"Had we just direct-pressed the Syrah, it would have been a nice rosé and probably would have tasted just fine- but I wanted to push for something unexpected and a little more exciting."
2020 was my fourth vintage creating pet-nats, so I was excited to try a few new things, one being, sparkling red wine. There really isn’t much of an established tradition of sparkling wine making in Washington State outside of a few large wineries producing champagne method or charmat method wines.
I was inspired by the many Lambruscos I’ve enjoyed over the years and wanted to make something in that spirit. Lambruscos are often made in the same style as prosecco, using the charmat method, which takes a finished wine into a second fermentation in tank. The wine is generally filtered under pressure while being transferred to a second tank, then bottled off that tank. [super short description of charmat] . For our new sparkling Syrah, we harvested the grapes early with a lower brix level, and used whole cluster carbonic maceration for 10 days prior to pressing, so not a lot of tannin from skin contact and you get that super juicy fruit profile.
Had we just direct-pressed the Syrah, it would have been a nice rosé and probably would have tasted just fine- but I wanted to push for something unexpected and a little more exciting.
We pressed into a small stainless steel tank and fermented the wine slowly in our barrel room for about 2 months. Rather than bottling this wine near the end of fermentation and disgorging after a few months, we placed the wine in a pressure tank to finish its primary fermentation.
This allowed the wine to self-carbonate. After a settling period we bottled the wine unfiltered from this same tank using a counter pressure bottler with no additives or So2 during any stage of the winemaking process. The result is a light yet nuanced, fruit-forward sparkling red with about 3 bars or pressure.
winemaking, red wine