Monday, October 22, 2007


A couple weeks ago, I transferred the last of the new wine into oak barrels. The week before, I had let the wine settle and finish fermentation - or so I thought. This weekend as Joan and I were labeling some of the 2006 Sangiovese bottles, we heard a loud POP. Upward went flying a bung from one of the Nebiollo barrels. A quick inspection revealed that the wine was still bubbling, albeit rather weakly. That made me decide to check the remaining barrels and for the most part I was able to vent just a little pressurized carbon dioxide. However there was a particularly stubborn bung in one barrel of the Estate Syrah and as I struggled with it, it finally gave way with an explosive sound followed immediately by a geyser of carbonated, delicious, fragrant, inky black wine. As Joan mopped up the mess, I groaned. This is one of ways that barrels get that beautiful purple embrace.

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