Whole cluster wines deliver a whole lotta flavor


TO DE-STEM... OR NOT DE-STEM

THAT IS THE QUESTION!

Whole cluster wine making has been around for ages...literally centuries.

ALL wine was made in some form of

whole cluster before the modern

destemming machine was developed.

So why wouldn't every winemaker choose

whole cluster fermentation?



It is a matter of desired flavor components.

Whole cluster wine can present

more "stemmy/green" or tannic.

Also very important-

this one question changes

the entire winemaking process.


RISKY AND LABOR-INTENSIVE

If a winemaker chooses to incorporate whole cluster bunches into the fermentation process, he has removed a lot of quickness and ease from the experience.


No longer can he use a mechanized

stainless steel punch down.

Breaking the skin cap

on top of the fermentation tank,

and pumping the bottom juice over extracts

a more even amount of flavor and tannins.

Now this has to be done by hand

and with gravity flow.

Temperature control is more critical to the

process when using whole clusters.

A stable cold environment

prevents the wine from developing bacteria

or spontaneous carbonic maceration.


Careful to not allow too much stem contact. The potassium found in the stems absorbs acidity and

NO ONE wants a flabby wine.

Whole clusters may add

layers to the wine,

but it DEFINITELY adds

complexity to the fermentation.



The two wines shown here are examples of

100% whole cluster fermentation

done correctly.



Winemaker James Hall decided to use

100% whole cluster fermentation in this 2017 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

It's a home run!

It is full of dark raspberry,

blueberry fruit on the forward.

The mid-palate explores more bramble, pomegranate notes. The finish is long, and showcases the cluster backbone of tilled dirt and dried herbs.

Drink now, or cellar.

$45.99 / bottle






How does whole cluster fermentation

affect white wines?

Let this Calera Chardonnay

tell you all of its secrets.

Aspiring to make a

FULL-BODIED GIANT

this white is 100% whole clustered,

barrel fermented, 100% malolactic fermented, and aged in 10% new oak barrels.

What does this create?

A gentle giant of caramel apple, baked pear, and nutty notes all the while supported

by surprising acidity.

Don't let the 2015 vintage fool you.

This wine is still evolving.

$29.99/ bottle




THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING OUR LATEST INSTALLMENT

OF SOMM WINES TASTING JOURNAL.

ENJOY!

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