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RJ Spagnols Aging En Primeur and Cru Select wines

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bka4

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I have been making wine (almost exclusively from RJ Spagnol kits) for about 3 years. I have found that the Cellar Classic reds can be drank within 3-6 months, but the Cru Select reds seem to need 1-2 years, and I have yet to figure out how long to age En Primeur wines. I do find that the whites in all levels are drinkable almost as soon as they are cleared - and they don't seem to get much better (or worse) with age.

An EP Merlot and EP Pinot Noir made in 9/07 did certainly seem to improve early this year. A Woodbridge Cab Sav made in 12/07 was not that great - until last month. I opened a Chilean Carmenere made in 4/08 last night, and it was quiet tart - not very good.

Does anyone have longer experience in aging EP wines? Am I fooling myself, thinking that these wines are going to suddenly turn into $30-$50 bottles of great wine if I hold onto them long enough???

I have almost stopped buying EP kits, as I find the Cru Select kits are better - at least at 18-24 months.

Brad
 

Wild Duk

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Well I have both a Cab. Sav. and a Pinot from E.P. that I was hoping a year in the carboy would do. We'll see.
 

Wade E

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I have an EP Amarone that is just awesome at 2 1/4 years old. Its the only EP Ive made, all the others were Winery Series and Cru Select limited Editions which I started drinking around 8 months and were good but are now right around 2 1/2 years old and Delish!
 

Runningwolf

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Brad, right now I am drinking mostly whites. I made a few reds to tuck away for a couple years though. I agree most whites taste ok at bottling but they taste a lot better after a month of getting over bottle shock. After six months they even taste better yet! If you listen to a wine snob that drinks red (coughWadecough) they'll tell you to buy the best big red you can afford to get the best wine. They are correct. They'll Wade also tell you that you can get away being a cheaper white and they're good. Well I can tell you if you buy an economy Riesling and then try a big Riesling, you'll never go back to the economy one. So what I am saying is buy the biggest kit you can and let it age at least 6-12 months if you can (reds even longer).
 

Wade E

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Huh Hum, Oh hey there Dan! Dan is correct in stating what Iusually say, I would never say that the lower white kits are the same as the bigger ones, just a much closer match then a cheap red to a big one.
 

Runningwolf

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What are you getting at Running(with scissors)wolf ;)
Once you start making wine, you start drinking more wine and your tastes do change. I started out with the smaller kits and now buy mostly the bigger ones as they really are better. After making and drinking a Washington valley Riesling I made a cheaper one not realizing the first one was a much bigger kit. We absolutely noticed the difference. Taking the time to properly age them definitely improves the taste also.
 

LarryW

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Once you start making wine, you start drinking more wine and your tastes do change. I started out with the smaller kits and now buy mostly the bigger ones as they really are better. After making and drinking a Washington valley Riesling I made a cheaper one not realizing the first one was a much bigger kit. We absolutely noticed the difference. Taking the time to properly age them definitely improves the taste also.
Could you folks give me a better understanding of what makes a wine BIG?
thanks
 

cpfan

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Larry:

Two points here. a BIG wine, and a BIG wine kit. I think Dan/Runningwolf is saying that he doesn't buy the 7.5 to 10 litre kits any more, having switched to the 16 to 18 litre kits.

And if you want a BIG wine (fuller bodied, fuller taste), you would be better off with a BIG kit, especially one with grape skins.

Steve
 

jdammer

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Hi Larry,

Only been doing this awhile but when people talk about the wine kit taste they're talking about the smell. The 10 liter kits I made tasted pretty good but there really isn't much in smell as it has probably been boiled off when they condensed the juice. I wont ever buy a 10L kit again.
 

overpinot

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Sorry for the Newbie question, but with the time frames you folks are talking about on aging, especially the reds, are you speaking of bulk aging in carboy or are you aging in bottle for 2+ years? if so, how do you deal with the metabisulfite and the corks? do you change out the corks after time and add some mbs? confused...
 

diggerdan17

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If you plan to age for more than 12 months in bottles you should add another quarter teaspoon per 6 gallon batch. If you bulk age in carboys you should add a quarter teaspoon every 3 months.
 

Northerngal

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I also purchased higher quality corks rather than the agglomerated corks. They're rated for longer storage.
 

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