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Berry Juice

Berry Juice
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Hello all,
I just enjoyed a very nice Cab
Cliff Lede Stags Leap Cab.
What kit is out there that compares to this CAB
Vivino says this is a $80 but I paied$125. I any case it was surperb bottle.
I want to make this, is it possible???
Stags_Leap_District_Cabernet_Sauvignon.jpg
 

Johnd

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Hello all,
I just enjoyed a very nice Cab
Cliff Lede Stags Leap Cab.
What kit is out there that compares to this CAB
Vivino says this is a $80 but I paied$125. I any case it was surperb bottle.
I want to make this, is it possible???
View attachment 52180
That’s a wonderful wine, rated 93 by WA, and 91 on CT, odds are, you’ll not make a comparable wine from a kit. Best Cab kit I’ve done is the WE Lodi Ranch II Cab.
 

Berry Juice

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Really!!???
I would have thought there were more high end kits available.
 

pillswoj

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If you are asking about good big red high end kits there are plenty depending on your taste, if you are asking for a match to an $80 93 point wine.......

Good Red Kits - age a minimum of 2 years
WE Eclipse - Stags Leap Merlot
WE Eclipse - Lodi Cab Sauv
CC Showcase Walla Walla Cab Merlot
CC Showcase Amarone
RJS En Primeur Super Tuscan

All 3 Companies have Limited editions Dec - March which are generally excellent.

I am sure others can chime in with Big reds they have made and enjoyed, but to expect it to reach the level of an $80 bottle is a bit much.
 

Berry Juice

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What does it take to get to a $80/90 bottle,
With these that you suggested, are they classed in the $15-20 range or better
 

Johnd

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What does it take to get to a $80/90 bottle,
With these that you suggested, are they classed in the $15-20 range or better
You're not going to produce an $80 and highly rated bottle of wine with a kit at a cost of under $5 / bottle. Period. If it were possible, why would wineries even produce wines from grapes at higher cost when they too could use kits. Kits don't have the quality fruit needed, and the process is truncated to make it easy to do at home, sacrificing the part of the process where the grapes are fermented on their own skins, pulp, and juice.
 

Trick

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The juice for kits is typically from mass production vineyard. No control on yield.
 

stickman

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There are some high end grapes available, but your winemaking skills better be up to the task; it's easy to take $80/bottle fruit and end up with a $5 bottle of wine.
 

Donz

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It's all about the fruit. You're not going to get Napa Stags Leap fruit and no kit would be even remotely close to CliffLede Cab.
 

cmason1957

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To make a $80/bottle wine, you must start with super high quality, low volume fruit, age it in a barrel for at least two years, then bottle age for another year, maybe three. With a wine kit you are starting with nearly lowest common denominator juice, so you are behind the curve already. You can easily get a $15-20 bottle of wine and maybe after three years it might be as much as a $30 bottle of wine, but all the stars gotta align just right and you gotta really be on top of the winemaking learning curve for it to happen.
 

Ajmassa

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Are we sure the stage leap kits contain juice from grapes from stags leap district?

And— is there any other cheap wine made with stage leap fruit? I pretty much see only expensive stuff.

So @Berry_Juice’s thought process isn’t crazy. To anyone not completely buried in home winemaking and related discussion day in and day out— it would seem like juice from the same upscale district as these expensive wines should make some similar wine.
I’ve never even had an $80 bottle of stags leap anything before though. But I imagine it’s not bad!
 
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sour_grapes

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Fair warning, though. I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of TJ wines. They seem to have: (1) normal commercial wines that you see in other stores, for normal prices. (2) Wines you see no where else, some of which are from famous regions, for what seems like very small money. It turns out that the latter are privately labelled wines produced for TJ, and I assume that they are NOT exemplars of the region. I have bought $20 Amarones, $12 Ripassos, $20 Brunellos, $10 Bordeaux, $15 Chateauneufs-du-pape, etc. from TJ. These were are passable (no pun intended), but nothing special; in particular, they compare poorly to the same list of wines found elsewhere, but add $10 to the prices I listed.
 
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cmason1957

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Are we sure the stage leap kits contain juice from grapes from stags leap district?

And— is there any other cheap wine made with stage leap fruit? I pretty much see only expensive stuff.
I’ve never even had an $80 bottle of stags leap anything before though. But I imagine it’s not bad!
I believe that if a kit says Stags Leap Merlot or High Tail Niagara (Canadian) Merlot or Italian Amarone or Australian Savignon Blanc, you can assume that the grape is mostly the grape indicated (at least 75-80%) and that it was grown in the region indicated, but maybe grown by new growers or from the far left/right/north/south of the region. I am pretty sure that I read Tim Vandergrift say that kit manufacturers stick to the same rules as wines do, although it may not be required by law, like alcohol labeling. I do know that for TTB purposes three wineries that I know the owners of state that they go with fanciful names for the wines they produce from commercial kits (Serenade - Peach/Apricot sweet white wine, Spring Blossoms -Green Apple, sweet white), instead of the Green Apple Riesling, since they can't PROVE to the ttb that it is Riesling. So take all that for what it is worth.

I've only ever had one $80/bottle wine before and that was the restaurant price imported from France and it was from Ben Franklin (or was it Thomas Jefferson's) favorite winery. It was very, very good.
 

Berry Juice

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So it is possible to come somewhat close. I know it's not possible to make an exact Cliff Lede or Caymus quality, hell if I could get within 50% of the quality, I'd be impressed. My question was only asking which high end kit could come close. If I had to babysit on a fine wine for 2+ years, I want it to be something like this. I've see kits go for $200. Are these rated for what I looking for or are those in the $20 bottle class?
 

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