Two Bees Wine

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Today we thieved a couple of glasses, now that the wine had time to relax after the tumultuous racking we put it through, tubes spraying it from barrel to bin and back again. Now we could taste what our final wine might be like, touch its future.

The barrel had evaporated more than we expected, a bit troubling. We hadn’t wanted to open it to the air after racking, but apparently it had needed topping off.

Strangely, the color we witnessed just a couple of weeks ago changed. We held our glasses against blank sheets of paper to be sure. What happened to the juicy, voluptuous ripe raspberry color? The wine had started to take on an orange-brown hue, like a rose hung upside down. And the nose behind the heat of the alcohol seemed like poached cherries, more toward the port side of the spectrum than young wine. The taste matched. Our juice had become “reduced”.

Our hearts sank. Somehow it had begun to oxygenate. In hindsight: perhaps it was our rough treatment during the second racking introduced too much air…or the fact that we didn’t top off the barrel. Worst of all, our free SO2 level was low – one-third of what it should have been. We didn’t realize how fragile the wine was at this stage, how critical it was to check the sulfur dioxide again. A fatal error. But we simply didn’t know.

Neither of us spoke. It felt a bit like running to catch a flight to go on vacation – but arriving, breathless, just as they closed the gate, watching the plane pull away without us without being able to coax it back.

Apparently, there are Frankenstein techniques to reinstate color. But with every manipulation, there’s a consequence that can’t quite be predicted.


Post a Comment

<< Home