The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Monthly archive: 02 2010

Wine Chemistry Day

I’ve been meaning to set up a free SO2 aeration/oxidation (A/O) system for a while to test our wines. I’ve mentioned before that the “quick tests” are difficult to read (especially for red wines, since it relies on a color change in the purple range) and are notoriously inaccurate.  From the information I could find, […]

‘Belmont Park’ Merlot 3 Month Tasting

Since we were talking about our barrel wines while pruning yesterday, I wanted to check the progress of the 2008 merlot.  It wasn’t as clear as I wanted when I bottled it, and so I wanted to check if it was OK, or if I needed to open them all and let the solids settle […]

Pruning the Vines at Live Oak Vineyard

Most of the east coast is blanketed in snow today.  Meanwhile, we finally got our southern California sunshine back — just in time to prune the syrah vines at Live Oak Vineyard. Mike Hoffman gave us a short tutorial on pruning for his vineyard; he already cut off the bulk of the canes, so we […]

Two Year Tasting of “La Jolla Caves” Rhone Blend

It’s been 6 months since I touched my “La Jolla Caves” Winexpert Montagnac Vieux Chateau d’Oc, wanting to give it time to come together better.  Now it’s at the 2-year mark, which sounds like a good time to test it out.  I did not decant this time, I wanted to see how it developed out […]

Chilean Carmenere Not-Quite-2-Year Tasting

I’ve been looking for an excuse to open my 2008 Winexpert Limited edition Chilean carmenere, and Moroccan Braised Beef (recipe courtesy of Chef Jenn Felmley!) sounded like just the ticket. Today is  just short of 2 years in the bottle. I decanted about an hour.  There is  some foam, but not too bad.  Slight soapiness on the […]

More Infection Problems

I discovered that one of the 4-liter bottles of merlot has a funky white layer similar to the one I found on the rescued petite sirah. I hope I can remedy this one better, since the infection came back in the petite sirah after racking.  Before racking I dipped cotton swabs in a Kmeta solution […]

Wine Update, Syrah Taste, and Giving Up on PS Sludge

I got an email from Dave today, he and Paul checked out the merlot and petite sirah on Friday. Since this is our second year in the barrel, neither wine is very oaky yet. By this time last year the wine in the barrels had much more oak.  The petite sirah is a little more […]