Journal | September 23, 2016
Today in the first day of red crush. Many hours will be spent on the sorting tables pulling out stem jacks and pink berries. The Merlots are very ripe. I feel confident that we picked at the right time. In addition to Avenius and Hardscrabble Merlot we will be processing Capstone Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc this year has more pink (underdeveloped) berries than usual (it is often a problem with Franc, one of the reasons for the wine’s ‘leafy’ character).
Although one feels like an assembly line worker when on the sorting table, it is an excellent opportunity to really get to know the fruit and formulate fermentation and extraction strategies. We will probably back off of any saignée (bleeding, or draining of a percentage of the juice to concentrate what remains), as I like the balance in this year’s harvest. This decision could change depending on what we taste and observe when on the table.
Sometimes we have to make a quick decision on logistical blends during crush. We are usually successful in sizing up bin (fermenter) sizes with the appropriate quantity of a given lot of grapes. If this does not logistically work, then we may have to ferment, say, some Merlot with the Franc. We have found that fermentations are much less problematic if bins are completely full. Co-fementation is becoming trendy with some winemakers, so it may be of interest to experiment a bit.
Had a Chateaux La Croix de Gay 2010 (Pomerol) last night. About 90% Merlot, much more restrained than the Monbousquet. This is more the style that would make sense for Linden as it emphasized freshness and elegance over power.