Racking the 2014's

       I was a little late racking the 2014’s for the first time.  I had been busy doing other things so it had been roughly 2.5 months since I had originally sulfited and racked the Rhode Island Cabernet Franc and Merlot.  I had all the new supplies to perform the SO2 test and a full day to do the racking, so I was ready.  The Cabernet Franc came it at 20 ppm, which, while on the low side, was fine.  It had dropped roughly 15 ppm over the course of the 2.5 months.  The Merlot, however, had fallen to 12 ppm, which was way too low.  I sulfited everything back to 35 ppm and racked.  One of the benefits of waiting this long for the racking was that the lees were extremely compact.  During the racking, I only lost about ½ gallon (pretty good since it was all coming from 5 to 6 gallon carboys).  This meant I picked up hardly anything on the racking either.  When I looked at the new containers, there is nothing in the bottom of them, so I’d consider that a success.  In the future, I will sulfite the first month after MLF without racking, so as to give the lees time to compact.  It’s better than wasting wine when racking.