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Bathtub Winemaking Project Day 5 – Working on Tannin!

14 Mar

Grape Seed Vintage 2015 by Paul Kaan

Today’s one of the peak days during fermentation. Where about half way through now. The yeast are moving fast, sugar is dropping quickly, heat is being generated and alcohol levels increasing. It’s time to focus on tannin.

My little assistant winemaker helping plunge this morning!

The video below explores  some of the tannin management I’m doing this year taking a look at skins, seeds and stalks.

Reaching down to the bottom of the vat to scoop up seeds and remove them.

Digging seeds up from the bottom of a vat of fermenting wine Vintage 2015 by Paul Kaan

It’s dirty work, but, someone has to do it!

Vintage 2015 Fermentation Management Full Body Contact by Paul Kaan

You can see a green seed from some second crop accidentally picked during harvest.

Bright Green Second Crop Grape Seed Vintage 2015 by Paul Kaan

A handful of the seeds removed from the fermenting vat of grapes.

Grape Seed Vintage 2015 by Paul Kaan

Passing solids from the bottom of the vat gently through my ghetto style seed separator, a bakers cooling rack. If you look carefully you can see a few seeds falling through. The skins stay on the top and are returned to the vat.

Sieving Grape Seeds Using a Cooling Rack 2 Vintage 2015 by Paul Kaan

Sieving Grape Seeds Using a Cooling Rack 3 Vintage 2015 by Paul Kaan

 

 

Vintage 2015 Part 2: Time to Pick our Yarra Valley Cabernet – Filthy Good Vino Bathtub Winemaking Project

10 Mar

Picking our Yarra Valley Cabernet Vintage 2015 by Paul Kaan

Beautiful day to pick our Cabernet for the Filthy Good Vino Bathtub Winemaking Project! We’ll be posting regular updates taking you through the winemaking process step by step for Vintage 2015.

Beautiful day to pick our Cabernet for the Filthy Good Vino Bathtub Winemaking Project! by Paul Kaan

Cabernet is picked – BOOM!

Cabernet is picked - BOOM! by Paul Kaan

Even the Sheep are loving the Filthy Good Vino Bathtub Winemaking Project!

Even the Sheep are loving the #FilthyGoodVino Bathtub Winemaking Project by Paul Kaan

Down the guts of the Crusher as the Cabernet makes it’s way through! The blurry paddles beat the berries off the bunches & feed the stalks out the end for me to collect for tea bag production later! All will be revealed!

Down the guts of the Crusher as the Cabernet makes it’s way through by Paul Kaan

Making a stalk teabag! Wrapping a bucket of the spicey colour fixing beauties in muslin to chuck in the ferment! I pull them out toward the end of the ferment before the hard, bitter stuff starts to be extracted! Timing as they say is everything & everyone likes their tea made THEIR way!

Making a stalk teabag by Paul Kaan

My stalky teabag pokes it’s head up through the vat full of must (crushed grapes) I’ll push it down to expel trapped ear and allow it to steep later!

My stalky teabag pokes it’s head up through the vat full of Yarra Valley Cabernet must by Paul Kaan

Pushing my stalk teabag to the bottom of the vat!

Pushing my stalk teabag to the bottom of the vat! by Paul Kaan

Analysis Done! Temp 18C sugar 12.6Baumé! Most importantly flavour = Yummy & the tannin is ripe! That’s what you get with 17 year old vineyard yielding sub 2 Tonnes/acre, looked after by lots of worms!

Analysis Done! Temp 18C sugar 12.6Baumé by Paul Kaan

Reflection on Yesterday’s Cabernet Pick! Transferring must from fruit bins into our bathtub vats using the old school bucket pump! Matt & I last worked with grapes together back in 2000 at Yering Station 12-15 hour / day 7 days a week! Not sure how we did it! After 1 day this year I was knackered!

Reflection on Yesterday’s Cabernet Pick by Paul Kaan

The Bathtub Winemaking Project is Go! Part 1: Samples from the Vineyard

1 Mar

100g Cabernet Sauvignon Bunch & Dissected Grapes by Paul Kaan

Vintage is almost upon us! The first grapes for the Filthy Good Vino Bathtub Winemaking Project are about to be picked!

It’s an incredibly early season. The last time I picked Cabernet in the Yarra Valley was at Yarra Yering in 2003. We started picking on the 10th of March. Yarra Yering always picked at least a couple of weeks earlier than everyone else.

In 2015 we’ll pick on the 4th of March. Yields are low and flavours look good. Check out this beautiful 100g bunch of Yarra Valley Cabernet for the Filthy Good Vino Bathtub Winemaking Project! Nice small berries, tannin is so close to ready!

A 150g bunch of YV Merlot! Notice how much more open the bunch structure is. Softer, floppies stalks. Bigger berries, riper tannin than the Cabernet, perhaps over ripe! Yielding higher at 3.5+ tonnes/acre. We won’t be taking this fruit it’s lost it’s natural acid and freshness due to exposure to the hot afternoon sun.

Dissected Berry Close-up! Cabernet on top, Merlot at Bottom. Notice the general darker, browner seed colour of the Merlot. Crunching on them the tannin is riper than the slightly greener seeds of the Cabernet. You can see the clear flesh of the grape, all the colour & tannin being held in the skins will be extracted during fermentation.

9 Merlot Berries in varying States of Health!

3 Healthy ones on the left, lovely blue colour, a nice bloom, the frosty looking skin. It was rubbed off a bit by my handling the berries.

The 3 berries in the middle are scorched by afternoon sun from the West. Without a canopy to protect them the sun has bleached them, note the browner more transparent skin.

These berries have less acid and flavours are thinner and a bit cooked, lacking the freshness of the 1st 3 berries.

The 3 berries on the right are the next progression caused by sun exposure and have shrivelled to varying degrees, just like dried sultanas. The sugars in these are difficult to extract during ferment.

The preference would be to sort fruit to remove berries like those in the last two columns.

Measuring sugar levels in the Cabernet. 12.4Baumé should give a final alcohol around 13.6% Nice to know. The most important factors are flavour & tannin ripeness. These babies are ready to pick! Had to go Ghetto and use a bottle instead of a measuring cylinder to float the hydrometer in!

Juice tasting time! Merlot & bunch stalk on left, Cabernet on right! Stalks have an incredible spice about them that. I like to throw a few in the ferment to layer in some yumminess! Juices tasting good. Same sugar levels, better acid and flavours in the Cab. It’s go time! Let’s do this!

FilthyGoodVino Wine Tip #1: The Wine Saver Smackdown Has Ended at a cost of $0 … Sorry Coravin!

12 Feb

FilthyGoodVino Wine Tip #1: The Wine Saver Smackdown Has Ended at a cost of $0 ... Sorry Coravin!

Filthy Good Vino wine tips are hear to help you get more from every bottle of Filth that you open. #1 is all about saving the leftovers at the end of a big night.

OK, gotta put the caveats on this statement. I’m talking about saving open bottles of wine at home, not, in a bar or restaurant. I’ve never tried a Coravin. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has.

As a winemaker, one of the ultimate rules is:

Make sure any vessel: tank, barrel, amphora, holding wine is full … no air in it … PERIOD!

Why?

Air Space = Oxygen

Oxygen = Oxidation

Oxidation =  Off Wine (Eventually)

No matter how hard you try to fill the air space in a tank with carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, if there’s a lot of air space in a tank oxygen will be in there. If the tanks full of wine there’s no room for air, and, therefore no room for oxygen.

Apply the same principle to your left over wine and you’re on a winner. Your leftovers will be in the best possible condition.

How? Simply collect a few small glass bottle: Airline wine bottles – 187ml, half wine bottles – 375ml, tonic water bottles – 330ml … tell me you don’t have any of those lying around by the time the G&T season hits, maple syrup bottles – 250ml, whatever you can get your hands on.

After you’ve cracked your bottle, carefully decant whatever your not going to drink straight into the appropriate sized bottle, filling it to the brim, seal it up with the lid and your done!

Even the most sensitive wine, like Pinot or old wines will benefit. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but, it’s not far from it!

I cracked this Roagna La Pira 1/2 bottle, chucked 1/2 in the glass & saved 1/2 for later! Took me a few days to get back to it and it was looking great!

The 2014 Year of Filthy Good Vino

8 Feb

The 2014 Year of Filthy Good Vino has been Grand! Thanks to all who have shared a table, plate & glass with me this year! Can’t wait to share more Filthy Good Vino with you next year!

A video posted by Paul Kaan (@paolovino) on

Devouring a decade of Bartolo Mascarello was undoubtedly the single greatest wine experience of the year! Extreme Filthy Good Vino from one of the world’s greatest guardians of the vine! Took a while, but, finally managed to taste these incredible wines. There was no stamp of a winemaker! The common thread was one of poise, elegance, finesse, seamless layering of flavours, incredible complexity, balance, refined texture, often with the kind of searing acidity that only works when the vineyard offers a core of quality fruit substantial enough to support it. A gentle hand was guiding fruit from the vineyard through to the bottle with the kind of intimate relationship & patience that can only be realised through the passage of many years & deep thought spent in the single minded pursuit of excellence! A big thanks to @anthdanna for organising yet another outstanding feast, Anth & Allison for looking after us @scopricarlton & @winematters for sharing her thoughts & insights into this very special part of the world.

A video posted by Paul Kaan (@paolovino) on