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Cellar Craft Cellar Craft Chateau du Pays

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sreckner

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Does anyone have experience (good, bad or indifferent) with this kit? My wife and I are looking for a red kit of higher quality than the WE kits we've been making and this one is on sale at a local shop.

Thanks,
Steve
 

cpfan

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Steve:

No experience with this kit, but two questions.

1. Which Winexpert brands have you been making?

2. Do you like Chateuneuf du Pape wines? Other kit companies call it Vieux Chateau du Roi.

Steve
 

sreckner

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Steve,

We've made Vintners Reserve and Vintners Reserve World Vineyard kits.

We aren't familiar with Chateuneuf du Pape/Vieux Chateau du Roi, but based on the description, we probably would like it.

Steve
 

cpfan

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Steve:

Cellar Craft makes at least two Chateau du Pays kits. One is a 7.5 litre kit and would be roughly the same quality as the WE kits that you have made. Without having made any of them, I can't comment further.

The second is an 18 litre kit with a crushed grape pack. This is much better than the WE kits you have been making. But whether it's better than the top end WE kits is probably a matter of personal choice.

Good luck with whatever you decide. If it's the grape skin kit, remember that it should be aged for a year or more to achieve it's best. Also, since the kit is on sale, ask about the production date.

Steve
 

sreckner

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Thanks, Steve. How old a production date would you consider too old?

Steve
 

cpfan

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I don't like to deal with kits that are over a year old. More time is OK for reds, but some white kits seem to start turning a little brown before a year.

Some folks report good results with 2 year old kits. Sorry I have very little experience with Cellar Craft kits. (I've made exactly one CC kit. And it was fresh.)

Otherwise it kinda depends on how big the discount is. 10-15% is nothing, get a fresh kit. I got 25% off a 6 month old kit at my favourite retailer last year, because there was a subtle change in packaging, and they were getting rid of all the older stock. Plus 10% off because it was the first Tuesday of the month.

Steve
 

CarlosMesser

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A big thumbs up and question about GSM

I've just cracked open a batch of this after having aged it 6 months. I immediately started another batch as soon as I tasted it! Out of at least 12 different reds I've made from multiple vendors, the Chateau du Pays ranks either first or second, depending on my mood and what I'm pairing it with. It truly tastes like some of the best "real" Côtes du Rhônes I've enjoyed. I heartily recommend the "with skins" kit.

Someone has suggested I try Cellar Craft's International GSM since I like the du Pays so much. I can't find much (if anything) written about it in these forums. The GSM is supposed to be Rhône-like; it's a mix of French Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvédre grapes. Would love to hear if anyone has experience with this one.
 

kcdig

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Excellent choice!

I've made this kit several times. I've also made the other options similar to this, including most of the GSM offerings.

I will heartily encourage you to let this have some time, and they enjoy it. We've found that it pairs well with a wide variety of foods and is a lovely "cocktail" wine.

kcd
 

RJBanks

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Go for it! ! ! !

I am starting my third batch. I (we) love this wine. I call it our steak (and/or) pasta wine. Do bottle age it for at least 3 or 4 months before you drink it. The first time I made it I was really disapointed with the taste at bottling time. I checked it again after about six week and was thinking of dumping it all back into the pucket and adding some conditioner to smooth it out...BUT I didn't.....and I'm glad I didn't. I waited a few months and WOW what a difference time makes!!!!
 
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Looking forward to the LE release of this kit in February 2011. Glad to hear that it is enjoyable and I will keep you posted on the progress
 
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Steve:

Cellar Craft makes at least two Chateau du Pays kits. One is a 7.5 litre kit and would be roughly the same quality as the WE kits that you have made. Without having made any of them, I can't comment further.

The second is an 18 litre kit with a crushed grape pack. This is much better than the WE kits you have been making. But whether it's better than the top end WE kits is probably a matter of personal choice.

Good luck with whatever you decide. If it's the grape skin kit, remember that it should be aged for a year or more to achieve it's best. Also, since the kit is on sale, ask about the production date.

Steve
What wine did you use to top off the carboy?
 
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I would think that you could use any commercial GSM wine to top the carboy up with.
 

RJBanks

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I use my own from the last batch but for the first one I made I used a GSM I found at Albertsons. I believe it was an Aussie label. Found it in the "Blended Red" section.
 

ibglowin

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I made the regular Showcase Chateau de Pays. I bulk aged for 8 mo and its almost a year old ATM. It tasted pretty good at bottling but I have not opened one of my splits yet to check on the progress but I have not had a bad Showcase kit yet so high hopes for this guy.

IIRC I topped of with Oxford Landing GSM from Australia. Sounds like the same wine RJ used. It was like $6 a bottle and was a perfect top off wine for the $$$
 

kcdig

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Looking forward to the LE release of this kit in February 2011. Glad to hear that it is enjoyable and I will keep you posted on the progress
I ordered 2 of these.

I had occasion to email Christina at CC 1 or 2 days before these were announced and she mentioned that something special was coming. When they were announced I continued with my questions with her, and mentioned the CndP and how excited I was. She said she thought it would be the most excellent and that she was looking forward to it as well.

That was enough for me.

kcd
 

dmulligan

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After reading all of the good experiences with the CDP I ordered the LE version and am anxiously waiting for it. I had been looking for an excuse to try a Cellar Craft kit as it is highly recommended by a friend.

Two questions.
For grape skins: cheese cloth or loose?
Do I squeeze all of the juices out of the skins when racking to the secondary? If so what are the best ways to do this?
 
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ibglowin

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Definitely use the cheese cloth. It makes it easy to punch down the bag and squeeze the grapes, if they are just floating around then your basically trying to herd cats, not an easy feat.

When it comes time to transfer to secondary, wash your hands, rinse them well and then spritz them with k-meta or just wear some throw away gloves spritzed with k-meta. The cheese cloth bag makes it easy to just "ring out" every last bit of juice you can sqeeze out of the grapes. Then transfer every ounce of all that goodness you can fit to the carboy and let it finish out (secondary fermentation).
 

dmulligan

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Great! That is how I did it except that I didn't use gloves and I used asceptox instead of kmeta.

Are there any uses for the skins after?

Thanks!
D
 

RJBanks

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After reading all of the good experiences with the CDP I ordered the LE version and am anxiously waiting for it. I had been looking for an excuse to try a Cellar Craft kit as it is highly recommended by a friend.

Two questions.
For grape skins: cheese cloth or loose?
Do I squeeze all of the juices out of the skins when racking to the secondary? If so what are the best ways to do this?
IMO one can't go wrong with a CC kit. M two fav's are Cellar Craft and US Elite. Both of these companies make a wine that is by far on the top of my list.

Enjoy my friend.........Be sure to age it for at least 6 months minimum before you start drinking it...I know it's tough but well worth it.

Definately bag the skins!

I also use the oak spirals - 1 French Medium toast after fermintation.
 
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