Whole Cluster Inclusion in Syrah Fermentation (2017)

This study examines the impact of whole cluster inclusion in Syrah fermentations. Syrah grapes from the same vineyard block were harvested and processed into T bins. One T Bin received fruit that was completely destemmed, whereas the other received 30% whole cluster inclusion. All other treatments between wines were identical. Each wine received a 6 day cold soak, and then afterwards were inoculated with RX-60 and received 2-3 punchdowns per day for 4 days in order to limit tannin extraction. Wines macerated for 17 days total, including cold soak. There were no differences in cold soak or in wine chemistry between treatments. Color intensity was higher in the whole cluster treatment, even though anthocyanin and quercetin parameters were slightly lowered by whole cluster inclusion. Catechin was increased in whole cluster inclusion. No significant sensory differences were found for these wines via triangle testing. No discernable preference trends could be seen in this tasting. For the descriptive analysis, there were no strong trends for the descriptors used in this study. There was a slight tendency for whole cluster inclusion to increase Fruit Intensity and decrease Herbaceous/Green Character. More studies should be performed on the impact of whole cluster inclusion in Virginia Syrah, and different rates of inclusion should also be examined.

Read Full Report (PDF)