RAINY DAYS

CALL FOR 

WHOLE CLUSTER

WINES

With Springtime comes unexpected weather.

Let's discuss two winning examples of

whole cluster fermentation and why it is

the perfect selection for rain delays.

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 as to not add more

astringency/herbaciousness from the stems.  

 

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.

$45.99 / bottle

$29.99 / bottle

James Hall creates a winning

Pinot Noir with this bottling. 

 

It is full of dark fruits- raspberry/blueberry/pomegranate.  Mid-palate is fresh tilled black soil. Whole cluster inclusion helps the age-ability of wines and this

Pinot Noir can be enjoyed now, or lay down for years.  Its very "cluster" earthy finish shows this characteristic.

What happens when you barrel ferment 100% whole cluster fruit,

allow 100% malolactic fermentation,

and finish the wine in

10% new French oak barrels? 

A GENTLE GIANT!

This 2015 has layers of caramel apple, baked pear, and toasted nuts with a surprising great amount of acidity on the finish. 

Simply gorgeous.

Rainy weather calls for whole cluster as a warm blanket to surround yourself!

Nothing easy or frilly in these wines.  They mean business and have some serious staying power.

STAY TUNED AS WE CONTINUE OUR JOURNEY IN WINE TOGETHER WITH 

SOMM's TASTING JOURNAL 2021

Previous wines discussed are available to read on our 

tasting blog attached to our website.

Just click on the page above.

Happy reading!

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