I have two (2) six (6) gallon carboys with Lodi Old Vine Zin and another with a California red blend (Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and Merlot) They both are ageing with French Oak pellets. The Zin is tight and at the end of fermentation was not opening up while the blend has enjoyed secondary fermentation and is smelling and tasting wonderfully. The Zin was racked 4-1-21 and the blend 4-30-21. The carboys are filled to the neck with about an inch of space before the bung to prevent oxidation. When I extract wine for lab testing I always top off with a similar wine to maintain the the clearance between the bung and wine.
My plan is to continue the aging process until October and thereafter bottle age for a few months.
My questions: Is there anything you would suggest to further open the zin? How often should I have the SO2 levels tested for additions of Potassium Methosulphate? My thoughts are every three months Please advise! Thank you