Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

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Marcus Goodfellow
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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#51 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » November 30th, 2018, 8:27 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
November 26th, 2018, 10:49 am
I kind of like it when different winemakers are making different decisions on issues like this.

1. It indicates people are thinking and responding to the needs of their grapes and their vineyards and not just making wines based on a formula.
2. The market will have different types of wines that taste different and we can all choose what we like better. Wine should not be Coca Cola.

Thanks (esp. to the winemakers) for an interesting and honest discussion.
For the win!

Honestly, we’re better off with well made wines in a wide range of expressions. I enjoy a range of wines from producers who make very different choices than I do, and it doesn’t really boil down to whose is better. Crowley, McKinlay, Walter Scott, and Belle Pente, and Evesham Wood are great producers all in a destemmed style(but still with many other differences too) and Cristom, Kelley Fox, and White Rose make fabulous wines with stems.

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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#52 Post by Tariq K » December 1st, 2018, 5:27 am

Slightly off-topic, but anyone else get a headache from stems/whole cluster PN? Wife and I had a bottle of a whole cluster 2016 PN last night and we both woke up with a somewhat weird headache.

It could have also been caused by a number of other factors (dehydration, low-grade cold, the fact that she made me watch the first half of Twilight last night) but does this ring a bell with anyone?
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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#53 Post by Mike Evans » December 1st, 2018, 8:21 am

A headache after watching part of Twilight definitely rings a bell. OTOH, I can’t recall any effects from drinking whole cluster wines, and I drink quite a few of them.

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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#54 Post by larry schaffer » December 1st, 2018, 8:22 am

Tariq K wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 5:27 am
Slightly off-topic, but anyone else get a headache from stems/whole cluster PN? Wife and I had a bottle of a whole cluster 2016 PN last night and we both woke up with a somewhat weird headache.

It could have also been caused by a number of other factors (dehydration, low-grade cold, the fact that she made me watch the first half of Twilight last night) but does this ring a bell with anyone?
Nope, I cannot imagine anything in whole clusters or stems that would lead to that directly. My educated guess is that it was something else. Cheers.
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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#55 Post by Mark Cochard » December 4th, 2018, 10:30 am

Haven't read the article yet. From Wine Business Monthly's digital edition. Article starts on page 40.
[urlhttps://www.winebusiness.com/wbm/?go=getDigital ... ueId=10578][/url]

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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#56 Post by Charlie Carnes » December 4th, 2018, 11:16 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 8:18 pm
A. So wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 7:59 pm
I've had quite a bit of trouble distinguishing stems/no stems in pinot (e.g. Fourrier destems but sometimes tastes green and stemmy to me). It was a subject that was brought up at dinner last night (mostly in the context of whether such a thing as "ripe stems" exists and whether it makes a difference if the stems are ripe or not). My proposal was to find good examples of pinots (Burgundy, but I suppose this could be extended to the new world as well) where we had solid technical information about stem inclusion and blind taste whether there were stems or not.
For Oregon, I would suggest:

Stems-Cristom, Goodfellow, Kelley Fox, and White Rose. I know both Cristom and Goodfellow(my wines) utilize stems every vintage. Stem “ripeness” is a complicated conversation that is both different for different regions and cellars. Stems lignify as the plant shuts down for winter. A more northerly region has a bigger shift in daylight to nightime hours as harvest approaches and often a significant shift downward in night time temps. The shift is important as a region with cool nights due to fog may retain natural acidity but not shift as the seasonal light change also changes. Then add in cellar choices-I don’t use any enzymes or cold soaks and, along with cool ferment temps, this helps me stay away from vegetal flavors in the wines. That said, it also drastically changes my fruit extraction...

Destemmed-Crowley(2014 is an exception), Westrey, J. Christopher, and Vincent(also I believe Belle Pente).
I read this the other day. Came back to it today. This is extremely helpful.
So shines a good deed in a weary world!

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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#57 Post by Paul Gordon » December 4th, 2018, 9:25 pm

Like Marcus I observe that stem lignification occurs as a vine is shutting down for the year. I also believe drier/rocky/marginal soils lead to more mature stems.
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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#58 Post by GregP » December 4th, 2018, 10:03 pm

Tariq K wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 5:27 am
Slightly off-topic, but anyone else get a headache from stems/whole cluster PN? Wife and I had a bottle of a whole cluster 2016 PN last night and we both woke up with a somewhat weird headache.

It could have also been caused by a number of other factors (dehydration, low-grade cold, the fact that she made me watch the first half of Twilight last night) but does this ring a bell with anyone?
Most likely culprit is histamines from barrel oak, some people are more susceptible to them than others. My relative had a bad reaction to many reds, I suggested she switched to unoaked whites and she is fine since, could not find any decent reds with no new oak to recommend. Depends on cooper, some barrels are way more "aggressive" than others, some are gentler in this regard. Try less oaky wines and see if that improves things.
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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#59 Post by larry schaffer » December 4th, 2018, 10:21 pm

Those histamines certainly could be coming from the skins of red grapes as well, my friend. Or even during the fermentation process.
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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#60 Post by Eric Lundblad » December 4th, 2018, 10:45 pm

Paul Gordon wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 9:25 pm
Like Marcus I observe that stem lignification occurs as a vine is shutting down for the year. I also believe drier/rocky/marginal soils lead to more mature stems.
I agree with Paul's comment. The complicated part is that stem lignification is on the long list of grape cluster factors/aspects, & each ripen at their independent own rate, and as they dang well please. The interesting part is that the order of the factors/aspects ripen first or last or somewhere in between is different each year in some interesting/notable way...like it's a jigsaw puzzle (clarification: factors/aspects = stem ripeness, seeds, brix, a whole host of skin factors, etc). I agree about rocky/etc soils...I also think night time temps play a surprising role.
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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#61 Post by Eric Lundblad » December 4th, 2018, 10:47 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 10:21 pm
Those histamines certainly could be coming from the skins of red grapes as well, my friend. Or even during the fermentation process.
Fermentation is my bet (primary and seconday), esp stressed ferments.
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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#62 Post by GregP » December 4th, 2018, 11:42 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 10:21 pm
Those histamines certainly could be coming from the skins of red grapes as well, my friend. Or even during the fermentation process.
Sure. That said, every time I heard someone complain of headaches and told them to seek less/no oak, all issues were solved. I just analyze data :-)
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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#63 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » December 4th, 2018, 11:54 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 3:44 am
GregT wrote:
November 21st, 2018, 6:46 pm

That made me realize I was just stupid and clueless, and with that clarity, my life became much more satisfactory.
That is worthy of a signature line. I may steal it, assuming nobody else has already! ;)
Someone else needs to claim it then because you have the best of all sinature lines already.

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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#64 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » December 4th, 2018, 11:58 pm

Paul Gordon wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 9:25 pm
Like Marcus I observe that stem lignification occurs as a vine is shutting down for the year. I also believe drier/rocky/marginal soils lead to more mature stems.
I would second your comment on drier/rocky/marginal soils. Honestly, most things that inhibit/challenge green growth/vigor lead to more mature stems.

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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#65 Post by Robert Ferguson » December 6th, 2018, 5:10 pm

The link Mark posted to the Wine Business article was pretty interesting.

Adelsheim did an experiment. 13% whole cluster. The whole clusters were added to the bottom of one fermenter, to the top of another. They found differences in the wines with a preference for the whole clusters at the bottom. Lab numbers as well but they're beyond my knowledge.

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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#66 Post by Robert Burgholzer » December 7th, 2018, 4:27 am

Ian Brand wrote:
November 26th, 2018, 10:10 am
...
There are better ways to make Cab Sauv.
FWIW Domaine des Trevallon does 100% whole cluster red that is 50/50 cab sauv and syrah. To my mind their wines can be a fantastic example of cab expression outside of the expected regions — they are in Provence though on northern facing slopes (*I think*). Despite the aspect, I still anticipate that they might be a warmer clime, and perhaps that effects lignification as well as shifting the balance towards stem benefit.
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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#67 Post by Wes Barton » December 7th, 2018, 5:36 pm

Robert Burgholzer wrote:
December 7th, 2018, 4:27 am
Ian Brand wrote:
November 26th, 2018, 10:10 am
...
There are better ways to make Cab Sauv.
FWIW Domaine des Trevallon does 100% whole cluster red that is 50/50 cab sauv and syrah. To my mind their wines can be a fantastic example of cab expression outside of the expected regions — they are in Provence though on northern facing slopes (*I think*). Despite the aspect, I still anticipate that they might be a warmer clime, and perhaps that effects lignification as well as shifting the balance towards stem benefit.
The '11 Arnot-Roberts Cab from Fellom Ranch (Montebello Rd.) I tried was 100% whole cluster. I found it inspirational, suiting the fruit very well. Contrast that to the 100% whole cluster Peter Martin Ray PN of theirs I tried a few years ago. That one pissed me off since, as a young wine, at least, the wonderful, unique terroir as I know it was obliterated, despite it being a good wine. I mean, you could age Bonnes Mares in American oak and make a good wine...
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Re: Thoughts on stems / whole cluster...

#68 Post by Eric Lundblad » December 7th, 2018, 7:02 pm

Robert Burgholzer wrote:
December 7th, 2018, 4:27 am
Ian Brand wrote:
November 26th, 2018, 10:10 am
...
There are better ways to make Cab Sauv.
FWIW Domaine des Trevallon does 100% whole cluster red that is 50/50 cab sauv and syrah. To my mind their wines can be a fantastic example of cab expression outside of the expected regions — they are in Provence though on northern facing slopes (*I think*). Despite the aspect, I still anticipate that they might be a warmer clime, and perhaps that effects lignification as well as shifting the balance towards stem benefit.
Trevallon is on North facing slopes. The AOC it's in requires a majority of Grenache...however Grenache wouldn't ripen there. A famous early 1900's Bordeaux 'advisor/consultant' (a poor term, wish I could remember his name) commented that Cab & Syrah would do well there, so that's what they did (leading to a political battle). Anyways, Trevallon (the Alpilles region) is significantly cooler than the rest of Provence.
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