The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Tag archive: merlot

Blending Trials for Three Pelicans Blend

I’ve been planning to make a blend similar to Duckhorn’s “Paraduxx” for a while; their blend is a combination of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.ย  I was planning to substitute my 2009 Primitivo for the zinfandel, but in a previous blending trial the primitivo just overwhelmed all of the other varietals and any blend was […]

“One Little Drop”

I was given some samples of a new product called “One Little Drop,” touted to “improve wines.” We opened a bottle of my 2009 Merlot, which is a bit on the tannic side, so decided it was a good opportunity to test it out. Basically, you put one drop of the solution into your wine […]

Comparing Two Merlots: Same Grapes, Different Yeasts

I realized I haven’t really done a head-to-head tasting of my 2008 Merlot lots A and B yet. After being so disappointed with the barrel batch of merlot from that vintage, I’ve been holding out to wait 2 years to pop the smaller batch of lot A. Happily, the time has come! Tasting notes: Merlot […]

Bottling 2009 Vintage Barrel Wines

We finally set a date and bottled the 2009 Merlot and Petite Sirah from Van Alyea Ranch in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma.ย  The wines are tasting great, and we could have bottled before now but I realized I didn’t have a spigot to attach a hose to clean out the barrels after they were empty. […]

Bottling Party in Fallbrook

We drove up to Fallbrook yesterday to meet up with Paul and a bunch of his neighbors to bottle his 2009 Merlot and Petite Sirah from Lambert Bridge Vineyard in Sonoma (the same grapes we made wine from that need to be bottled soon).ย  It was a very nice day, sunny and warm but not […]

2008 “Belmont Park” Lambert Bridge Merlot Tasting Note

I’m mostly disappointed with this wine. But, perhaps there is some hope. After pouring through a Vinturi aerator, the flaws of this wine really mellowed out. Aromas like vanilla ice cream with edge of lemon. Still very sweet on the tongue, but not so sharp. Oak is becoming prominent. I might as well give it […]

Barrel Tastings of Merlot and Petite Sirah

Josh and Dave came by to taste the progress of the 2009 merlot and petite sirah. Last time we tasted them, they seemed to really lack any oak flavor, so we thought we might need to add more cubes to the barrels. We tasted the merlot first, and it is surprisingly good — not overly […]

Finally Bottling Primitivo

I have a few wines that are due for bottling, but I was waiting until I opened my shop because I needed corks, and it seemed to make sense that I should buy them from myself.ย  So today I’m finally bottling my Amador county primitivo.ย  I’ll bottle most of it as 100% varietal, but I’m […]

Racking Barrels and Setting Up Shop

The barrels needed a new home, so we decided it was a good time to rack out the wine and clean out the barrels.ย  Both the merlot and petite sirah need more oak, so we’re going to leave them in the barrels for another year with some extra oak cubes added in.ย  We pumped the […]

“Belmont Park” Merlot 1-year Tasting

It’s a little early to be tasting this wine, but all of my fellow winemakers have all but demolished their stashes, so I thought I’d give it a try.ย  I did not decant, but poured directly into a Riedel Bordeaux very sweet aromas, not unlike a sherry.ย  Wine is not clear, but this is not […]