Any love for Pasteur Red / Premier Rouge?

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Jan 3, 2018
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Back when I was first exposed to winemaking, people would mail order their wine yeast from the back of hippie magazines, and it seemed it would invariably be a Red Star sample pack. Aside from updating a few names and dropping the Flor Sherry, I don't think the Red Star lineup has changed much since then.

Later, a few excellent Lalvin products became available to home winemakers But for full body reds, it was hard to beat Pasteur Red. I believe it was also a favorite of commercial wineries.

Fast forward to now, and there is an amazing array of yeast options available to the home winemaker. I'm wondering how well Pasteur Red has stood the test of time. Have you found better options, or is this old standby still holding it's own?

What about the other Red Star products?
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I used it in an elderberry-cherry batch late last year. I found out after the fact that I didn't use enough fruit for the full-bodied results I was seeking, the yeast seemed to work OK otherwise. I just bottled that batch, and while it still has a twang, I'm hoping that the flavor becomes more refined over the coming months.

And I just used it in a WE Trinity Red batch (see separate thread). I knew that Premier Rough had a reputation as a vigorous foamer, but holy cow...

I can't comment yet on the final flavor, but I'm sure it will be good.
That's what I've used on my last two red blends and I've been happy and don't plan on changing when I crush this year. I started using it after trying Montrachet, which created a lot of rotten egg odors in my wine that year. I was able to get rid of it (for the most part), but I had not interest in going with the Montrachet again so I went with the Pasteur Red (now Premier Rouge) and I've been happy.
I am not a fan of Pasteur red. Here is why...

First, I have found that it is VERY vulnerable to H2S and Yeast breakdown. I made the mistake of using that yeast on one of my first batches, then spend considerable time trying to find a way to make up for this shortcoming.

Also, although I do not specifically the flavor and aroma components that it brings to the table, I have a strong preference for what yeasts like RC212 bring to the table.
I've only used the Premium Rouge a couple of times, so I don't have an abundance of experience with it. I will say that I moved my Trinity Red from secondary to bulk aging a few days ago, and it definitely tasted like it was headed in a good direction.

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