> Last October I bought 72 lbs of CA merlot, made about 5 galons with a
> Montrachet yeast. I racked a couple of times and added campden tablets. I
> tasted this wine a couple of weeks ago, and was very disappointed to find
> that it didn't have much flavor.
> It doesn't have any off flavors, the color is intense, but there's not
> much flavor.
> I think this is due to my storing the carboy in my apartment in nyc where
> it has undoubtedly hit 80 degrees several times. I know this is a bad
> idea, but is this high temperature storage what stole the flavor?
> David Cowan
Storing the wine at ideal temperatures is important, but the
lack of flavor could also be a result of a number of other
- Time of picking. The best wineries are timing their picking
down to the hour, practically. Some are picking at night
to reduce deterioration between the vineyard and crushing.
From California to New York, and under what conditions?
Could have been over-ripe to begin with. If they wait
too long, the acid level drops too low.
- Climate. California has 5 different general classifications
of climate, and within these, many micro climates. Merlot
grown in a climate too warm will not have the flavor of
that grown in the cooler climate.
- Soil/Growing conditions. Lots of irrigation water will
certainly increase yields but will generally result in
a decrease in flavor. And the same (generally) for
fertilizers, after a certain point.
- Fermentation Temperature. I've been finding out that
higher fermentation temps will result in loss of flavor.
I've also been reading about how most of the successful
wineries are controlling their fermentation temps very
precisely, with steel water jackets around the steel
Unfortunately we don't have much control over these first
three factors, but I'm thinking next time maybe I can set
my carboys in a tub of cool water to keep the temp down. I've
had the same problem earlier this year, no flavor to speak
of, and i think it was from too high of a fermentation
temperature. Something to learn every year.
Let me know if you narrow it down to a certain factor, I'm
Hal Merrill - Seattle, Washington