2012 MV Syrah sulphited

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Friday, January 18th, 2013 by admin

First add since ferment and MLF finished.

50 ppm addition to all containers.

  • 60 gallon barrel: 200 mL 10% SO2 solution
  • 5 gallon carboy: 16 mL 10% SO2 solution

The post fermentation numbers: 2012 Syrah

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Monday, January 14th, 2013 by admin

Here is the Vinquiry report: 2013-01-14-003

Comments below:

  • Alcohol: 15.33 %V/V by NIR
    • Wow! How did it get this high?
    • Sugars after 4 day cold soak were at 25.9 brix. We predicted 25.9 * .57 = 14.8% alc.
    • We actually added 3 gallons of water to try and bring down the sugars.
    • (75 gallons wine @ 25.9 brix) + (3 gallons H2O at 0 brix) = 78 gallons @ 24.9 brix
    • With a conversion of .57, that should have been 14.2 % Alc.
    • We actually got 15.33/24.9 = This is a very high conversion rate of .62, which seems impossible.
    • I don’t understand what happened.
  • pH: 3.90 by Autotitrator
    • This is much higher than we would like, but it keeps happening. Maybe we can talk to Chris about this. I think it is too much potassium uptake in the vines.
  • Titratable Acidity: 0.605 g/100mL by Autotitrator   (6.05 g/L)
    • This is perfect.
  • Free SO2: 3 mg/L by Segmented Flow  (3 ppm)
    • No problem here; need to add 50 ppm SO2.
  • Total SO2: 3 mg/L by Segmented Flow (3 ppm)
    • No problem here.
  • Volatile Acidity: 0.054 g/100mL by Segmented Flow (540 mg/L)
    • The threshold for detection is 700 mg/L, so were are close but OK.
  • Glucose + Fructose: 85 mg/100mL by Enzymatic (.085%)
    • Dry is defined as <0.1 % so we are good.
  • Malic Acid: 9 mg/100mL by Enzymatic (90 ppm)
    • Vinquiry defines <300 finished, so we are good.

Post fermentation panel 2012 MV Late Harvest Syrah

Posted in 2012 MV Late Harvest Syrah on Monday, January 14th, 2013 by admin

Here is the Vinquiry post ferment panel: 2013-01-14-003

My summary of the results:

  • pH 3.90 Autotitrator
  • Titratable Acidity 0.610 g/100mL Autotitrator
  • Free SO2 3 mg/L Segmented Flow
  • Total SO2 3 mg/L Segmented Flow
  • Volatile Acidity 0.058 g/100mL Segmented Flow
  • Glucose + Fructose 12 mg/100mL Enzymatic
  • Malic Acid 14 mg/100mL Enzymatic
  • Alcohol 15.65 %V/V GC

Post Ferment numbers: 2012 MV Late Harvest Syrah Port

Posted in 2012 MV Fortified Syrah on Monday, January 14th, 2013 by admin

Here is the Vinquiry post ferment panel: 2013-01-14-003

My summary of the results:

  • pH 3.88 Autotitrator
  • Titratable Acidity 0.549 g/100mL Autotitrator
  • Free SO2 38 mg/L Segmented Flow
  • Total SO2 74 mg/L Segmented Flow
  • Volatile Acidity 0.047 g/100mL Segmented Flow
  • Glucose + Fructose 6219 mg/100mL Enzymatic
  • Malic Acid 164 mg/100mL Enzymatic
  • Alcohol 19.40 %V/V GC

Tasting Notes

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel, 2012 MV Fortified Syrah, 2012 MV Late Harvest Syrah, 2012 MV Syrah on Friday, January 11th, 2013 by admin

Paul, Erwin and I went out to taste everything in barrels. Based on some tastings over Christmas with the family, I am worried we are over oaking the 2011’s.

  • 2011 Zinfandel: Started with a side by side tasting of the zin barrels:
    • 15 gallon barrel: Clean clear fruit. Light tannins.
    • 60 gallon barrel: Similar to the 15, but something else also. I wondered if it was brett, or maybe the beginnings of two much oak. We had lots of discussions, but could not positively ID the extras in the 60 gallon barrel. Decided a good future plan is to leave the 15 gallon barrel alone until summer. Transfer 30 gallons of the 60 gallon barrel to an older 30 gallon barrel, and bottle the other 30 gallons.
  • 2011 Syrah: Generally happy with this one. Tannins much lighter than the 2010. Aromatics very nice; clearly syrah.
  • 2012 Syrah: Something funky going on. Nose was off putting. Cu didn’t seem to help it. Hopefully just stuff from the MLF. Plan is to sulphite (if MLF done), let it sit for a month, and rack.
  • 2012 Late Harvest Syrah: Much better nose than the earlier 2012 syrah. Not sure why. But still not clean. Same plan as for the early syrah.
  • 2012 Syrah Port: Coming along nicely. Need to get the numbers to see what we have.


Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Sunday, December 9th, 2012 by admin

We started at 7Am and racked the wine off of the fine lees and Cu precipitate.

The nose was totally cleaned up; taste is still a little harsh, but it should smooth out over the next few months.

We topped and tasted the rest of the wines. The port has become much better in just a few weeks. The ’11 syrah ’11 zin were really good. I thought I might have tasted a little oak. I will taste again in a few weeks, and see if that is indeed the case. If so, we may need to find some neutral oak.


Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Sunday, December 2nd, 2012 by admin

The day we bottled the ’10 syrah, Erwin and I ran a test on how much to copper the ’12 syrah.

We tried 0, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 ppm. From 0 to 0.5 was incredibly obvious. 0.5 to 1.0 was also pretty noticeable. From 1.0 to 1.5 was more difficult, but we decided that there was still a little H2S in the 1.0, so the decision is to go with 1.5 ppm.

Here are the adds:

  • 61 gallon reCoop barrel: 136.3 mL  
  • 7 gallon carboy: 15.6 mL
  • 0.75 gallon jug: 2.2 mL
  • 0.75 gllon jug: 2.2 mL

Total is about 69 gallons, or 154 mL of 1% Cu solution.

The 1% bottles from BevPeople are 4 oz, plus 1 oz from an older bottle. This is 147 mL, so not quite enough.

Erwin picked up a couple of Cu bottles, and went out Sunday morning and made the adds with a lot of stirring. The nose was already better.

We will rack in a week, Saturday or Sunday.

We also measured the sugar, and it seems stuck at 0.4%. If it doesn’t move, we are not going to try and finish it. We will clear the wine, and use potassium sorbate if necessary. Once we rack off the copper, we will inoculate for MLF, and put the 100W light bulb underneath again. That will push it up to 70F. Maybe the ferment will get going. One other item to consider is to try and start it again with a good restarting yeast. I may look around see how much work it would be.


Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah on Saturday, December 1st, 2012 by admin

We bottled the last of the ’10 Moveni Vineyard Syrah. The 30 gallon french oak barrel. We started around 9AM, and finished up just after noon.

One glass short of 13 cases. We are set for awhile.

The aromas were fantastic. We couldn’t stop tasting it as we bottled.

We rinsed and drained the 30 gallon barrel. After letting it dry for an hour, we lit off a sulphur pellet and bunged it up. That stuff is strong. Then finally moved the barrel back into it’s rack.

Sugar check

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 by admin

Checked with Clinitest…somewhere between 0.5% and 0.6%. Bubbling slowly. Also stirred the wine.

Sugar check

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Monday, November 12th, 2012 by admin

Clinitest measures 0.6%.

I had Vinquiry test it…here are the results.

Glucose + Fructose = 477 mg/100 ml. This is about 0.5%, close to the Clinitest measurement.


Still bubbling, but slowly. What a pain in the ass!

Sulphite test

Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Monday, November 12th, 2012 by admin

Free SO2 measurement results:

Rose:   7 mg/L

10 Syrah: 13 mg/L 

11 Zin-60:   26 mg/L

11 Zin-30:  34 mg/L

11 Syrah:   25 mg/L 

Making Port!

Posted in 2012 MV Fortified Syrah on Sunday, November 11th, 2012 by admin

Actually, fortified wine! We can’t really call it port unless it is from Oporto!

Shahrokh and I decided to make port with some of the late harvest syrah.

We decided to make two 25 l carboys of port.

We need some alcohol…can’t buy grape spirits. Tim Pattersen in Home Winemaking for Dummies recommends Everclear, so I called Bottle Barn. They had it, but suggested Diesel as a cheaper alternative. Since both are 75% ethanol, not much difference.

We pulled juice from the ongoing ferment…22.5 l from each bin, at 7.5 brix on the hydrometer. With a starting brix of 28, that should correspond to 9.0 brix and 10.4% alc. The acids should be at the initial 4.8 g/l + 0.5 that we added = 5.3 g/l. We could be way off if the juice yield is way off, as I assumed 70 gallons of wine.

Here is the first blend calculation:

 Volume sugar alc acid
 Juice 22.5 l 9.0 brix 10.4% 5.3 g/l
Diesel 2.5 l 0 brix 75% 0 g/l
Final 25 l 8.1 brix 16.9% 4.8 g/l




Update Monday: The port is bubbling still!. So the alcohol of almost 17% did not kill the yeast. That is not completely surprising; port is normally near 20% alcohol. So Shahrokh racked the port off the gross lees. When done, he was short just a little more that 1 l per carboy. How convenient! So he added another liter of Diesel to each carboy, plus topped off with more juice.

Here is the second blend calculation:

 Volume sugar alc acid
 Port 24.0 l 8.1 brix 16.9% 4.8 g/l
Diesel 1.0 l 0 brix 75% 0 g/l
Final 25 l 7.8 brix 19.2% 4.6 g/l




That should do it until we can get all the numbers tested and see where we are at!

Also added 70 ppm sulphites…70ppm @ 6.6 gallon = 30 mL 10% SO2 solution

It will definitely need more acidity…probably another 2g/l! And maybe more sugar.

The plan is to put it into the 50 l oak barrel we have in the cellar. It will benefit greatly from time in a barrel.

Desert Wine Plan

Posted in 2012 MV Fortified Syrah, 2012 MV Late Harvest Syrah on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 by admin

Shahrokh is making a late harvest syrah, with  me as consulting winemaker!

  • Grapes have been crushed; 18″ deep in macrobin = 151 gallons must.
  • Hoping to get 70 gallons wine. My normal prediction is 91 gallons wine, but these are a little dessicated.
  • Would like > 30 brix. 28 at crush time; let it soak up a few days.
Brix Brix
Day# Date Day Time Temp Refr Hydro Comments
0 10/29 Mon 12PM ~48 28 30 Crush; cold soak; Add 50ppm sulphites (496 ml 10% SO2 solution
1 10/30 Tue  8AM Cold soak;
2 10/31 Wed 12PM 50  28 30 Cold soak; Added dry ice; mixed it up before sampling
3 11/1 Thu  8AM Cold soak;
4 11/2 Fri 8AM
  • Cold soak; Take sample to Vinquiry
  • Brix 28.3 °Brix Refractometer*
  • pH 3.91 Autotitrator
  • Titratable Acidity 0.476 g/100mL Autotitrator
  • Ammonia 26 mg/L Enzymatic*
  • Assimilable Amino Nitrogen 173 mg/L Spectrometer
  • Malic Acid 239 mg/100mL Enzymatic
5 11/3 Sat 8AM Warming; Added 0.5 g/l tartaric acid (assuming 70 gallons wine)
 6 11/4  Sun  8AM Warming
 7 11/5  Mon  8AM 59 Pitch yeast;

  • Epernay2 yeast selected for ability to stop.
  • Need 1.5 g/gallon = 227g = 8oz = 2 4oz packets, which is higher than normal (1g/gallon) because of high sugar.
  • Need 283 g GoFerm = 10 oz = 4 3oz packets
 4PM 64 28 30
 8PM 67 - -
8 11/6  Tue  8AM  66 - - Pitch FermaidK – double batchNeed 0.9 g/gallon * 151 gallons = 137 g
12PM  68 - -
3PM  69 - -
9 11/7 Wed 8AM  72 25/24.5 26/25  Right/Left bins
12PM 72 - -
5PM 74 -  -
 11 11/8 Thu 8AM  76 - -
12PM  76 - 18.5/17.5
5PM - - - Second round of FermaidK 0.9 g.gallon = 137 g
11 11/9 Fri 8AM  72 -  15/14
12PM 72 - 14/13.5
5PM 72 - 13.5/12.5
12 11/10 Sat 8AM 72  - 11/10.5
12PM 74 - 10.5/10
5PM 74 - 10/9
 13 11/11 Sun 11AM 74 -  8/7.5 Removed 45 L (11.9 gallons) of juice for Port. Added back 3 gallons of water acidulated to 7 g/l.
14 11/12 Mon  8AM 72 - 5/4.5
12PM 72 - 4/3.5
5PM 72 - 3.5/2.5
15 11/13 Tue 8AM  70 - 2/2
12PM 70 - 1/1.5
5PM 71/72 - 0/0.5
16 11/14 Wed 8AM 72 - 0/0
12PM 72 - 0/0
5PM 72 - -1/-1
17 11/15 Thu 11AM - -2 Press: 90 gallons of wine.
18 11/16 Fri Rack to Barrel.Inoculate for MLF with Enoferm Alpha
19 11/17 Sat Leave for Cancun

And on and on and on

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Monday, October 29th, 2012 by admin

Stopped in Sunday PM with Erwin. Sugars in the barrel at 0.0, so we are getting closer. Must temp was 68F, which is better. I put another blanket uon the barrel, totally enclosing the lamp underneath. I want to warm it up a little more.

Still going

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Friday, October 26th, 2012 by admin

I stopped by this morning. The barrel airlock was still going, a little slower than 1/second.

  • Barrel: ~0.5 brix
  • Glass: -2.0 brix.

The barrel has a way to go. I put a light under it and a blanket over it to move it along a little faster.

Reduction analysys

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 by admin

So we went out to rack the ’12 syrah off its gross lees.

We do have an H2S problem on the wine in the barrel. Now to figure out what to do. The ferment is almost complete. Should we copper first, or do MLF first?

Here is our painful history:

Ferment Cu Fining MLF Cu Fining Cu Fining
2009 Syrah Did not notice H2S  - Thought it was oaky, not H2S, but probably was H2S +0.5 1/16 +0.4 1/27
2010 Syrah H2S noticed; would disappear with punch down; fermented to dry +1.0 MLF  -  -
2011 Syrah  H2S Noticed; 0.5 g/gal FermaidK added at 11.5 brix; punchdowns did not eliminate  +1.0 11/11  MLF 11/19 – 1/22 +0.75 3/9  -
2011 Zin  0.5 g/gal FermaidK at 19 brixVery slight H2S noticed  -  11/11-? Noticed H2S during MLF.  +0.4 3/7  -
2012 Syrah  Noticed H2S at very end of ferment in barrel. Waiting to see if we taste in glass. wait for ferment to end before coppering.

Stopped by

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Saturday, October 20th, 2012 by admin

I stopped by to check on the  2012 syrah ferment.

  • Free run (barrel): 1 brix; nose good; taste starting to get better. The bitter elements are gone. Can feel some tannins, but not too much.  Hopefully they stick around.
  • Press run (tub): -1 brix; smell in tub not so good; maybe some h2s. Took a sample to glass, and the smell blew off, and seemed fine. Definitely more tannins in the press run.

Spoke with Erwin: current plan is to rack at least the press run on Wednesday morning when I get back from my trip.


Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Friday, October 19th, 2012 by admin

We topped off and added 20 ppm sulphites to 2011 Syrah; 2011 Zin both barrels; 2010 Syrah.

Lots of racking

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2012 MV Syrah on Friday, October 19th, 2012 by admin

We did a lot today. Started around 7AM, finished up at 12:0PM. Lomg day.

  • Measured some of the ferments. From <1 to <3 in the various tubs.
  • Emptied the new 2 year old barrel, rinsed it carefully, and  moved it to the cellar to let it drain.
  • Racked the 2011 syrah from our 1 year old ReCoop barrel to a 2 year old barrel:
    •  The nose was fantastic. Some chocolate and cherries.
    • The mouth feel was a little light. We could use a little more structure, some tannins. Hopefully more time in the barrel will help.
    • We had extra wine since we were going from a ReCoop to a non ReCoop. We needed up with almost 2 cases of bottles which we will use to top.
    • We added 20 ppm sulphites.
  • We cleaned and rinsed the 1 year old ReCoop that held the 2011 syrah, and set it up to take the 2012.
  • We started by racking the press run into the barrel, but the pump clogged quickly. Still too much activity in the press run keeping the sediment in the juice. We cleaned and unclogged the pump (took 1/2 hour).
  • We carefully racked the free run tubs into the barrel. We poured some of the wine that we didn’t rack back into the press run tub.
  • Then we racked some of the press run from demijohn into barrel, and stopped a couple of inches from the top.
  • Finally we poured the rest of the press run from the demijohn  and the press run from the 30 gallon tub into a single 20 gallon tub. We will let this continue to ferment until it settles, and then rack it.
  • Put an airlock on the barrel; it started bubbling right away.
  • Covered the press run tub with its lid and a blanket.
  • Cleaned and sanitized everything!

Press time

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 by admin

We decided to press off sweet at around 5 brix. Trying to keep the tannins down a little, and we had a long cold soak.

We drained off the free run from the valve, and put it into the 20 and 30 gallon white tubs, straining out the seeds. Worked really well. Then pressed the rest in 2 press runs. We probably have 80 gallons of free run, and about 20 of press run.

We have:

  • 5 20 gallon tubs, 3/4 full, of free run = 75 gallons
  •  1 30 gallon tub, 1/2 full, of press run = 15 gallons
  • 1 14 gallon demijon, 2/3 full of press run = 10 gallons

Because of the heat (predicted into the 80’s) we transferred all of the containers to the cellar to wait 2 days until Friday morning when we will rack off of gross lees to barrel.

Start the ferment

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 by admin

Thursday’s activities:

  • Clean bin with valve (Esteban did it before we got there)
  • Test out valve for delestage
  • Place second macro bin next to first, upside down.
  • Place 4×4’s on upside down macro bin.
  • Place valve bin on 4×4’s, with valve draining into right side up macro bin.
  • Decided not to do any tartaric acid addition at this time. Last years TA went way up during ferment. Not sure why.
  • Moved must to valve bin.
  • Added water : 3 gallons to get to 14.3% alcohol, down from 14.9%.
  • Mix yeast rehydration solutions:
    • Start with 2925 mL water at 110 F (had a hell of a time getting water to 110.)
    • Add 146 g GoFerm and mix.
    • Let temp drop to 104 F.
    • Add 117 g yeast. (whole 4 ox packet)
    • Mix, and let sit 15-30 minutes.
    • Mix over 5 minutes with equal amount of must.
    • Keep repeating previous step until yeast within 10F of must.
    • Add slurry to valve bin and mixed.
  • Clean macro bin and replace.
  • Clean up.
  • Setup ladder for punch down.
  • Show Esteban punch down log, tools, thermometer.

The results are in

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 by admin

I took a sample in to Vinquiry for a core juice panel. Here are the results: 2012-10-09-006

  • Sugars: 25.9 brix; this will end up around 14.8% alcohol at a .57 conversion rate. This is a high alc wine. We have to consider watering down. To get down to 14% would require about 5 gallons water.
  • pH: 3.71: This is high. Much higher than my measurements of juice sample, ~3.4. I need to remeasure. It probably is due to potassium coming out in the cold soak.
  • TA: 5.36 g/L: We would like to be at 6 g/L. We might have to add some tartaric.
  • Total YANC: 190 mg/L (ppm): This is considered a medium YANC level.
  • Malic acid: 3.25 g/L: This seems high. When converted to lactic acid during MLF, it will drop the TA by 1/3 of this value, I think.

So we have decided several things:

  • We will use GoFerm for yeast rehydration.
  • We will use full dose of FermaidK nutrients.

Questions to answer:

  • Do we add water to bring down the sugars (and alcohol)?
  • Do we add acid to bring up the TA?
  • What yeast do we use?

Just for kicks, here is a core juice panel comparison for 2010,2011,2012:

2012 2011 2010
Brix 25.9 23.7 25.3
pH 3.71 3.55 3.79
TA 5.36 5.45 4.96
YANC 190 230 252
Malic 3.25 2.58 2.81

Ferment Log

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Monday, October 8th, 2012 by admin

Started up our fermenting log.

Added estimated dates for planning. Will replace with actual events as we go. Must be in barrel by 21st, as I am out of town for three days starting on the 21st!

Day# Date Day Time Punch Temp Brix Comments
0 10/5 Fri 12 nj&es 58 - Crush day – finished up about noon. Added dry ice and ice jugs
1 10/6 Sat 11AM nj 53 - Cold soak; mixed juice; replaced ice jugs; added dry ice pellets to must.
2 10/7 Sun  9AM nj&es  49  - Cold soak; replaced ice jugs
3 10/8 Mon 12PM nj&es  51 - Cold soak; mixed juice, replaced ice jugs; added tray of dry ice pellets.
4 10/9 Tue  8AM nj 45 - Take sample to Vinquiry; start warm up; no more ice; added dry ice pellets to tray sitting on top of must.
5 10/10 Wed 8AM  nj  50 - No signs of ferment. Add last of dry ice pellets to tray. Mixed juice. Took window covers off to let in sunlight.
6 10/11 Thu  8AM - - - -
12PM  all 60  26 Added yeast slurry. Punched down. Covered with sheet.
5PM est 60 - -
9PM  nj 60 - No sign of cap. All smells good. Mixed well
7 10/12 Fri 8AM  est 60 -
12PM  est 60 -
1PM nj,es 61 26.5 Added 53 g FermaidK; mixed well
5PM est 62 -
10PM nj - 25.5 Solid cap; smells great
 8 10/13 Sat 8AM est 64 -
12PM est 66 -
1PM nj - 23.5 very slight h2s maybe but not sure; blew off with punchdown
5PM  est 70 -
9PM  nj 70 22 good cap; smell same as earlier; I think no h2s
 9 10/14  Sun  8AM  es 70 20 solid cap 13-14″; smells good; slight whiff of H2S
9AM es,nj - - Delestage operation; closed windows, allowed sun in side window
 4PM nj 76 19 Same nose; everything good; warming up fast; left windows open for night
9PM  nj 78 16.5 Added 53 g FermaidK;Nose good; left windows open.
 10 10/15  Mon  8AM  est 76 -
11AM nj 77 13 smells great
12PM est 78 -
 5PM est 78 -
 10PM nj 82 11 nose good; all good
11 10/16  Tue  8AM nj,es 78 9 Cap temp 86F; juice 78F; Delestage operation; a lot more juice this time
12PM  est 80 -
5PM  est 82 -
9PM nj 82 6 Good cap; good nose
12 10/17 Wed 8AM nj 78 5 Cap 85F; solid cap; nose good; 55F in room
12PM - - - Pressed sweet @ 5 brix; moved to cellar
 13 10/18 Thu 12PM - 68 3.5 Free run very slow bubbles, 68F, 3.5 brix;   Press run bubbling faster, 69F; 1 brix
14 10/19 Fri 8AM  - - - Racked free run off of gross lees into barrel.Combined all of press run into one tub.~3 on free run~1 on press run
15 10/20 Sat 2PM - - +1-1 Free run in barrelPress run in white tub
 16  10/21 Sun - - -  - No visit; went to Carmel
17 10/22 Mon - -  - - No visit; went to Carmel
18 10/23 Tue - - - - No visit; went to Carmel
19 10/24 Wed 8AM - -  0.5 Racked press run off gross lees into glass (6 gallon + 3/4 gallon + 3/4 gallon)0.5 in barrel; -2 in glass
21 10/26 Fri 8AM  - -  0.5 0.5 in barrel; -2 in glassI put a lit bulb under barrel and partially covered with blanket. Need to finish this ferment. Airlock still bubbling, a little slower than 1/second.
22 10/27 Sat - - - -
23 10/28 Sun 3PM es;nj 68 0.0
24 10/29 Mon - - - -
25 10/30 Tue - - - -
26 10/31 Wed 1PM nj 72 -0.5 Still bubbling in barrel, but slow. At 0.5 brix/3days, it will take 9 more days to finish!
27 11/1 Thu
28 11/2 Fri
 29  11/3 Sat  -0.8
30 11/4 Sun
31 11/5 Mon
32 11/6 Tue
33 11/7 Wed -1 -1 via hydrometer; 1% via Clinitest; Pretty close to a stuck ferment
34 11/8 Thu
35 11/9 Fri
36 11/10 Sat
37 11/11 Sun
38 11/12 Mon Sample to Vinquiry for a sugar test. Results glucose + sucrose =  477 mg/ml, or ~0.5%
39 11/13 Tue
40 11/14 Wed 0.5% Clinitest
41 11/15 Thu
42 11/16 Fri
43 11/17 Sat Leave for Cancun


Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Friday, October 5th, 2012 by admin

We picked and crushed today!

We started at 7AM in the morning. Esteban had already cleaned the macro-bins, and was there when I arrived. Erwin showed up a few minutes later.

We prepared for the first hour. Here is a summary:

  • Sanitized everything with StarSan.
  • One macro-bin in winery to receive crushed fruit.
  • Two 2×6 boards across macro-bin on which to place the crusher.
  • Crusher sat on boards, with stem disposal into food tub next to macro-bin.
  • Tarps on floor to keep it somewhat clean.
  • Second macro-bin in back of Erwins truck to take to grapes.
  • 4 totes and clippers for the pickers…Esteban, Erwin, Afsi, and Niels

We picked the Block 7 470 syrah first. We picked the outer 4 rows, filling the bin to about 3/4 full. The clusters were gorgeous, with almost no raisins. There was some what I think is wasp damage…hollowed out grapes, with just the skins left. Maybe it was birds.

Nice soft skins; lot’s of flavor. It went really fast as the clusters were big. It was amazing how much fruit had been previously dropped.

We then picked the Block 3 Alban syrah. End rows had some raisins, and we were careful to sort before putting into totes. We filled the bin so that it was mounding up maybe a foot. That should be about 1200 pounds.

Here are some stats post crush:

  • 14 inch in-depth of must in bin. This calculates out to 117 gallons must, or 1197 lbs must (grapes), assuming 10.2 lbs/gallon for the must. That was what it was last year.
  • We sulphited to 50 ppm;  384 mL 10% sulfite solution addition.
  • We added dry ice pellets to must to cool it off and protect the must from O2.
  • Must temp = 58 F…pretty warm.
  • We put 6 gallon jugs of frozen water. Probably not going to help to much, but maybe a little.

Here are some photos from the crush:

Last check

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Thursday, October 4th, 2012 by admin

block seven 470 clone

  • 28 by hydrometer
  • 26 by refractometer

Alban block 3 (did it twice as I was surprised by the numbers)

  • 26 by hydrometer

Wow revisited

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah, Moaveni Vineyard on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 by admin

Checked the samples again in the evening.
Alban: 22.5 brick; pH 3.13
470: 25.8 brick; pH 3.31

Plan on checking again in the morning.

Wow! 26 brix

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 by admin
Here is email I sent to vineyard manager:

I sampled the Block 3 Alban and Block 7 470 this morning, expecting a larger than normal sugar rise. I picked 4 clusters of each. The 4 clusters came from two different rows, 1 from each side of the row.

The Alban came in at 22 brix, almost the same as last week, but the 470 came in at 26 brix!
Is that possible? Do sugars ever drop?
I think the cooling trend should slow down the sugar rise.
The grapes look good. I did not see too many raisins. The 470 is nice and soft, with crunchy seeds.
Anyone else thinking of picking?

2012 Crush is coming!

Posted in 2012 MV Syrah on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 by admin

Sampled the grapes this morning around 7AM (green results).

Resampled next morning, letting juice soak up. New results in blue.

  • Syrah, Albam, Block 3:
    • Sugars: 22.0, 22.0
    • pH: 3.27, 3.45
  • Syrah, 470, Block 7:
    • Sugars: 21.5, 21.4
    • pH: 3.10, 3.26

What to do with the rose

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin on Monday, July 23rd, 2012 by admin

I measured the following on the Rose:

  • 5 gallon carboy:
    • pH: 3.5
    • Still some malic acid, based on the Accuvin test strip
    • I added 20 ppm more sulphites
  • 3 gallon carboy:
    • pH: 3.3 (why less than the 5 gallon? the MLF must not have gotten as far)
    • Still some malic acid, based on the Accuvin test strip
    • I added 20 ppm sulphites

I stirred both carboys vigorously. The 5 gallon produced so much CO2 that is bubbled over quite a bit. I wonder if that could account for the pH difference? The 3 gallon carboy did not produce as much CO2. I will check the pH again.

Both carboys are still somewhat sweet, so I put in the Sorbistat. I put in 1/4 oz into the 5 gallon carboy, and about an 1/8 oz into the 3 gallon carboy. I’ll check it again when I get back from AK.


Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Monday, June 18th, 2012 by admin
  • Zinfandel 15 gallon barrel: 25 ppm; added 5 ppm (5 mL) to get 30 ppm
  • Zinfandel 60 gallon barrel: 21 ppm; added 9 ppm (36 mL) to get 30 ppm
  • 2010 Syrah (30 gallon barrel): 8 ppm; added 22 ppm (43 mL) to get 30 ppm
  • 2011 syrah (60 gallon barrel): 16 ppm; added 14 ppm (55 mL) to get 30 ppm

Additions performed June 20.

I also racked the rose into a 5 gallon and 3 gallon carboy. I wanted to get it off the  lees. There are still some bubbles being produced. I sulphited both carboys with 30 ppm. Hopefully that will stop it.

Topping, tasting, testing

Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Sunday, June 17th, 2012 by admin

Stopped by the farm today and topped off the barrels. I also took samples for so2 testing.

2010 syrah tasted great with the same wonderful nose.

2011 syrah is good, with a more complex nose. Tastes fine; is not as intense color or taste.

2011 zin has an intense flavor. And a good nose. Very strong zin character, but not ultra fruity.

2011 rose may not make it to the bottle. It is a bit yeasty. I think I left it on the lees too long ( still on them, slowly fermenting still). It seems a bit like champagne with the breast yeasty result from autolysis.


Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Saturday, May 12th, 2012 by admin

Erwin and I went to the farm over lunch.

We topped off the ’10 syrah and the ’11 syrah and the ’11 zin.

We also sulphited all with 20 ppm.

Finally we tasted all of them!

’10 syrah: killer nose, as always. Chocolate, fruit, slightly spicy. It is really smoothing out. The tannins are not nearly as grippy as they were a year ago. The wine is well balanced.

’11 syrah: nose is improving. The funk that I thought might still be h2s is gone. Maybe it was just leftovers from the mlf. It is lighter in color than the ’10, but a nice elegant wine.

’11 zin: turning out to be the surprise of the vintage! I did not have high hopes, but it is really coming along. For a 15% alc wine, it works well. It doesn’t seem hot to me. Has some tannins, nice zin fruit. This is going to be a good wine.


Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Sunday, April 1st, 2012 by admin

Erwin and I made a Saturday morning of wine tasks…

First we racked the zin off the CU sediment. I lost about 3 gallons in the racking, from a total of 79 gallons. I had already sulphited the wine when we

Sulphited the rose

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Sunday, April 1st, 2012 by admin

I stopped by to see if the rose had stopped bubbling…it hadn’t! Esteban had reconnected the space heater that I had disconnected when we racked the  zin and syrah. So it was still at 70F instead of in the 50’s.

So I moved the rose next to the barrels. I added 40 ppm sulphites. Hopefully the colder temperature plus the sulphite will put an end to the ferment. I wanted to leave a little sugar, and it is under 1% at this point.

I will rack it in a few weeks, and put in some stuff to ensure that the yeast cannot reproduce. I don’t have the equipment to sterile filter, which is the best method to make sure it doesn’t continue to ferment.

Also topped the 11 syrah and the 11 zin. The zin is tasting pretty good. The syrah still has something odd on the nose. Not sure what is going on.


Posted in 2008 Riebli Valley Syrah, 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah on Friday, March 9th, 2012 by admin

I took the day off on Friday to work in the cellar.

  1. Bottled the pinot noir! I got about 2 1/2 cases of wine. Not a lot, but enough to enjoy.
  2. Erwin showed up, and we bottles the plastic carboy of 2008 syrah. Is is good, but not the best. We will use it to top off the 2010 and 2011. And to drink!
  3. We bottled the  15 gallon barrel of 2010 syrah, after adding 15 ppm sulphites to a target of 33 ppm. That resulted in about 6 cases of wine, which Erwin and I split. That should last us a while. And we still have a 30 gallon barrel to go, end of summer!
  4. We tasted the 2011 syrah. It is still a little reductive, so we tried a copper fining trial, at 0.0, 0.3, 0.6, 0.9 ppm Cu. There was a clear difference between 0.3 and 0.6, and a subtle difference between 0.6 and 0.9. We ended up adding  0.75 ppm (70 mL of 1% soln).  We will need to rack in a week or so.

Lot’s of testing, maintenance

Posted in 2008 Riebli Valley Syrah, 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 by admin

I had many of the wines tested. Here are the results, and resulting actions:

  • 2011 Syrah 60 gallon barrel: 28 ppm free SO2. Target is 30 ppm, so didn’t do anything.
  • 2010 Syrah
    •  30 gallon barrel: 6 ppm free SO2. Target is 30 ppm, so added 24 ppm  (47 ml 10% SO2 solution).
    • 15 gallon barrel: 18 ppm free SO2. Target is 30 ppm, but we are going to bottle this one, maybe this Friday, so hold off until we bottle.
  • 2011 Zinfandel
    •  60 gallon barrel: 10 mg/100 mL = 100 ppm malic acid. Target less than 30, or 300 depending on who you trust! So MLF is complete.
      • Added 40 ppm SO2 (160 mL 10% soln).
      • Added 0.4 ppm 1% copper sulphate soln (36 ml)
    • 15 gallon barrel
      • Added 40 ppm  SO2 (40 ml 10% soln)
      • Added 0.4 ppm 1% copper sulphate soln  (9 ml)
    • 3 gallon carboy
      • Added 25 ppm SO2 (5 ml 10% soln). This is all I had left; Once I mix them all together it will be about 40 ppm.
      • Added 0.4 ppm 1% copper sulphate soln (1.8 ml)
  • 2010 Pinot Noir:
    • 5 gallon carboy: 23 ppm free SO2. Added 10 ppm SO2  (3.9 ml 10% soln).
    • 1 gallon jug: Added 10 ppm (1 ml 10% soln)
  • 2008 Syrah
    • 6 gallon plastic carboy: 25 ppm free SO2. Target is 35 ppm, so added 10 ppm SO2  ( 3.9 ml 10% soln)
    • 6 gallon glass carboy: Added 10 ppm SO2  ( 3.9 ml 10% soln)

More cellar work

Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Saturday, February 25th, 2012 by admin

Topped off the ’11 and ’10 syrahs with 2 bottles and a little water, as I have no more of the 10 syrah bottled.

Topped off the ’11 zin with water. The mlf is very close to done. I can barely hear any crackle, and the Accuvin test strips show done.

The ’11 rose is STILL fermenting. The nose is great. Lots of fruit, pineapple. Color is good, a salmon pink color. It is actually still too sweet, but I might let it stay a little sweet.

The ’10 Pinot started showing a ring on the surface in the carboy. I cleaned it, topped it off, and added 10ppm sulphites. It tasted fine. I need to get it bottled soon.

Cellar work

Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Thursday, February 9th, 2012 by admin

2011 Syrah:

  • We decided to add 40 ppm sulphites. This came to 160 mL of 10% SO2 solution for the 61 gallon ReCoop barrel. This will drop quickly (our first addition), so we will check it in a week to see how it is doing.
  • Nose: slight funk going on; probably leftovers from the the MLF finishing.
  • Color is deep red, inky garnet. Lighter than the ’10.
  • Taste: Light tannins; much less than last year. Fruit.

2010 Syrah:

  • We added 10 ppm sulphites: 20 mL for the 30 gallon barrel;  10 mL for the 15 gallon barrel
  • We compared the bottled to the two barrels. The nose was pretty similar on all three, but the barrels were noticeably smoother tannins than what we have bottled. More time in barrel is really helping.

2011 Zin:

  • Still crackling; still reductive on the nose, but pretty good in the taste. I wish this would finish it’s MLF.


2011 Rose of zin:

  • I measured with a hydrometer. One carboy measured 1.5% (the one this is bubbling slowly), and the other carboy measured 3%! It still has a long way to go. Still trying to decide if I should dump in some yeast, but since it is going, I think I’ll just let it finish. I really want to drink this come summer! Hurry up!

Sugars all messed up.

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin on Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 by admin

Well, I measured the sugars (using Clinitest tablets) on the rose again. Very confusing.

  • First I measured the (still) fast bubbling carboy: 0.6%
  • Then I measured the slower bubbling carboy: 1%.
  • I stirred both pretty hard, bringing up all the lees.
  • Then I remeasured:
  • Fast carboy: 0.4 %
  • Slow carboy: 0.6%
  • Then Shahrokh, who was assisting, read the instructions. If the color passes through orange to brown, need to dilute. That is sort of what the slow carboy did.
  • So first I tested just water. It came up 0%.
  • Then I diluted the slow carboy by 1/5 (0.1 mL wine, 0.4 mL water): this measured 1%, and did not pass through orange. So my real sugars are at 5%!  Ouch! I have really screwed up on this one.

I will let it sit another couple of days to see if it bubbles any harder, because of my stirring. If not, I will need to add some new yeast and really try to get it to finish. The fast carboy is bubbling along; I just need to let it finish.

Also, I need to try my hydrometer. I should easily be able to measure 5%  with the hydrometer, right in the carboys.

The good news is that the aromas coming off the rose are wonderfully fruity and full of citrus.

Malic test results

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 by admin

Here is the Vinquiry report: 2012-01-23-038_11syrah_malic

We are a 100 mg/L, less than the 300 that Vinquiry recommends for completion. Yay!

Dinner at the farm again!

Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 by admin

This time my second favorite Iranian dish…khoresh fesenjun.

Back to the wine. Topping off of all the syrah took 2 bottles.

  • ’11 Syrah:
    • Stirred the wine.
    • Nose: good, still a little off, but settling down since last time.
    • Taste: mouth feel good. Less tannins than the ’10.
    • No sound coming from the barrel.
    • I did an Accuvin Malic acid test. Came out completely clear, implying that the MLF is done. I took a sample to drop off at Vinquiry tomorrow.
    • It took more than a bottle to top off.
  • ’10 Syrah
    • Nose was wonderful.
    • Tannins smoothing out. Definitely better mouth feel than the ’10 in bottles.
    • Between the 30 and 15 gallon barrels, topping off took almost another bottle of the ’10.
  • ’11 Zin:
    • Still hear a little crackling going on.
    • Accuvin malic tested clear, so the MLF must be close to done. But I will wait for the Vinquiry test until I don’t hear anything any more.
    • Nose is still off. Definitely need to copper fine.
    • Taste was still pretty good. Lot’s of fruit.
  • ’11 Rose
    • Bubbling away still.
    • Nose was citrus and fruit.
    • Color is gorgeous; salmon pink.
    • Taste was crisp. I am pretty sure less sugar in both carboys.
    • My sugar test tablets had gone bad. They were all black. I wonder if I spilled some liquid in them last time I used them. Need to get more in the next few days.
    • I tried the Accuvin on both carboys. Both tests maxed out showing lots of malic left. I would like to be sure that it is the sugar fermenting. Here is what the test strip looked like:IMG_0196.JPG

Rose is bubbling again

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin on Friday, January 20th, 2012 by admin

I had dinner out at the farm tonight. Khoresh bademjan, which if you haven’t had, you should! Made by my mother in law Mimi. My all time favorite Iranian meal.

I checked the rose, which I had moved up from the cellar to try and restart the ferment. Yeah! It is bubbling!

Even though the temperature was only 68F, the max temp had gotten up to 70F. This must have restarted it.

Also, the wine had expanded, maybe due to temperature, or maybe extra CO2 dissolved in the wine. But it tasted less sweet, so I think it is going again.

I moved it into a small bedroom with a space heater set to 70F, to try and keep the temperature stable. I think it will finish in less than a week.

Going somewhere warm

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin on Friday, January 13th, 2012 by admin

The Rose is too sweet. I moved the carboys from the cellar into the house to get warm. Let it sit a week and see if the ferment will start again.

Get the H2S out

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Friday, January 13th, 2012 by admin

Did a copper fining bench trial on the zin. I tried 0.0, 0.3, 0.6, 0.9 ppm trials.

The difference between the untreated and the 0.3 was clear. Lots more fruit on the nose. Clean and crisp. The 0.6 was almost the same as the 0.3, except less fruit. I have heard that the cu can strip flavored in addition to the H2S.

In the end I decided to go with 0.3 ppm. I will wait for the MLF to complete, then sulfite and copper at the same time, with racking a couple of days later.

Topping off, tasting,

Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Monday, January 9th, 2012 by admin

First visit to the cellar  in the new year!

2011 Syrah:

  • With my ear to the barrel, I could hear a very slight crackle, so almost done but not quite. We will need to have this tested soon.
  • The nose seemed fine from the barrel, but a bit off in the glass. Something not quite right. I attribute this to the MLF.
  • The taste was great. Good smooth tannins; nice mouth feel. Pure fruity syrah. Acids are there to keep it crisp. I think this will best the ’10 and the ’09.
  • The barrel required almost 2 bottles to top it off. We are done with the extra topping bottles of the ’11 syrah, and I am now using the ’10 Syrah for topping.


2011 Zinfandel:

  • MLF still going pretty strong. I could clearly hear the crackle in the barrel.
  • The nose is still problematic. There is a definite H2S problem. This will need to be copper fined soon, if not already too late.
  • The taste was pretty good. Very much a crisp cool climate zin. It seems like I am far more sensitive to the H2S in the nose that in the mouth. We had stopped in at Balletto Winery on Occidental Road on the way back from the coast on Sunday; they had a similar cool climate zin that I really liked. Very different from the big jammy zins from Northern Sonoma County, which I also like a lot.
  • Color is a clean medium garnet.
  • This required a bottle and a half; I have no topping bottles, so I am using the ’10 Syrah as topping. it is such a small amount, it won’t make much difference to the taste.


2011 Rose of zin:

  • It has fallen completely clear. If not for the sweetness, it would be ready to bottle.
  • Nose is great. Citrus, light and fruity.
  • Taste is crisp, but sweet. Both carboys are noticeably sweet. I need to make measurements again, and decide if I want a sweet white zin, or if I want to try and restart the ferment. It won’t be an easy decision, as I usually like my wines dry.
  • Color is wonderful. It has the light pink, salmon color which I really like. It is a little too light, so as I pull some out of the carboys to taste, I put back in the zin, which adds a little color.


2010 Syrah:

  • The 30 gallon barrel took a bottle of topping.
  • The taste of this wine was even better than what we have bottled. It is starting to smooth out a little more.


2010 Pinot Noir:

  • Tastes great. Need to get this in bottles. Time to start drinking. The sulphites should still be fine. It was at 16 ppm on 9/29/2011; I added 20 ppm 10/3/2011 to get to 36 ppm.

’11 Taste check

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Monday, December 5th, 2011 by admin

I tasted both the ’11 zin and ’11 syrah:

  • Zin: most of the H2S was gone, although I think there was still a little. Something blew off in the first few seconds, and then everything smelled great. The taste was bright and zin fruit. I will need to keep checking this. I could hear the crackle of either the ferment finishing or the MLG going or both.
  • Syrah: smelled and tasted good. Much less tannic than last year, although you can feel it. We’ll see what the barrel adds. I could easily hear the crackle of the MLF. This one was totally dry, so it has to be the MLF.

Barrel tasting, topping

Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Sunday, November 27th, 2011 by admin

With many of my wife’s family in town,  I “hosted” a barrel tasting of what we have in the cellar.

The ’11 Syrah was very popular. It is now crisp and fruity, with slight tannins. There is no sign of the H2S issues that it had. It will be interesting to see how the tannins develop, compared to the ’10 syrah.

The ’10 syrah is a bit too tannic  for some, although we probably drank half a case over this past week. We have only bottled a quarter of it. Maybe I can try some blending some of it with the un-bottled ’08, which has nice fruit, but too little tannins and acid. The stuff we have already bottled will most likely age very nicely.

The zin was good once it had some air. It still has some H2S. It is possible that I will have to use copper on it. I really like it’s taste and mouth feel once it opens up. It is a deeply colored, bright zin. Not super ripe and sweet.

I stirred everything (I will try and stir twice a week) to help along the malolactic fermentation.

We also tasted the ’10 syrah from the barrel. It was much better  than from our bottles. I am not sure why; maybe there really is such a thing as bottle shock! We have only been bottled for less than two weeks. The aromatics are so much better out of the barrel.

Something to actually drink!

Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah on Saturday, November 19th, 2011 by admin

We started at 6:30 AM…Erwin and I.

We racked the ’11 Syrah off of the copper into three white tubs, cleaned the barrel, and racked back, inoculating with a 2.5 g package of Enoferm Alpha on the way. That took until 9:30 AM. We ended up with 4 1/2 bottles for topping. We will need some of the ’10 for topping, as 4 1/2 won’t be enough.

The copper seems to have done the trick. No H2s on the nose that we could detect. We aerated the wine slightly when racking. It has less tannins than last year. Actually, maybe too few. It will pick up somewhat in barrel tough.


Then the fun part…FINALLY! We bottled the 13 gallon barrel of ’10 Moaveni Vineyard syrah:

  • We first racked the wine into a 20 gallon tub.
  • We added 10 ppm sulphites during the racking to get good mixing. This should put us near 30 ppm in the bottle.
  • We soaked the corks in water as best we could. It really helps in putting the corks in.
  • We then siphoned into the bottles.
  • We got 5 1/2 cases. We left half a case for topping the rest of the ’10.
  • It took us about 10 minutes per case to actually do the bottling.

The aromas in the cellar were amazing. Outside it was cold (near freezing) but sunny. Crisp fresh air. Stepping into the cellar, you would feel the warmer air, and then the  aromas would settle in. Just amazing. I think this wine may be the best we have made.

Finally, we sulphited the other two barrels to about 30 ppm as follows:

  • 30 gallon: We added 20 ppm, or ~40 mL of 10% SO2 solution.
  • 15 gallon: We added 10 ppm, or ~10 mL of 10% SO2 solution.
Clean up took another 45 minutes.

The post fermentation numbers…

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Monday, November 14th, 2011 by admin

Here are the Vinquiry post fermentation panels.

Long day at Poppyseed

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Friday, November 11th, 2011 by admin

I took the day off from my regular job…

I racked the  ’11 zin Rose into two 5 gallon carboys. Still a strong citrus taste. If this goes like the sauv blanc goes, that citrus will fade. It is still very cloudy. I measured the sugars after racking, and the Clinitest says 1% !  It seems high, but maybe. It should finish the ferment in the next month or so.

I racked the ’11 Zin from barrels into the white tubs, giving it some aeration. Then racked back, and inoculated with ML bacteria, 1 package of Enoferm Alpha. Zin smells and tastes good. Very much like zin; but it won’t be a “big” or sweet zin. It is going to be more crisp and fruity, like a syrah. At least I hope so. I forgot to measure the sugar.

Finally, we racked the ’11 Syrah into the same white tubs, with heavy splashing to try and get rid of the H2S. It wasn’t enough, so we did a copper fining trial with 0, 0.5, 1.0 ppm of copper sulphate. Just like last year, we decided to with the 1.0 ppm. 1.0 ppm = 1.5 mL 1% solution/gallon = 93 mL 1% copper sulphate solution into the barrel. We also put copper into our topping containers, a 1 gallon,  3/4 gallon jugs.

I started at 10AM, and we finished about 4:30 PM, no lunch. I am tired!

Results are in

Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah on Monday, November 7th, 2011 by admin

Here is the Vinquiry report

Our analysis:

  • 30 gallon barrel: 13 ppm;  dropped 14 ppm  from 27 ppm 8 weeks ago, or about 1.8 ppm per week.
  • 15 gallon barrel: 23 ppm; dropped 11 ppm from 34 ppm 8 weeks ago, or about 1.4 ppm per week
  • 13 gallon barrel: 23 ppm; dropped 11 ppm from 34 ppm 8 weeks ago, or about 1.4 ppm per week
I was expecting the  smaller barrels to drop faster because of a higher surface area to volume ratio. I have always thought that it is the micro-oxygenation from the barrels is the cause for the free SO2 to drop. Something more to research!
In any case, we need to sulphite before bottling. We will:
  1. Rack the smaller barrels into a large white 30 gallon food grade bin, adding the sulphite early in the racking process which will mix it well. This way we avoid stirring the barrels and picking up any sediment. Sulphite the bottling wine to 40 ppm, or a 17 ppm addition.
  2. Bottle using a gravity feed out the of the 30 gallon bin.
  3. Rack the 30 gallon barrel into the smaller barrels, and add the sulphite to the smaller barrels at the same time. There will be 2 extra gallons, which we will bottle and use for topping the ’11 syrah, for which we have very little topping wine.
  4. Fill the 30 gallon barrel with water, citric acid, sulphite solution until we are ready to store it. We probably want to empty it long term, otherwise we will “use up” the oak on the storage solution.

Get some samples

Posted in 2010 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Sunday, November 6th, 2011 by admin

Decided we need some final tests on the SO2 on the 2010 Syrah before bottling. Shahrokh and I tasted it again, and once it again it was really good. The nose was clean and crisp and intoxicating; very much a syrah. I grabbed a sample from each barrel to drop off at Vinquiry. If we have to add sulphites, we can rack the barrels into a third container with the sulphites, and then directly bottle. We do not want to stir and have to let anything settle. We also topped off with half a bottle of the ’09 Syrah. The other half accompanied our pizza dinner that evening.

We also tasted the ’11 Zin: Slight whiff of H2S that blew off with a couple of swirls. When the sugar and MLF’s are complete, we’ll rack it with a little splashing. It also tastes great.  A little light on tannins, but that should pick up in the barrel.

The ’11 syrah needs to be aerated. It still has a solid H2S smell. As soon as the ferment is done, we’ll rack it and possibly use the copper on it.


Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Rose of Zin, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 by admin

I checked the sugars on all the ferments:

  • Rose of zin:
    • Free run: 0.4%;  taste of citrus, fruit, some bitterness; great fruity nose.
    • Press run: 0.6%
  • Zin (60 gallon barrel): 0.6 -1.0 %  (somewhere in between…); slight whiff of H2S dissipated with swirling; may need aeration racking to clean it up; some tannins, nice fruit, great color
  • Syrah (60 gallon barrel): 0.2 – 0.4%; still strong H2S. It took a lot of aerating to get it good. Will need to copper.
I have a space heater on a thermostat set for 65 F in the cellar. I put the glass carboys up on boxes to raise them off of the floor, which is colder. I also brought the thermostat  down to the level of the barrels and carboys. I think the carboys will move along a little quicker now. The rose has been fermenting a long time!

Barreled the zin

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 by admin

After settling for 48 hours, we racked off to a barrel on Tuesday morning. Attendees: Esteban, Shahrokh, and myself.

  • We racked into 14 gallon demijohns to transport the wine to the cellar, then pumped into:
    •  62 gallon ReCoop French oak barrel (started out as a 59 gallon barrel).
    • 15 gallon used French oak barrel (took almost all of the press wine, both medium and hard press)
    • 3 gallon glass carboy
    • 1 gallon glass jug
    • 3/4 gallon glass jug
  • Total of 81 3/4 gallons, so we lost about 10 gallons to gross lees.
  • Very slight H2S. We may want to aerate at the first racking. Otherwise wine tastes and smells great. Very fruity, mild tannins at this point, although the press wine was more tannic than the free run. Out of the barrels, the free run wine tasted better
I installed a space heater plus a thermostat to keep the cellar temperature at 65 F to finish the ferment and for the MLF.

Pressed the zin

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Sunday, October 30th, 2011 by admin

I got to the wine room at 5:45 AM, hoping to get head start on the zin pressing. I was able to setup and clean all the equipment, and actually start pressing by the time Esteban showed up at 7AM. Then Shahrokh and a friend Ali showed up. Three  people are optimum given my equipment; a fourth person allows breaks!

The stats:

  • Pressed off at 1.5 brix sugar
  • We pressed into the white food grade tubs, just like the syrah.
  • It required 4 press runs, with the 4th needing some pomace from the previous run to fill the  press.
  • We did a final pomace only hard press, and got maybe 3 or 4 more gallons. It actually tasted pretty good, but we will keep it separate.
  • 91.9 gallons of wine + gross lees.
    • Free run:  60.9 gallons = 8.9+15.1+15.1+21.8
    • Medium press run: 16.4 G
    • Hard press:  14.6 G
  • The nose on the wine was very good, with occasional whiffs of H2S. It really smelled like zin in the room. Everyone liked the taste, even at this early stage.
  • Finished by 9:30 AM.
  • We plan on racking into the demijohns, and transporting to  the cellar, to go into a 60 gallon French Oak ReCoop barrel on Tuesday morning. There is enough free run to fill the barrel I think, so the press run will go into glass or a second barrel. We’ll see how much we have Tuesday.

Barreled the syrah!

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah on Saturday, October 29th, 2011 by admin

After settling for 48 hours, we racked off to a barrel on Saturday morning. Attendees: Esteban, Shahrokh, Erwin, and myself.

  • We racked into 14 gallon demijohns to transport the wine to the cellar, then pumped into a 59 gallon ReCoop barrel. I once calculated inside surface area of a 59 gallon barrel: 3178 sq in. Recoop removes 1/4 inch, so that is 3178/4 = 794 cu in = 3.4 gallons of extra capacity, 62.4 gallon barrel
  • We had a 3 gallon carboy of leftovers: 65.4 gallons total, so we lost about 10 gallons in gross lees.
  • We will need to use some 2010 as topping wine.
  • We had definite H2S going on. Sometimes it would blow off, but then come back in the settling tubs while fermenting. We will probably have to use copper again this year.

Zin fermentation notes

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Friday, October 28th, 2011 by admin


Date Day Time Punch Temp Brix Comments
10/17 Mon - - 70 25+ Crush day; added dry ice to the zin on monday afternoon
10/18 Tue - - 45 24.8 Cold  soak
10/19 Wed - - 40-45 - Cold soak; we inadvertantly left the fan on and that raised the temperature of the zin to 55. so i added more dry ice to bring it down to 40-45 range
10/20 Thu - - 45-49 - Cold soak
10/21 Fri - - 50 -  Warming up
10/22 Sat - NJ 58 - Warming up; noticeable cap already.
10/23 Sun 8AM  - - - moderate cap; wild ferment going!
12PM  NJ 59 - Added yeast; definite cap; smells good
5PM  - - -
9PM NJ 60 -
10/24 Mon 8AM  NJ 62 -
12PM  x 64 -
5PM x 65 -
9PM NJ 66 26 Good smell; Sugars by hydrometer.
10/25  Tue  8AM - - -
 12PM x 68 -
 5PM x 68 -
9PM NJ 70  21 Smells good. Solid cap. But going slow, and at low temp.FermaidK required at 25*(2/3) = 17 brix
 10/26  Wed  8AM  NJ  72  19 Ferment smelled good.Why so cold? Very odd considering how warm the syrah is. Added 60 g FermaidK (0.5 g/gallon – normal addition 1/3 of the way into the ferment.
12PM  x 74 -
 5PM  x 76 -
 9PM  NJ 78 16
 10/27  Thu  8AM -  -  11.5
12PM  x  80  -
5PM  x  80  -
9PM  nj  82 10.5
10/28 Fri 8AM  x  80  -
12PM  x  80  -
5PM  x  80  -
9PM  nj -  5.0
10/29 Sat 8AM  x  78 -
12PM x 79 3.0
5PM x  79 -
9PM - - -
10/31 Sun 8AM nj -  1.5 Pressed sunday morning

Pressed the syrah!

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah on Thursday, October 27th, 2011 by admin

Wednesday eve…decided we needed to press off the syrah. We wanted to press sweet, and Wednesday night it was a 6 brix. Thursday morning it would be around 3…no choice but to press. We wanted to press a little sweet, as last years syrah was maybe a tad tannic, although we sure didn’t think so at a recent barrel tasting.

It was Esteban, Shahrokh and myself as cellar rats. Here are some stats:

  • 8Am – 11:30 Am: 3.5 hour for 108 gallons must
  • 108 gallons must pressed to ~75 gallons juice and gross lees.
  • We separated the juice into three gatgories: free run, moderate press, and hard press. They all tasted good; we plan on just combining them.
  • 3 press runs, plus a 4th re-pressing of all the pressed grapes. We got 5 more gallons, and it tasted pretty good.
  • We started around 8AM, and finished by 11:30 AM, so 3 1/2 hours for 108 gallons must.

Syrah fermentation notes

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Syrah on Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 by admin

I finally put together a table to keep the ferment notes in. Here it is for the syrah:

Day# Date Day Time Punch Temp Brix Comments
0 10/18 Tue - - - - Crush day
1 10/19 Wed - - - - Cold soak; dry ice
2 10/20 Thu - - - - Cold soak
3 10/21 Fri - - -  Warming up
4 10/22 Sat - NJ 55 - Warming up; mild cap already; wild ferment started.
5 10/23 Sun 8AM - -  -
12PM nj 59  - Added yeast  – see notes; moderate cap
5PM - -  -
9PM nj 62 -
6 10/24 Mon 8AM  nj  64  -
12PM  x  64 -
5PM  x 66 -
9PM  nj 67 23 Smells good.
7 10/25  Tue  8AM - - -
 12PM x 72 -
 5PM x 74 -
9PM nj 77 16 slight H2S; gone with punchdown
8  10/26  Wed  8AM NJ  78  11.5

Definite H2S again. Vigorous punch down helped a lot, but did not eliminate. Decided to add a round of nutrients, in case that is what is causing the H2S. Added 50 g Fermaid K (0.5 g/gallon standard addition). This is going so fast that we will not be ready to press it off sweet. It will probably go dry before we can press. We still need a barrel plan!

12PM 78 -
 5PM  80 -
 9PM  NJ 82 6.5
9  10/27  Thu  8AM  NJ 81  3.5 Pressed in the AM; finished by noon; 3.5 hours
12PM  - - -
5PM  - - -
9PM -  - -
10 10/28 Fri 8AM - - - Still fermenting
12PM - - -
5PM - - -
9PM - - 0.6 Measured sugar in 30 gallon free run container by Clinitest. All containers still fermenting.
11 10/29 Sat 8AM  -
12PM Racked off the gross lees into barrels

Zin barrel plan

Posted in 2011 Moaveni Vineyard Zinfandel on Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 by admin

We have 120 gallons must.

This is 72 gallons wine. (120 * 0.6)

A full barrel is 59 gallons. We will have 13 extra gallons; we will keep this in glass for topping, probably two large carboys. We can swap this in and out of the barrel over the next year.

We purchased a 59 gallon re-coopered French Oak medium toast barrel for ~$250 from ReCoop in Sebastopol, CA. They take used barrels, clean them, remove 1/4″ of the interior staves, and re-toast the barrel. The oak in this barrel will not be as strong, so we may be able to leave the wine in here until we bottle in a couple of years. If we do need to get it out of the barrel, we can buy a used 3 year old barrel when we need it.

I heard an interesting rule of thumb today: How long can you leave wine in a new oak barrel without it being over oaked? 1 week per gallon. So a 15  gallon barrel gets 15 weeks, and 60 gallon barrel gets over a year.