Highly Acidic Wines September 22 2015

Here are some tips to dealing with highly acidic wines.

  1. Do nothing and then sweeten near bottling time until balanced.
  2. Blend with a low acid wine.
  3. Ameliorate - Add water, often distilled or reverse osmosis.
  4. Ferment with Lalvin 1122 yeast, which can transform malic acid in wine to lactic acid and Co2.
  5. Malolactic fermentation - Malolactic fermentation (MLF) is an excellent tool to lower the acidity of wine, improve mouthfeel, and remove some unripe, green flavor characteristics. It is used in many red wines and it works very well in some white wines. A malolactic culture is added after primary fermentation.
  6. Cold stabilization – Chill wine in a carboy prior to bottling to precipitate out excess tartaric acid. As cold as you can get it (without freezing it) for a month or so should do it.
  7. Chemical neutralization - Potassium or calcium carbonate can be used to remove wine acids. The addition is typically done prior to fermentation for a couple of reasons. One is because there is less danger of losing aroma compounds. However, you can add it post-fermentation.
  8. Carbonic maceration - Ferment a small percentage of your grapes whole cluster (uncrushed) during primary fermentation.