As usual Vintage started with our Merkin West, Judiths Block Tempranillo. The whites soon followed. Just like Vintage 2012, we saw most of our fruit harvested and processed by Sept 1st. What set this years production apart from previous Bunker Vintages was the inclusion of Submerged Cap, Controlled Temperature fermentation. I worked with TransStore to come up with a convenient adjustment to their existing 350 Square tanks so I could set a collapsable screen on top of the Pre-Fermenting cap. Once the fermentation began, the cap rises and the screen prevents the cap from expanding through the portal. Like a pressure cooker, the process extracts extra color, body, and soft tannins under controlled temperature. A few pump overs to blow off some yeast stress, but overall smooth sailing. It worked especially well on the Merkin East Cabernet and Sangiovese. I’m anxious to add a few more tanks to the mix. We’ll still be doing the open topped ferments with punch downs as well as the small batches of Modified Carbonic Maceration to preserve aromatics and fruit. But I’m feeling pretty strong about these Submerged cap Ferments.


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