Friday, August 10, 2012

Getting Bottled....

“Getting bottled” had an entirely different meaning to be when I was growing up…, but those young, foolish (and so, so fun!) years are long behind me.

Now getting bottled involved something a little less dangerous – and in reality a lot more fun. As many of you will know, we ran some trials on making both a red and white wine last vintage. The white (Sipon/Furmint) is still at a rather awkward stage (what a great euphemism that is) and is languishing unloved in the corner of the cellar.

But the reds are proving lots of fun at the moment. There are three variants of Modra Frankinja (Blaufrankisch): a cold macerated steel tank fermented one (“Marbles”), a normal temperature, open fermented one (“Traditional”) and a final one comprising the press juice from the first two combined (“Press”). The cold macerated version had been tasting delicious, and since there are only about 150 litres of it and it seemed “ready” (whatever that is – we have yet to discover) so we decided to bottle it. And I think – if we are very honest – part of the thought process was to stop ourselves drinking our way through it bit by bit – as if opening a screwcap was ever an obstacle….

I’d like to think we were following the great Burgundian tradition of bottling direct from the cask or tank, but the reality was that we just didn’t have a bottling machine. And anyway, doing it this way was much more hands on!

So we now have a little stash of regular 75cl bottles, some Magnums and a few smaller 50cl “sampler” bottles all packed up in the corner of the cellar. It’ll be interesting to see how long we can keep our hands off them….

The Traditional one has been racked from the barrel and is now resting in a steel tank for bottling around harvest time. Meanwhile the Press version continues to be the awkward child – with a heavy bout of reduction making assessment particularly difficult. So like any bold child, we have banished it to another room – in this case, the darkness (and oxygen) of the barrel that the Traditional juice just came out of.

We’ll see how it responds….

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