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john9529

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Hi all, I'm new to this forum and to wine making. I just finished bottling my first batch, Master Vinteners Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and I believe I followed the instructions perfectly. However, when tasting last night before bottling the taste was very tart/acidic/harsh. I might not be describing it quite right, but I am a bit concerned it will not be very good. There was a good juice flavor under it all, but I would not want to drink a glass of what I put in the bottle. Will this age out over 3-6 months or are my concerns valid?

Thanks for the advice! I really like this new hobby, but I want it to yield decent weekday wine.

John
 

Scooter68

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How long did you age the wine after fermentation finished?

Most kit wines do not provide instructions for adequate aging and what you may be detecting are the signs of a very young 'sharp' wine that needs aging.
 

Johnd

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Hi all, I'm new to this forum and to wine making. I just finished bottling my first batch, Master Vinteners Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and I believe I followed the instructions perfectly. However, when tasting last night before bottling the taste was very tart/acidic/harsh. I might not be describing it quite right, but I am a bit concerned it will not be very good. There was a good juice flavor under it all, but I would not want to drink a glass of what I put in the bottle. Will this age out over 3-6 months or are my concerns valid?

Thanks for the advice! I really like this new hobby, but I want it to yield decent weekday wine.

John
The general feeling from the folks here is that these kit wines need time in the bottle / carboy, and the higher the quality of the kit, the longer the aging benefits the wine. Your best bet is to put the wine aside for the next several months, and begin to try it over a period of time. IE: try a bottle in 6 months, and then every three months afterwards, until you get to a good drinking spot.

In the meantime, welcome to WMT! Get some more carboys and start some more wines, consider keeping them in carboys 6 - 8 months before bottling, they'll be that much clearer and free of CO2 / sediment, and closer to drinking when you bottle them. Making more will keep your attention off of the ones that are aging. Try some of the "quicker drinkers" as well so you have something to hold you over.
 

john9529

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How long did you age the wine after fermentation finished?

Most kit wines do not provide instructions for adequate aging and what you may be detecting are the signs of a very young 'sharp' wine that needs aging.
I followed the instructions which said to bottle once it was clear. This was 10 days after secondary fermentation and adding clearing agents and stirring off CO2.
 

Scooter68

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OK - Well the only logical step now is to let it age in the bottle - at least 9-12 months
It doesn't age any slower in the bottle, it's just that once bottled there is really no adjustment you can reasonably make to change the nature of that wine.

What you are experiencing is a classic problem with wine kits. Their instructions are written as if everything flows in a standard time line and once a wine is fermented and clear it is ready to drink.... NOT TRUE. Fermentation alone can vary from a few days (As little as 2-3 days), to as long as 3-4 weeks with some wines

Rough rule of thumb with the majority of wines:
1) A wine after fermentation and clearing (2-9 months) = drinkable but may have significant sharpness and an "edge" to it
2) A wine after 9-12 months = Maturing and certainly drinkable and with white wines, Enjoyable.
3) A wine after 18- 24 months = Rounded and mature a Joy to drink and share

(That's just a rough time line - some wines take longer than 2 years to turn that corner into a really enjoyable state, other surprise you in as few as 8-9 months - that's part of the 'magic' of wine making to learn.)

Aging 'in bulk' or in a carboy permits you to monitor the wine as it ages and to make any adjustments in terms of acidity or sweetness (The latter really is rare with a red wine though)
The other thing bulk aging does is that it permits you to further clarify the wine. It's not unusual for sediment to continue dropping out of the wine for months after fermentation, even though it appears perfectly clear.

So for now - let it ride on the shelf and move on to another batch of wine.

The most difficult part of wine making is waiting for a new wine to mature - to age into a sublime wine that you really enjoy and enjoy sharing. That's the reason for my line about patience - I have had to 'learn' patience since starting this hobby, it's a basic part of making great wine.
One way to overcome this is to just keep making more wine, until you have so many wines in the pipeline, fermenting, clearing and aging, that you don't even remember when that first wine is now 12 months old or older.

I'm sure someone else will also suggest making a quick drink wine that you can drink and truly enjoy in the mean time. I'll let them chime in and make some recommendations to you.
 
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