Merlot Wines, Sherries, and/or Meads

Merlot Wine (Recipe For 5 Gallons)

April 5, 2001
  • 70-75 lbs fresh Merlot grapes
  • 4 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite
  • 3-31/2 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 3 tblsp Oak-Mor powder
  • 1 pkt malo-lactic culture
  • 1 pkt Bordeaux wine yeast or 1 tube of White Labs WLP740 Merlot Red Wine Yeast

Pick grapes when fully ripe, discarding any spoiled grapes from clusters. Crush and destem the grapes. Add pectic enzyme and Ľ tsp potassium metabisulfite to the crush and stir with wooden paddle. Cover and set aside overnight. Adjust acid if required and stir in yeast nutrient, Oak-Mor and activated yeast. Recover primary and punch down cap twice daily during primary fermentation. When free sulfur drops below 15 ppm (10 ppm is better), inoculate with malo-lactic culture. When specific gravity drops to 1.000, strain solids into press and extract remaining juice. Transfer wine to secondary and attach airlock. After 1 month, rack to sanitized carboy, top up and reattach airlock. Monitor MLF with chromatography and rack again when completed, adding Ľ tsp potassium metabisulfite at racking. Conduct four more rackings, 1 month apart, adding Ľ tsp potassium metabisulfite after second and last (4th) racking. Wine should clear on its own. If not, let sit another two months, rack, sulfite again, wait 14-21 days, then bottle — or blend with another red and then bottle. Cellar 6 months before tasting. [Author’s own recipe]