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Old 02-04-2004, 12:36 AM
MikeMTM
 
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Default Weak Cab Needs A Lift

Paddy-O wrote:

Hi... I just subscribed to this newsgroup today. Many posts are very
interesting.

QUICK BACKGROUND
I have about 50 gallons of Red Cabernet wine that is bulk aging. Several
of the grapes that this wine was made from were not fully rippened. It
fact, several were downright 'green' At the time of the
crushing/destemming, my winegroup buddies and I were not versed in how
you can extract more color, tanning, et al, during primary fermentation.
As a result, the extraction colour was very poor. In fact, the cab has
the color, consistency and flavour of a very pale blush. My wife makes
stronger fruit juice for our kids from frozen concentrate than this
years batch of Cab.

In addition to this, I tend to keep my SO2 levels, in all of my wines. I
do this because my wife is quite allergic to any sulfa medications.
Yes... I KNOW the consequences of not using sufficient Campden tablets!

Question:

Another winemaking buddy suggested that I purchase some grape
concentrate in a commercial wine kit and add it to my pathetically weak
Cab. In theory this sounds fine but my Cab has already been oaked for
several months, undergone Melolactic fermentation, finned, and cold
stabilized. It is now just bulk aging. By adding this new concentrate
into my Cab, am I not risking that fermentation will once again occur?
While I have not tested my SO2 levels, I know that they would be low.

Can anyone tell me what the possible benefits as well as risks are?
Remember, I tend to underuse sulfite because of my wife's allergies, but
I am extremely conscious about equipment sterilization/contaminants.

If I do introduce the concentrate, what would be the recommended amounts?

All thoughts are welcome.

Paddy-O
(great newsgroup!)

Paddy,

If it weren't such a large batch, I'd recommend either writing it off to
experience, or holding on to it to blend with an overpowering wine in
the future. As it is though, I'm sure you have a lot of emotional &
financial investment in this batch, so those options are out.
A question: How does it all taste, regardless of the color? Could you
live with it if you added some tannin, from a commercial grape source,
and maybe a bit more toasty oak? This still wouldn't equal the extended
extraction, but it might produce something closer to what you want. You
have enough to experiment with a small batch or two.

Also, if your wife is allergic to SULFONAMIDE (sulfa) drugs, that's not
the same as being allergic to SULFITES. They are two very different
classes of chemicals. See this link e.g.
http://msm-msm.com/bbs/messages/5317.html Do a Goodle search.
True sulfite allergies are really rare, and sufferers can't eat dried
fruit,or at salad bars, etc because of the sulfites there.I'm sure her
sulfa drug is serious, but I doubt it has any bearing on the wines she
drinks.

HTH, Mike MTM (another Mick, literally!)