Which brings me to real point of this post. The long anticipated bottling of our 2009 vintage Rockingham Forest Red Wine happened this weekend. Six lovely bottles the result, I only wish there were more. Despite a vintage which appeared to be much better than that of 2008, the wine has turned out lighter in body, and more like the flavour profile I'd expect from an English red. There's still plenty of Raspberry and Cherry, a fair bit of tannin, and a good balancing acidity, but a bit less oomph!
There are a couple of things which come to mind about this vintage. The colour is slightly less 'inky' purple than the 2008, possibly the result of leaving the wine on the grape skins for a slightly shorter time. This may be a factor in the wine being less 'heavy'. I also think the wine is a fair bit drier, and this could be the result of using a Champagne yeast rather than one better suited to red wine. Champagne yeasts are notorious in cidermaking circles for remorselessly fermenting a juice to bone dry, and this extra dryness may account for the lack of body. Perhaps there's more to this wine making lark than I'd thought!
As with the ciders and perrys, patience is the key with wine, and I won't be opening any of these bottles until Christmas at the very earliest. I'm excited by the idea that one day, when we've accumulated several different vintages of our 'Estate Wine', we'll be able to have a good old-fashioned Cheese 'n' Wine party, with a 'vertical tasting' of the various vintages.