use sugar.   It is a non-fermentable sweetener, so should be fine for storage.  I have not tried a longer-term sweetened wine with stevia, but will put one down for a test soon.

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