This second harvest years, things have been taking an interesting turn.
First, the grapes have all been of good quality. The Bacchus almost played the same trick as last year as they looked contaminated by fungus, but I was able to correct this situation. Next to that, the Pinot Noir vines were very prolific and I had a large quantity of red grapes to press.
My harvest dates have been:
- Pearl of Csaba: 30 August
- Bacchus: 10 September
- Pinot Noir: 10 October
The sugar contents have been good:
- Pearl of Csaba: Brix 20.5
- Pinot Noir: Brix 23
- Bacchus: Brix 18 – a bit low and I should have left the grapes longer on the vines, but the starlings were coming and picking on them, so I decided to harvest instead of installing bird nets.
The Pinot Noir harvest was so prolific that I decided to make 2 batches: one for red wine and one for rosé. That is quite exciting.
Last year’s wines did fine. I wrote about the Pearl of Csaba that I took to France to my sommelier nephew. The Pinot Noir had an accident, or more accurately, I screwed it up because I had not noticed the water in the valves that protect the jugs from oxidation had evaporated. That, together with my second mistake of bottling to late and with hot temperatures, I got a wine that oxidated. It gave the wine an unexpected taste. Not a bad one, though. It smells and tastes a bit like a Port. So, it is drinkable and not unpleasant, but it is not how it should taste. This year, I will be paying attention better.
Another experiment I did this year was to try to make a Moscato type of wine from the Pearl of Csaba. I bottled the must as it was fermenting. I got a sparkling effect as a result. Actually, it was so sparkling that the corks burst out and the foamy wine redecorated my basement. I was able to taste some of the wine that had remained in the bottles and that was really good. It tasted like a Moscato d’Asti. I need to do more research on how to prevent the cork explosions and I will be onto something really good. That is a project for the next crop.
So, there I am, going a little wild and making 4 different types of wine. I have already tasted them.
- The Pearl of Csaba is really good, actually better than last year’s. Perhaps because I did not do a second pressing to avoid bitterness from the stems.
- The Bacchus has a less fruity aroma than the Pearl of Csaba, but it tastes clean and crisp. I think it will be a great wine for fish and seafood. It has something of a Riesling and of a Sauvignon Blanc.
- The Pinot Noir wines are still a bit young at this stage, but they both taste already quite promising.