2024 WineMakerMag Competition results are in.

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Great news Jim! Would you care to describe your award winning efforts as you made this FWK kit?
Pretty much followed directions with these exceptions. Used 0.6 grams Lallzyme EX just after putting in the Packet A, then 8 hours later added 6 grams Opti-Red and included oak chips. Made starter using 10 Oz Welch's Concord Grape juice in addition to the initial hydration water, used 10 grams BM4x4 yeast along with 12.5 grams GoFerm in 250 mL boiled and cooled tap water to rehydrate.
Original gravity at reconstitution and after several thorough mixings was 22.9 Brix, chapitalized with 8 oz cane sugar to 23.8 Brix. pitched yeast 18 hours after reconstitution and Packet A addition ( due to work schedule couldn't wait 24 hours).
Did not use the included starter packet in my starter just relying on sugar in the grape juice. Did use the second yeast nutrient packet about 36 hours after pitch because fermentation had taken off! Had heavy foaming 24 hours after pitching.
Transferred off of skins on 7th day into ported Better Bottle. two weeks after that transferred into glass carboy with included oak cubes. Approx 7 months later transferred out of carboy into cornie keg for additional bulk aging. Bottled about 5 1/2 months after that. Started 6-2-21, bottled 7-23-22.
 
Thanks Jim, your directions are interesting and something to think about.

Also, Forte or Tavola?
My notes don’t show either term, I believe it was the first generation of FWK before those iterations evolved so two grape skin packs iirc. I’ve not made a Tavola so definitely not that, if it was either it would’ve been the Forte version.
 
I entered 6 wines and was awarded 3 medals, 1 Gold and 2 Bronze. The Gold was an FWK Super Tuscan
Congrats! I also entered for the first time this year and took home a Bronze for a Malbec that made. Feels good to be recognized after all the hard work. Hope you still have some of those award winning bottles.
 
Congrats! I also entered for the first time this year and took home a Bronze for a Malbec that made. Feels good to be recognized after all the hard work. Hope you still have some of those award winning bottles.
Congratulations, it is nice to send wine for tasting to people you don’t know and aren’t afraid to insult you (to illustrate any potential faults) and then be awarded for your efforts.
 
Congratulations, it is nice to send wine for tasting to people you don’t know and aren’t afraid to insult you (to illustrate any potential faults) and then be awarded for your efforts.
Well said. Im looking forward to seeing the judges comments. Hoping to gain some insight for how to improve.
 
I won one Gold for my Finer wine Cabernet. It was a Forte with 6 weeks in my Hungarian barrel. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how it turns out) I used most of mine to blend into a Bordeaux blend so I don’t have many left. I too am looking for the comments as I felt my Bordeaux blend or the FWK Super Tuscan were both good, but nothing for them.
 
I received my judges sheets today. 2 of the judges really liked the Cab Sauv, the other commented that it was a “kit wine” and didn’t think it had much aroma, but liked the taste. Pretty good scores on the Bordeaux and Super Tuscan as well. I’m not sure where the medal cutoff lines are as I’m a little surprised they didn’t medal based on the comments/scores. Comments on the Bordeaux that maybe it needs more time, which is probably true. Similar on the Super Tuscan but also comments of some sweetness and a comment about sorbate. It was fermented to dry, so I probably should have skipped the final additive in the FWK which has sorbate.
 
To Everyone reading this: Notice that those who entered: keep records of what they did. I do that in my wine, beer and garden. Separate spiral notebooks.
It is nice to look back on something and realized that what you did really works. Especially if you change things up.
In my garden, I swapped where I normally plant potatoes to plant tomatoes (South Texas and HOT). Both did far better than the previous two years
 
Below are the break downs for the medals for AWS and Winemaker Magazine. They are both based on the UDC 20 point system but why the ratings are different I can't say.

For the record I entered 9 an got 5 bronze and 2 silver and the notes didn't help much.


American Wine Society
The average scores from the judging panels will decide the medal for a given wine:
 Double Gold (All Judges score in the Gold range)
 Gold (17.0-20.0
 Silver (15.0-16.9)
 Bronze (13.0-14.9)
 No medal (Below 13.0)

UDC scoring which is what The Magazine used
The common way of judging wine at wine shows was for each of three judges to give the wines scores out of 20 and the points are added up for a score out of (a theoretical) 60. Medals are then awarded the basis of 55.5 and over get a gold, 51-55 get silver and 46.5-50.5 get a bronze medal or:
Gold 18.5 and over
Silver 17 - 18.33
Bronze 15.5 - 16.833.
 
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