Extended Maceration – Pressing Macro Bins 12.15.10

It may be the middle of December but we are still technically working on the harvest. Bruce, today, pressed three small lots – two Syrahs and a Lagrein.

These are wines that have had extended maceration, that is, fermented wine kept in contact with skins over an extended period. In this case 47 and 61 days – a long time – during which the wines not only absorb color and tanin but convert that tanin so that it looses its bitterness.

The resulting wine is big, dark and rich. Bruce does this for only a few selected lots coming from prime locations in the vineyard.

It’s not over yet there are still a few that have yet to reach that magic balance that Bruce is looking for.

Many of these lots are fermented in 1 ton macro bins whose content, in turn, can be dumped directly into the press – as shown in the image.
Click images to enlarge:

3 Responses to “Extended Maceration – Pressing Macro Bins 12.15.10”

  • Assuming these wines are dry, have they remained under a cap of nitrogen or CO2? If so, how have you maintained it? Or have they been kept at a low temperature in a jacketed bin or cold room? How have you prevented oxidation of the must?

  • I spoke to Bruce today and here is his response: We stir the wine almost daily to make certain that any seeds or skins that are floating remain moist. The tank is covered and with the use of a ‘snow-cone’, release CO2 ‘snow’ which converts into CO2 gas pushing out air and excess CO2. This system has proven to be very effective in protecting the wine.

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