A little RJS tasting comparison

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jbo_c

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Did a little ‘barrel tasting’ this evening. These were started in March, so not expecting fireworks. Just wanted to see where we were.

En Primeur Nebbiolo - dry, lighter than I expected, negligible fruit, but still very nice

En Primeur Cabernet - nice body, much more than the Nebbiolo, considerably more fruit, though not refined enough to pick out more than just ‘dark fruit’, I added Hungarian medium toast oak cubes, but it might need more, still light on oak in my opinion.

Cru International Zinfandel - surprising body, very comparable with the EP cab in that respect, same generic ‘dark fruit’, it actually tasted like a Zinfandel, could stand more oak

Will bottle in the next month or two and try to hold out for spring before tasting again.

Jbo
 

jgmann67

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Did a little ‘barrel tasting’ this evening. These were started in March, so not expecting fireworks. Just wanted to see where we were.

En Primeur Nebbiolo - dry, lighter than I expected, negligible fruit, but still very nice

En Primeur Cabernet - nice body, much more than the Nebbiolo, considerably more fruit, though not refined enough to pick out more than just ‘dark fruit’, I added Hungarian medium toast oak cubes, but it might need more, still light on oak in my opinion.

Cru International Zinfandel - surprising body, very comparable with the EP cab in that respect, same generic ‘dark fruit’, it actually tasted like a Zinfandel, could stand more oak

Will bottle in the next month or two and try to hold out for spring before tasting again.

Jbo
What’s the rush? Why not wait another 3-6 months?

The longer they’re in bulk aging, the more likely it is your wine will mature into the wine it could be.
 

jbo_c

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I didn’t say before chugging. :) I said tasting.

Plus, my theory on wine is if I like it, I should drink it. After all, that’s why I made it. LOL

I’ll make sure some ages to three years or so, but I’ve never had a kit I thought improved significantly after two years, so that’s plenty in my book.

Jbo
 

Brian55

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I didn’t say before chugging. :) I said tasting.

Plus, my theory on wine is if I like it, I should drink it. After all, that’s why I made it. LOL

I’ll make sure some ages to three years or so, but I’ve never had a kit I thought improved significantly after two years, so that’s plenty in my book.

Jbo
I can't argue the "if I like it, I should drink it" theory, after all it's your wine.

That said, I used to drink my wine way too young before I had enough inventory to let it age properly. I don't put reds into rotation until they're 2 years old at this point. Three to five is where they really start to shine. Although some of the lighter varietals will start to fade prior to five years.
 

FunkedOut

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The longer they’re in bulk aging, the more likely it is your wine will mature into the wine it could be.
Do you really mean that?
Why not age the same time in the bottle?
Once it’s clear (not dropping any sediment) I thought the only difference between bulk aging and bottle aging was possible bottle to bottle differences if bottle aging.

Thanks for the feedack @jbo_c !
 

jgmann67

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Do you really mean that?
Why not age the same time in the bottle?
Once it’s clear (not dropping any sediment) I thought the only difference between bulk aging and bottle aging was possible bottle to bottle differences if bottle aging.

Thanks for the feedack @jbo_c !
Temptation is a helluva thing.

More time in a carboy means time to make minor tweaks (like added oak or finishing tannins) and there’s a difference in the amount of (micro) oxidation between wine in a bottle and wine in a carboy, sure. But, the main reason I bulk age my red wine kits for a year, and fresh grape wines for two, is to keep my grubby mits off of it.

When I do get to bottling, I usually put some wine in 375ml bottles (between 8 and 12, depending on how much wine is in the batch) and I put the rest in 750ml bottles. Then every few months, I’ll open a “taster” bottle to see how my wine is developing. If I do it right, I’ll go an additional year and a half, maybe two, before I touch a full sized bottle.

This method seems to be working out well for me - I have wines that are 3+ years old in my basement and they’re tasting pretty awesome. As a newer winemaker (I only started this hobby 4 years ago), that’s something. YMMV...As John Lennon says, “Whatever gets you through the night... it’s alright, it’s alright.”
 

jsbeckton

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I don't put reds into rotation until they're 2 years old at this point. Three to five is where they really start to shine. Although some of the lighter varietals will start to fade prior to five years.
Ive made several WE Eclipse reds that are around 3.5yrs now and really can’t say they have changed all that much since 1-1.5 yrs.

Here’s to hoping they do though!
 

Brian55

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Ive made several WE Eclipse reds that are around 3.5yrs now and really can’t say they have changed all that much since 1-1.5 yrs.

Here’s to hoping they do though!
How controlled is your cellar? The wines I keep in my wine fridge at a controlled proper temperature don't seem to age nearly as quickly, if at all, as the ones sitting out in racks in the basement.
 

jsbeckton

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How controlled is your cellar? The wines I keep in my wine fridge at a controlled proper temperature don't seem to age nearly as quickly, if at all, as the ones sitting out in racks in the basement.
I’ve heard that same thought before.

I have a temperature controlled cellar so they sleep at about 60F year round. I built it because my basement hovers about 78F for most of the summer.

Maybe I should take a few bottles from my next batch and let them sit out of the cellar (still out of light) and see how they age over time vs the temp controlled bottles.

Anyone ever tired that?
 

Brettanomyces

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By most accounts of people who seem to know about these things, heat makes wine age faster, but not necessarily better. Take from that what you will got your specific situation.
 

Brian55

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By most accounts of people who seem to know about these things, heat makes wine age faster, but not necessarily better. Take from that what you will got your specific situation.
Agreed, large and frequent fluctuations in temperature and light are less than optimal. Don't store your wine in the kitchen, or anywhere that gets sunlight.
 

pillswoj

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Slower transitions and seasonal fluctuations can be ok if the temp does not get to hot. My passive cellar runs 66 in the summer, an extend heatwave may bring it up to 68, thru the fall it slowly drops and in the winter it is 52, again a long cold spell of sub zero highs could drop it to 49.
 

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