Thread: sauvignon blanc
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Old 21-12-2004, 02:47 AM
Tom S
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"Dan Emerson" wrote in message
I'm making Sauvignon Blanc for the first time, from frozen must from
Peter Brehm. I fermented cool and It has been going a long time. One
of the carboys appears to be settling its yeast load, so I suspect the
sugar fermentation is over. The larger demijohn is colored so I can't
see the change in color, but suspect it is mostly over. The specific
gravity is pretty low and hard to be very accurate with.

I know that I want to get the wine off most of the lees and sulfited.
How important is this? Can it sit on the lees for a bit? Is that
good? I've stirred the lees a couple of times. What is the best
practice here?

It depends a lot on the style of wine you're making. If you're emulating
New Zealand SB or Sancerre you probably want no ML, no oak and no extended
lees contact. That would mean racking at dryness from the gross lees,
keeping the pH down and the SO2 up.

OTOH, if you're making a "poor man's Chardonnay", you would have oak in the
fermenter during (and following) primary, low SO2, moderate pH and maybe
extended lees contact.

And you can do things in-between those extremes. Your call. That's one of
the interesting things about winemaking. You can give two winemakers the
*exact* same starting point and have very different wines at bottling.

Tom S