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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Sparkling Experiment #1 (Albillo)

Last Sunday 16th August, in accordance with my Sparkling Master Plan, ie to make a few bottles of sparkling wine from every variety, from every plot, and from as many states of grape ripeness as possible, I duly bottled up one (1) bottle of Albillo, from the Charco del Cura vineyard (El Tiemblo, Sierra de Gredos), at a density of 1025.

Note: This year I'm just going to do the 'Método Ancestral', ie just bottling up with a crown cap (beer bottle style top) while the wine is still fermenting. Next year, perhaps, I may consider thinking about other methods, second fermentations, degorging, etc. But this year, I'd rather not complicate my already complicated life too much :) 

Sparkling Albillo Experiment #1
So on Wed 19th August last, I proceded to taste it with my friend David, owner of the La Viñeta de Carmelo winestore, in Madrid.

We decided that David would do the opening and I would take the photos.

First though we put the bottle in his fridge to cool and settle a little as I suspected that it got slightly shoogled in the car on the way from my house to his shop.

So after 30 mins - Action stations. Camara ready. Bottle opener ready. Here we go!

Good Grief! What an eruption! What a fountain! I've never seen anything like it in my life! At least 75% of the bottle went spurting all over the floor!

But we did get a glass each to taste.

Extremely cloudy, infact, totally opaque.  Colour of light mud or sludge. But appearances can be deceptive, as it was totally smooth in the mouth. Not much fizz left after the eruption, just gently pétillant. Very fruity in the nose, very sweet in the mouth.

Cleaning up the mess!
So, conclusions and lessons learned. The main one is that for future experiments I will have to do long, slow cool fermentations, as opposed to my preferred hot n fast approach. This is because I need time to taste a few days after bottling and if happy with the result, the remaining wine ought to be at more or less the same stage of fermentation. Otherwise I will miss the boat!

Another lesson learnt is that 1025 is perhaps a bit too gassy. Maybe I'll wait until 2020 for the next experiment.

Experiment #2 

Another experiment is underway already. It's with the same Albillo but this time bottled up at a density 2010. This is probably not fizzy enough, but I bottled and capped the last 15 bottles of this lot, because there wasn't enough room in the 300 liter tank into which I had just racked the wine. Waste not want not. 

Watch this space for the results of Exp.#2. David, prepare your mop, bucket, and protective goggles,  j'arrive :)

Racking into a 300 liter stainless steel tank (on the right)

300 liter stainless steel tank full of Albillo wine

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