Moving the Goalposts…

April 28th, 2010 | Posted by

waipara riesling ferment testing One of the issues with Riesling is knowing where you want the final balance of the wine to end up. Here we see the fermentation, having started life as juice of around 21 Brix is now down to just over 3. This equates to a residual sugar level of about 40g/L. Not bad considering that it started off with just over 200g/L (nearly twice the amount of Coke! - YES, grapes are sweet!). 21 Brix, fermented dry is also a potential alcohol of just over 12%. Currently with 3 Brix left it might look more like 10.5%. Taking into account that the initial acidity level was quite high at 9.7g/L then stopping the ferment now might end up with quite a nice wine, low alcohol and juicy fruit with sweetness well balanced by vibrant acidity. But there are other options of course. Let it go dry, back blend with Sweet Reserve, lees age/stir for added texture, perhaps even a partial Malolactic to soften acidity and broaden the palate, or to use all/part of the wine as a blend into a larger volume of Riesling. All dependant on the market for the final wine, the style of the winery, the desire for a single vineyard or regional designation etc etc. And it isnt something you can completely pre-plan. The final wine really depends on the season, the vineyard, the fruit quality and the winemaking responses in the cellar to the continuing changes and development in the wine. Confused? Just order a case, you only have to drink the stuff How tough can that be.