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WineXpert Eclipse Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc

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Elizajean

Gaining experience one carboy at a time....
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So, after one month in the carboy, it says to bottle. I tasted each and decided to bulk age for awhile longer. The Chardonnay is a little better at this point, more mellow than the SB, which is still quite harsh. For the price of these kits, I am hoping that bulk, then bottle aging, will improve them...substantially.
 

Putterrr

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Direction timetables are there as a guide and to sell more kits. How many kits do you think they would sell if they advertised them as 6 or 12 month wine kits . The brew on site guys would be out of business if they took that long. Give your kits some time, either in the bottle or as I prefer, in the carboys and you will not be disappointed.

cheers
 

Elizajean

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In my humble opinion, unless you plan to do something to your wine, there is no reason not to bottle your wine.
You've given me something to think about. As a newer wine maker, I read a lot and use the expertise available on this site. I have come away with the impression that bulk aging improves the wine. However, your comment has me thinking that most of the bulk aging is to do something further, perhaps tweak, blend, etc., down the road, or to save space by not bottling. I am not going to do anything further to these two batches except age, and it may not make any difference whether I bulk, or bottle age. I am finding myself severely short of carboys but have empty fermenters standing around. I could make more wine if I bottled. Thanks for your humble opinion, I will think on it.
 

Elizajean

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Direction timetables are there as a guide and to sell more kits. How many kits do you think they would sell if they advertised them as 6 or 12 month wine kits . The brew on site guys would be out of business if they took that long. Give your kits some time, either in the bottle or as I prefer, in the carboys and you will not be disappointed.

cheers
Thank you. Could you tell me if you feel there is any specific advantage to bulk aging these two versus bottle aging for the same amount of time?
 
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SouthernChemist

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In principle there is no difference between bulk aging and bottle aging. It is easier to age the wine consistently in a carboy than a bottle (especially if you don't have the room to store all the bottles in the same place), but that difference may be minimal depending on your setup. Ultimately, if your wine is properly degassed and you do not plan on tweaking it in any way, there is no reason not to bottle age. If you can box the bottles up (so you don't drink them early) and stash them away for awhile, then that will work just fine. You really should not bottle until the wine is degassed and clarified, though. It will not degas in the bottle.
 

pillswoj

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I like to Bulk age my reds longer (especially bigger kits) as they will tend to drop some more sediment in the 3 to 6 month aging mark. Whites I would just bottle age.
 

rustbucket

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The two advantages I see to bulk aging are:
  • it gives you the ability to tweak the wine in some way if, after aging, it isn't meeting your expectations
  • bulk aging minimized air exposure as the only air surface is the square area around the neck of the carboy. Bottle aging exposes the wine to the air in every bottle, the total square inches of which exceed the carboy neck.
I'm sure there are other advantages, but despite these two I've mentioned, I typically only bulk age about 3 months and then bottle the wine to free up the carboy. Lately, most of my wines don't even get that level of bulk aging. I've been bottling them a month after the final racking as I find it more convenient to store bottled wine in wine boxes than store wine filled carboys.
 

Putterrr

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Thank you. Could you tell me if you feel there is any specific advantage to bulk aging these two versus bottle aging for the same amount of time?
Like others have said, things like future tweaking and shelf space are good reasons. If you dont have a good supply of wine for consumption, then it is very easy to try a bottle or 2 while waiting for it to mature. Before you know it, half the batch is missing. Bulk aging stops the wine from disappearing. Sediment can also be an issue. I usually age my whites for 6 months and most of the time there is very minimal lees in the bottom when i go to bottle. With my big reds that have wet grape skins, i find that they continue to drop sediment for at least the year i leave them aging. So without bulk aging, the bottles would have excess sediment. Doesn't seem to be the same issue with skinless reds. Just my thoughts

I have only made the Eclipse Sauv Blanc (many times) and it is very nice IMHO. I also added grapefruit zest in the secondary (read threads from Joeswine).

cheers
 
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GaDawg

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bulk aging minimized air exposure as the only air surface is the square area around the neck of the carboy. Bottle aging exposes the wine to the air in every bottle, the total square inches of which exceed the carboy neck.
I'm not buying this. In my humble opinion your wine is at risk until it's bottled.
 

CrownedBee

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We have the Eclipse Chardonnay in bottle (pitched March 2016, bottled July 2016). In my opinion, it got good enough to share with other people around the 6 month mark (so September 2016). It's fallen off recently - I think it's less flavorful and less round on the tongue, if that makes any sense. I'm hoping it'll turn another corner and get back to where it was. Or maybe this is just a rare kit that doesn't benefit from extended aging. /shrugs
 

Elizajean

Gaining experience one carboy at a time....
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We have the Eclipse Chardonnay in bottle (pitched March 2016, bottled July 2016). In my opinion, it got good enough to share with other people around the 6 month mark (so September 2016). It's fallen off recently - I think it's less flavorful and less round on the tongue, if that makes any sense. I'm hoping it'll turn another corner and get back to where it was. Or maybe this is just a rare kit that doesn't benefit from extended aging. /shrugs
Thank you for the review. I'm hoping it does turn around...it's an expensive kit, so it should age better than that. Based on your timetable, I should bottle after the holidays and enjoy around March. It is better than the SB at this point, but both have a long way to go to mellow.
 

GaDawg

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There's nothing to buy. It is pretty straightforward math.
You are correct. In a perfect world you wine is safe in a carboy, but in the real world where airlocks can dry out or come off, a world with jobs, dogs , cats,and grand kids your wine is safer in the bottle.
 

Stressbaby

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You are correct. In a perfect world you wine is safe in a carboy, but in the real world where airlocks can dry out or come off, a world with jobs, dogs , cats,and grand kids your wine is safer in the bottle.
Not to mention the fact that an airlock, even when full with a good seal, is not airtight.
 

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