Red (Merlot) on gross lees

Red (Merlot) on gross lees

Post by John DeFior » Sat, 16 Jun 2001 08:00:51



Hi All,

  I have a Merlot from frozen crushed de-stemmed grapes that I just pressed
off the skins into two carboys.  I had inoculated with malolactic a couple
days before pressing and malolactic is underway with a vengeance (wine is
now dry, SG .996)  My question is this:  I am tempted to leave the wine on
the gross lees with occasional stirring to aid malolactic and pick up some
flavor complexity.  Would anyone reccomend against that?  I'd monitor
carefully for H2S and other off odors and flavors.  How long is too long?
Ideas, comments?

Thanks again to all,

John

 
 
 

Red (Merlot) on gross lees

Post by Troy Donna » Sat, 16 Jun 2001 15:22:33


I have ran a Malo-Lactic Fermentation on several batches of wine and
have always left the lees alone for the full fermentation of the wine.
I have generally left the lees in contact with the wine for at least
three months or longer if fermentation is still going on, stirring it
once a month.  It is my understanding that the lees is where the good
little bacteria live and you must not remove it or risk losing out on
the MLF.  Stirring the lees adds softness, character and complexity to
the wine.
        One other thing is that I never sulfite the wine until after the MLF is
finished.  Once it has finished then I sulfite and rack it off the lees
and leave to bulk age for another six months before bottleing.

- Troy

Quote:

> Hi All,

>   I have a Merlot from frozen crushed de-stemmed grapes that I just pressed
> off the skins into two carboys.  I had inoculated with malolactic a couple
> days before pressing and malolactic is underway with a vengeance (wine is
> now dry, SG .996)  My question is this:  I am tempted to leave the wine on
> the gross lees with occasional stirring to aid malolactic and pick up some
> flavor complexity.  Would anyone reccomend against that?  I'd monitor
> carefully for H2S and other off odors and flavors.  How long is too long?
> Ideas, comments?

> Thanks again to all,

> John


 
 
 

Red (Merlot) on gross lees

Post by Tom » Sun, 17 Jun 2001 02:53:05



Quote:
> Hi All,

>   I have a Merlot from frozen crushed de-stemmed grapes that I just
pressed
> off the skins into two carboys.  I had inoculated with malolactic a couple
> days before pressing and malolactic is underway with a vengeance (wine is
> now dry, SG .996)  My question is this:  I am tempted to leave the wine on
> the gross lees with occasional stirring to aid malolactic and pick up some
> flavor complexity.  Would anyone reccomend against that?  I'd monitor
> carefully for H2S and other off odors and flavors.  How long is too long?
> Ideas, comments?

Sur lie aging of red wines is something that is becoming more in vogue these
days.  As you said, you have to keep watchful for H2S problems, but barring
those it is a good practice.  You can leave it on the lees as long as you
like, right up to bottling.  BTW, once ML is finished and the wine is
sulfited it is no longer necessary to stir the lees so frequently, or even
at all.

Tom S

 
 
 

Red (Merlot) on gross lees

Post by John DeFior » Sun, 17 Jun 2001 04:34:41


Thanks, Tom and Troy-  I had read one specific recommendation against sur
lie with reds but I can't remember where I read it now.  I think I will
proceed with it and see how it goes.  Thanks for the tips on stirring and
sulfite, Tom.

Regards,

  John

 
 
 

Red (Merlot) on gross lees

Post by SchlossGois » Sun, 17 Jun 2001 09:34:03



Quote:
> Thanks, Tom and Troy-  I had read one specific recommendation against sur
> lie with reds but I can't remember where I read it now.  I think I will
> proceed with it and see how it goes.  Thanks for the tips on stirring and
> sulfite, Tom.

-------------------

Hi John:

Just to throw in another option, I generally leave my ML reds on the ML
lees, without any sulfite until around May or June.

Also, although I do religiously perform "debourbage" (stirring) on all of my
sur lie whites (once per week for the first 4 weeks, every two weeks for the
next 6 weeks & monthly thereafter), I now only stir my ML reds once (on the
first day of Winter) between ML inoculation & the Summer racking.

Finally, when implementing this protocol, as Tom says, it is very important
to check the wine every week or so for H2S.  Fortunately (he said, knocking
very firmly on his wooden computer desk!), I have never had an H2S problem.
IMO, as long as the must is given enough O2 & nutrients on the front end,
there will be very little chance of H2S formation throughout.

Prosit:
Ed
--
The Viticulture FAQ & Glossary - http://www.itsmysite.com/vitfaq

          "I like on the table, when we're speaking,
           The light of a bottle of intelligent wine."
                              -Pablo Neruda

 
 
 

Red (Merlot) on gross lees

Post by John DeFior » Mon, 18 Jun 2001 16:35:34


Thanks again, Ed for the info.  What's  the relative advantage of just
stirring once with a red vs. stirring as you would a white?

Best regards,

John


Quote:


> Hi John:

> Just to throw in another option, I generally leave my ML reds on the ML
> lees, without any sulfite until around May or June.

> Also, although I do religiously perform "debourbage" (stirring) on all of
my
> sur lie whites (once per week for the first 4 weeks, every two weeks for
the
> next 6 weeks & monthly thereafter), I now only stir my ML reds once (on
the
> first day of Winter) between ML inoculation & the Summer racking.

> Finally, when implementing this protocol, as Tom says, it is very
important
> to check the wine every week or so for H2S.  Fortunately (he said,
knocking
> very firmly on his wooden computer desk!), I have never had an H2S
problem.
> IMO, as long as the must is given enough O2 & nutrients on the front end,
> there will be very little chance of H2S formation throughout.

> Prosit:
> Ed
> --
> The Viticulture FAQ & Glossary - http://www.itsmysite.com/vitfaq

>           "I like on the table, when we're speaking,
>            The light of a bottle of intelligent wine."
>                               -Pablo Neruda

 
 
 

Red (Merlot) on gross lees

Post by SchlossGois » Tue, 19 Jun 2001 02:36:04



Quote:
> Thanks again, Ed for the info.  What's  the relative advantage of just
> stirring once with a red vs. stirring as you would a white?

---------------------

Hi John:

Interestingly, the single stirring of the reds is done for a completely
different reason than the periodic stirring of the whites.

The periodic stirring of the whites is done to minimize the risk of
reductive orders and to minimize the risk of imparting excessive yeastiness
to the wine (like that found in many fine Methode Champoise sparklers).
OTOH, the single wintertime stirring of the sur-lie reds is really primarily
a clearing step.

For some reason (I'm not sure why), a wine stirred well after a long period
of sur-lie aging will fall crystal clear after the stirring.  Since
implementing this procedure (recommended to me by Pascal Durand of the
Burgundy Institute), all of my reds have fallen brilliantly clear by the end
of the MLF.

After the ML; the wine should be racked, treated with an appropriate dose of
SO2 (120% of aseptic based on pH), stirred well (to incorporate the SO2 into
the wine & to drive off excessive CO2 & any reductive odors), and either
chilled for cold stability or put up to bulk for several months.

Hope this helps.

Prosit:
Ed
--
The Viticulture FAQ & Glossary - http://www.itsmysite.com/vitfaq

          "I like on the table, when we're speaking,
           The light of a bottle of intelligent wine."
                              -Pablo Neruda

 
 
 

Red (Merlot) on gross lees

Post by John DeFior » Tue, 19 Jun 2001 06:55:04


Thanks, Ed, that is tremendously useful and interesting information.

Best regards,

John

Quote:


> Hope this helps.

> Prosit:
> Ed
> --
> The Viticulture FAQ & Glossary - http://www.itsmysite.com/vitfaq

>           "I like on the table, when we're speaking,
>            The light of a bottle of intelligent wine."
>                               -Pablo Neruda

 
 
 

Red (Merlot) on gross lees

Post by cb » Wed, 20 Jun 2001 05:36:12


Ed,

Interesting thread but I am a little unclear on certain aspect of
sur-lie aging.  Here are my questions;

1)  How long would leave the red wine on the lees before stirring?
Four months?

2)  And what happens to yeast autolysis?

3) If H2S is detected, what should be done about it?  Introduction of
more oxygen?

4) What is a good method to ensure that there is enough oxygen in the
original must?

-Chris

On Sun, 17 Jun 2001 13:36:04 -0400, "ScatophAgous"

Quote:



>> Thanks again, Ed for the info.  What's  the relative advantage of just
>> stirring once with a red vs. stirring as you would a white?

>---------------------

>Hi John:

>Interestingly, the single stirring of the reds is done for a completely
>different reason than the periodic stirring of the whites.

>The periodic stirring of the whites is done to minimize the risk of
>reductive orders and to minimize the risk of imparting excessive yeastiness
>to the wine (like that found in many fine Methode Champoise sparklers).
>OTOH, the single wintertime stirring of the sur-lie reds is really primarily
>a clearing step.

>For some reason (I'm not sure why), a wine stirred well after a long period
>of sur-lie aging will fall crystal clear after the stirring.  Since
>implementing this procedure (recommended to me by Pascal Durand of the
>Burgundy Institute), all of my reds have fallen brilliantly clear by the end
>of the MLF.

>After the ML; the wine should be racked, treated with an appropriate dose of
>SO2 (120% of aseptic based on pH), stirred well (to incorporate the SO2 into
>the wine & to drive off excessive CO2 & any reductive odors), and either
>chilled for cold stability or put up to bulk for several months.

>Hope this helps.

>Prosit:
>Ed

 
 
 

Red (Merlot) on gross lees

Post by SchlossGois » Wed, 20 Jun 2001 08:24:43




Quote:
> Ed,

> Interesting thread but I am a little unclear on certain aspect of
> sur-lie aging.  Here are my questions;

> 1)  How long would leave the red wine on the lees before stirring?
> Four months?

--------------------

Hi Chris:

Yes.  Depending on the time of harvest & the duration of the skin maceration
you are looking at from 90-120 days before the "Midwinter Stirring".

--------------------

Quote:
> 2)  And what happens to yeast autolysis?

--------------------

In a well handled must (proper nutrients & enough O2) the minor autolysis
which occurs will cause added complexity, body & character to the wine.

--------------------

Quote:
> 3) If H2S is detected, what should be done about it?  Introduction of
> more oxygen?

--------------------

Rack the wine immediately off of the ML lees with plenty of splashing (to
incorporate O2).  If MLF in not yet complete & the racking clears up the
H2S, do not sulfite, top-up , & check the wine every day or two to make sure
that H2S does not return.  As soon as ML is complete, add 150% of the
aseptic level of SO2.

If ML is complete at the time that the H2S is detected, add the SO2 (150% of
aseptic level ) immediately at the time of splash racking.

---------------------

Quote:
> 4) What is a good method to ensure that there is enough oxygen in the
> original must?

----------------------

For small batches, splashing of the must through the bottom of the crusher
into the fermenter is usually enough.  Also, the must should be stirred well
on days 2-5 of the fermentation.

For larger batches, the must should be agitated as much as possible at the
crush & again stirred vigorously during the early stages of the fermentaton.
If the grapes being used have a history of poor fermentations, one can even
pump air into the vat via an aquarium pump during the first few days.

Prosit:
Ed,
Odyssey Cellars
--
The Viticulture FAQ & Glossary - http://www.itsmysite.com/vitfaq

          "I like on the table, when we're speaking,
           The light of a bottle of intelligent wine."
                              -Pablo Neruda

 
 
 

Red (Merlot) on gross lees

Post by cb » Wed, 20 Jun 2001 20:56:04


Thanks Ed, that clarified it for me.  

-Chris

On Mon, 18 Jun 2001 19:24:43 -0400, "SchlossGoist"

Quote:



>> Ed,

>> Interesting thread but I am a little unclear on certain aspect of
>> sur-lie aging.  Here are my questions;

>> 1)  How long would leave the red wine on the lees before stirring?
>> Four months?

>--------------------

>Hi Chris:

>Yes.  Depending on the time of harvest & the duration of the skin maceration
>you are looking at from 90-120 days before the "Midwinter Stirring".

>--------------------

>> 2)  And what happens to yeast autolysis?

>--------------------

>In a well handled must (proper nutrients & enough O2) the minor autolysis
>which occurs will cause added complexity, body & character to the wine.

>--------------------

>> 3) If H2S is detected, what should be done about it?  Introduction of
>> more oxygen?

>--------------------

>Rack the wine immediately off of the ML lees with plenty of splashing (to
>incorporate O2).  If MLF in not yet complete & the racking clears up the
>H2S, do not sulfite, top-up , & check the wine every day or two to make sure
>that H2S does not return.  As soon as ML is complete, add 150% of the
>aseptic level of SO2.

>If ML is complete at the time that the H2S is detected, add the SO2 (150% of
>aseptic level ) immediately at the time of splash racking.

>---------------------

>> 4) What is a good method to ensure that there is enough oxygen in the
>> original must?

>----------------------

>For small batches, splashing of the must through the bottom of the crusher
>into the fermenter is usually enough.  Also, the must should be stirred well
>on days 2-5 of the fermentation.

>For larger batches, the must should be agitated as much as possible at the
>crush & again stirred vigorously during the early stages of the fermentaton.
>If the grapes being used have a history of poor fermentations, one can even
>pump air into the vat via an aquarium pump during the first few days.

>Prosit:
>Ed,
>Odyssey Cellars