Blending the Reserve PN

BlendingThe process of making the final blend of the 2012 Henricsson Reserve Pinot Noir started in early August 2014. Starting out with samples of all 14 barrels of 2012 Pinot Noir from my vineyard. Gustav and I started with a detailed tasting of every one. They came from 5 different blocks all fermented separately with different yeasts. We identified 6 samples that had the characteristics we were looking for. Then we started making some test blends.

Next, I did the same tasting and small test blends with my friends Ritchie and Lena Younger one evening and incorporated their comments into my notes.

Gustav and I got together in my kitchen on September 15, and took samples from the 6 barrels and retasted them. We identified 4 that we wanted and started making test blends from them. Long, frustrating but fun process.

Gustav blending

Sometimes, you taste two wines and feel that the two together would complement each other perfectly, just to find out that instead they cancel each other out completely.

But finally we arrived at a blend that we were very happy with. The blend came from 4 different barrels with 4 different yeasts.

Barrel 56. 44%. Melody yeast. Second fill barrel. Francois Frere, TG M+. Raspberry, primary nose. Good acidity, some earthiness on finish with dark cherry. Good mid palate. Dark fruit lingers on aftertaste. Spice. Intense. Really delicious, would be good on its own.

Barrel 59. 25%. Press wine. (Very gently pressed) Francois Frere, TG MT. Second fill. Big, rich, powerful. Meaty notes, salty. Good roundness and medium acidity.

Barrel 42. 19%. Yeast: BRL97. Francois Frere, TG MT. Second fill. Earthy, good fruit on nose. Good weight on mid palate. Good mix of red and dark fruit. Rich and full on finish. Intense focus. Very long aftertaste. Good components but not quite integrated. Strong fruit component.

Barrel 17. 12%. Yeast: RC212. Francois Frere, VTG MT. Second fill. Floral nose. Good, fresh acidity. Good mid palate. Cherry notes on finish. Strawberry. Very long aftertaste. Some bitterness on finish.

Mixing 2012On October 3, we made the final mix of the wine into a little tank I bought with a lid that sinks into the tank and expands to make an airtight seal right on top of the wine. We had dry ice to minimize oxygen exposure. Very happy with the final wine.

In the picture I am measuring the level of the wine. That’s how we could get the exact blend in the tank.

Bottling will happen on October 6.