Journal | October 9, 2016
Two Day Tastings Begin
Many of the red wine lots have finished their fermentations and are now dry. The bins and tanks have been “buttoned up” and sealed to exclude any air (oxygen). This stage called “post-fermentation maceration”. We do this on the lots that have ripe tannins in order to extract all the goodies into the wine. Lots where the grapes had less then ideal tannin material are drained and pressed once they are dry (less than two weeks), but the best lots of Cabernet Sauvignon may go up to four weeks.
The amount of time is determined by taste. We aren’t evaluating aromas or flavors as much as structure and texture. Similar to steeping tea, the wines will be increasingly impacted by the skins and seeds. Our job is to decide when they have absorbed enough without going over the top and becoming too astringent and dried out.
Every two days Jonathan draws two samples of every bin that we feel is in the “window”. This would be at least several days after a bin has completed fermentation. We taste one of the samples that same day along with the sample taken two days previously. This way we can better understand the progression of “steeping” or extraction. When we decide that an individual bin is at the point where it could become over-extracted we drain and press.