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jsbeckton

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Over the last 18 months I have made 7 kits and 2 juice buckets. I have also managed to lay off of it for the most part which leaves me with about 250 bottles. Given we only drink about 1-2 bottles a week this is likely a good 3-4 years of inventory.

I am now looking to make something (a red) that really ages well since I have time on my side.

Any suggestions?
 

sour_grapes

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Lots of good choices. I am not familiar with RJS, but my faves from WE and CC are:
CC Showcase Walla Walla Cab Merlot
WE Eclipse Nebbiolo
WE Eclipse Stags Leap Merlot
CC Showcase Amarone
CC Showcase Red Mountain Cab (but I think that is no longer available).
 

jgmann67

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Lots of good choices. I am not familiar with RJS, but my faves from WE and CC are:
CC Showcase Walla Walla Cab Merlot
WE Eclipse Nebbiolo
WE Eclipse Stags Leap Merlot
CC Showcase Amarone
CC Showcase Red Mountain Cab (but I think that is no longer available).


RJS En Premier Cab, Super Tuscan, and Amarone are all excellent.

I've got the EP Pinot Noir aging now. Shows real promise, but not ready yet.
 

Ajmassa

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I don't do many kits so I'm also trying to choose wisely. Based on this forum I've narrowed it down to 2. The stags leap Merlot and the old vine Zin. Leaning towards the Zin, though it doesn't seem like I could go wrong either way.
 

jsbeckton

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I have done many of the WE Eclipse kits (SLM, Lodi cab, OVZ). Would like to try a RJS Tuscan or Amaorne but so far the labelpeelers deals have kept me with WE. Might be worth branching out since the Bravado doesn’t seem to be turning out as deep as I had hoped although only time will tell.
 

cmason1957

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I have made both the Stags Leap Merlot and the Old Vine Zin. Actually tonight my wife and I are drinking the OVZ. It is somewhere between 18 and 24 months in the bottle. A very tasty wine it has become. I do think I bumped the alcohol a little bit and added some extra tannins and maybe some extra time on oak. I do know it sat in the carboy at least 6-12 months in the carboy. It is really an $18-24 bottle of wine. Maybe a bit more.
 

rustbucket

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Lots of good choices. I am not familiar with RJS, but my faves from WE and CC are:
CC Showcase Walla Walla Cab Merlot
WE Eclipse Nebbiolo
WE Eclipse Stags Leap Merlot
CC Showcase Amarone
CC Showcase Red Mountain Cab (but I think that is no longer available).
All the kits on Paul's list have been widely recommended on this forum and you should be pleased with any of them; but, I only have experience with two of the kits on his list. The WE Eclipse Nebbiolo I made last year is a little over 18 months old and tastes like a very good barolo already. I can, therefore, fully endorse that recommendation.

The CC Showcase Red Mountain Cab I made is over 2 years old and it happens to be the worst cab in my cellar. The kit was a highly rated when it was available. I don't know why my experience with that kit was so poor, but it was made early in my wine making involvement. The wine supplier I bought the Red Mountain Cab Kit from told me a few months after I bought it that the kit was no longer available as CC lost its contract with the wine grape supplier it had for this kit.
 

diggerdan17

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All the kits on Paul's list have been widely recommended on this forum and you should be pleased with any of them; but, I only have experience with two of the kits on his list. The WE Eclipse Nebbiolo I made last year is a little over 18 months old and tastes like a very good barolo already. I can, therefore, fully endorse that recommendation.

The CC Showcase Red Mountain Cab I made is over 2 years old and it happens to be the worst cab in my cellar. The kit was a highly rated when it was available. I don't know why my experience with that kit was so poor, but it was made early in my wine making involvement. The wine supplier I bought the Red Mountain Cab Kit from told me a few months after I bought it that the kit was no longer available as CC lost its contract with the wine grape supplier it had for this kit.
Both my red mountain cabs were awsome, done two years apart. I wish they still made this kit. It was different than any other cab I've tasted though.

As for a good wine to wait on.... cellarcraft amarone, stags leap merlot, old vine zin..... pick one and enjoy. Or perhaps do all three!


Just picked up 5 kits, cellercraft zin, amarone, rosso fortissimo and Malbec and the winexpert LE Grenache Cabernet
 

Ajmassa

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I know myself, and one day soon I'll impulsively order one on a whim. Can't wait to find out which one it is!
Also, I never hear em referenced, but has anyone done any Master Vintner kits? The "sommelier selection" series keeps grabbing my eye.
 

jsbeckton

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Think I am down to the CC Amarone, RJS Amarone or the WE Forza. Anyone make all of these and have a favorite?
 

Ajmassa

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Oh yea the Forza. That one seemed to be pretty popular too. If still available put it on the list!
I'll avoid the Amarones for now since I've never even had even a glass of one yet.
Now I just gotta pick one:
WE old vine Zin
WE Stags Merlot
WE Forza (if around still)
CC Walla walla cab/Merlot
WE Nebbiolo

I'll make it interesting tho since my choice changes hourly.
@sourgrapes I want you to choose for me from that list. I realize you haven't made every one. But in about 12 months I'll be sure to send 1 or 2 over to Wisconsin. (I'm serious) So maybe that will make your choice easier to make.
So Paul, what's it gonna be?
 

Smok1

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Oh yea the Forza. That one seemed to be pretty popular too. If still available put it on the list!
I'll avoid the Amarones for now since I've never even had even a glass of one yet.
Now I just gotta pick one:
WE old vine Zin
WE Stags Merlot
WE Forza (if around still)
CC Walla walla cab/Merlot
WE Nebbiolo

I'll make it interesting tho since my choice changes hourly.
@sourgrapes I want you to choose for me from that list. I realize you haven't made every one. But in about 12 months I'll be sure to send 1 or 2 over to Wisconsin. (I'm serious) So maybe that will make your choice easier to make.
So Paul, what's it gonna be?
You should try the cc showcase aramone, we did some tasting flights last night

Le16 grenache cab
Le16 cab franc
Rjs ep australian shiraz
Rjs ep cab sav
Cc showcase aramone

The aramone is definitly on another level than the rest of these kits. Im least impressed with the le16s but there still very young
 

Ajmassa

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By my list you know which wines I enjoy. And remember, Ive never had an Amarone before since they're so pricy. With no idea what to expect id be goin in blind. Closest I've had was a $20 Valpolicella Ripasso (baby Amarone). Thought it was ok but wouldn't want 6 gallons of it.
There's also a part of me that thinks 'how could a kit wine ever be called Amarone?' Since the whole appasimmento grape drying deal is what makes an Amarone an Amarone right?
Obviously it comes highly regarded so i understand even in spite of appasimmento it's still a legit kit.
But What's the deal? Is that juice from dried out grapes? And if so why wouldn't these kids be more expensive than the others?
 

sour_grapes

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Oh yea the Forza. That one seemed to be pretty popular too. If still available put it on the list!
I'll avoid the Amarones for now since I've never even had even a glass of one yet.
Now I just gotta pick one:
WE old vine Zin
WE Stags Merlot
WE Forza (if around still)
CC Walla walla cab/Merlot
WE Nebbiolo

I'll make it interesting tho since my choice changes hourly.
@sourgrapes I want you to choose for me from that list. I realize you haven't made every one. But in about 12 months I'll be sure to send 1 or 2 over to Wisconsin. (I'm serious) So maybe that will make your choice easier to make.
So Paul, what's it gonna be?
Wow! I am honored. And the funny thing is, before I got to your request, I chose one for you, saying to myself, "Just get the Nebbiolo."

My final choice would be between the Neb and the Caberlot. I decided to suggest the Nebbiolo because: 1) it is delicious, 2) it is cool to say, 3) your relatives will be happy, and 4) you can always get a commercial Caberlot, but Nebs are hard to come by. :b

Tell you what, I'll send YOU a bottle or two now, if you wish. Then you can decide for yourself.
 

Ajmassa

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I've got some Chilean caberlot from grapes aging right now. But I liked the idea of a Washington kit.
But it doesn't matter now since I'm a man of my word. And Nebbiolo it is! ---err I mean , hmmm. I'm not sure. Maybe I'll need to taste it to know for sure.
I'll PM you. Kicking myself for not saving some skins last month. (Sorry. Didn't mean to hijack the thread)

As far as @jsbeckton 's choice of CC or RJS Amarone or the Forza, it sounds like @Smok1 knows which one to do. Saying the CC is on another level would be all I needed to hear to decide.
 
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pgentile

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By my list you know which wines I enjoy. And remember, Ive never had an Amarone before since they're so pricy. With no idea what to expect id be goin in blind. Closest I've had was a $20 Valpolicella Ripasso (baby Amarone). Thought it was ok but wouldn't want 6 gallons of it.
There's also a part of me that thinks 'how could a kit wine ever be called Amarone?' Since the whole appasimmento grape drying deal is what makes an Amarone an Amarone right?
Obviously it comes highly regarded so i understand even in spite of appasimmento it's still a legit kit.
But What's the deal? Is that juice from dried out grapes? And if so why wouldn't these kids be more expensive than the others?
I've done the WE Italian Amarone Wine Kit w/skins and the Fontana Amarone w/skins 3 years ago, both were around a $100. I assumed that possibly dried/raisin-ed grapes were added to the bag of skins and jam? Both were fuller bodied and might have had potential but they did not get past one and half years. Kept trying hoping they would get better. Last year state stores here in PA had a Chairman Selection Amarone for $35 or so. Can't remember what it was quoted at. I bought a bottle, and maybe it was something I should have sat on for a few years, but neither it or the kit Amarones wowed me, but I didn't let everything age properly for an Amarone. The richer raisin-y direction they go aren't my taste. Now maybe someday I'll try a good Amarone and have a change of opinion, but my small foray into them has squelched any future desire. But many people speak very highly of them.

Any of those kits on your list is a good choice.
 

jgmann67

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Think I am down to the CC Amarone, RJS Amarone or the WE Forza. Anyone make all of these and have a favorite?


Where are you finding a Forza? You might check the date on the top. Been about a year and a half since they were available. It’s excellent, though.

The RJS EP amarone is excellent. Haven’t had the CC.
 

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