WineXpert Eclipse Napa Valley Stags Leap District Merlot w/ Grape Skins

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Pumpkinman

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
3,433
Reaction score
643
Who said that a good deed goes unnoticed?
I think I've converted my buddy who recently lost all of his wine to spoilage,(you know, the one who went to the LHBS and they told him it was due to adding meta....).

I've finally convinced him to start over, start slow with a kit or two to learn the basics, he came over this morning to go over possible kits to make and the process, luckily I have a the instructions from the Brunello kits that I am making, to show him. He agreed that it seems straight forward.

He was totally floored when he saw all of the various wines aging, and fermenting, he was upset that he wasted a wine making season due to very poor advice.

He was insistent that he wanted to do a kit with me, step by step, but we live 30 mins away from each other, he insisted on buying me a kit for helping him, not necessary at all, but very cool none the less!

I sat down to order a kit with him, and he stopped me and made me order the best Merlot kit that I could find.

After a little research, we agreed on Eclipse Napa Valley Stags Leap District Merlot w/ Grape Skins.

Anyone else make this yet?
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
16,042
Reaction score
22,178
Location
DC Suburbs
There's little, if any feedback on the Eclipse kits as they are so new. I just ordered the Marlborough Sauv Blanc and hope to start it next week.
 

CowboyPhil

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
103
Reaction score
9
I just ordered Lodi Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon with Grape Skins today. I will let you know how it comes out. The price was a bit of hiccup but in reality it is still only about 5.50 per bottle and if it is as good as they make it sound. I am going to be very happy.
 

CarpeDuctum

Junior
Joined
Apr 20, 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
I have a batch just completing secondary fermentation. It looks, smells and tastes great...given that it's still very young. Next step is fining and adding oak cubes (there was oak dust for primary).

This is my first kit with a grape pack...so far so good!
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
16,042
Reaction score
22,178
Location
DC Suburbs
By the way, Brew and Wine Supply has great prices on the Eclipse kits and flat rate shipping.
 
Last edited:

dan69man

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2012
Messages
59
Reaction score
7
Pumpkinman said:
Who said that a good deed goes unnoticed?
I think I've converted my buddy who recently lost all of his wine to spoilage,(you know, the one who went to the LHBS and they told him it was due to adding meta....).

I've finally convinced him to start over, start slow with a kit or two to learn the basics, he came over this morning to go over possible kits to make and the process, luckily I have a the instructions from the Brunello kits that I am making, to show him. He agreed that it seems straight forward.

He was totally floored when he saw all of the various wines aging, and fermenting, he was upset that he wasted a wine making season due to very poor advice.

He was insistent that he wanted to do a kit with me, step by step, but we live 30 mins away from each other, he insisted on buying me a kit for helping him, not necessary at all, but very cool none the less!

I sat down to order a kit with him, and he stopped me and made me order the best Merlot kit that I could find.

After a little research, we agreed on Eclipse Napa Valley Stags Leap District Merlot w/ Grape Skins.

Anyone else make this yet?


Hi pumpkinman
I started this kit in November, I bottled it last weekend and stole a little sip or two of the leftover., even at this early state the taste is far better than the cheaper kits I've done before...I'm counting the days to try this one!!
 

Pumpkinman

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
3,433
Reaction score
643
Thanks!!!! I am really looking forward to this kit....I cannot tell you how odd it feels to say that, I was so opposed to kits at first, it is really amazing how they have progressed!
 

Simpsini

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
135
Reaction score
31
Location
OXR AL
I too an making the Stag Leap Merlot. I have just finished a 3rd racking. I tasted the wine and it was smooth but the oak was starting to come through. I plan on bulk aging it for 2 more months then bottling it and trying it in November. Please let me know if anyone else has done this kit.
 

g8keeper

Mad Scientist
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
652
Reaction score
45
i just bought this kit this week...planning on starting it tomorrow...first time with a grape pack here as well....definitely looking forward to seeing how this turns out....after 8 years on and off in this hobby, this is the first ultra premium kit, at least i think, that i have ever done....lol...it definitely ranks up there as one of the most expensive, but i guess then again when you break it down by volume yield, it's cheaper than the WE specialty kits i have done, including the choc. rasp. port, as they only make 3 gallons....it's ironic though that even as a "seasoned" wine maker, this obe, with the grape pack, is intimadating me a little bit....lol...but then again, i have made fruit wines from scratch where i had to squeeze a fruit bag, so this really isn't much different in reality...i know reds are supposed to be done in a warmer environment, but does anyone think that besides taking a little longer, fermenting at a bit lower temp, say in the 60's, would adversely affect this wine?...or is the warmer temp more important when making a red from fresh grapes, in order to obtain optimum color extraction?...
 

Pumpkinman

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
3,433
Reaction score
643
Ken,
When you first open the grape pack you will see that it is a thick super jam like consistency, I put the muslin bag that is included over the sides of a med. deep bowl and squeezed the snot outta it, and tied loosely, almost as if you were steeping grains in a beer recipe, after i added it to the muslin bag and put it in the fermenter, I gently worked it with the big paddle that I have against the bottom to release some of those sugars and give me an accurate initial SG.
The Eclipse kits are the first "Ultra Premium" kits that I've made as well, and I have to admit, the wine already tastes nice.
The one thing I highly recommend is that when the instructions call for degassing, if you have an All In One Wine Pump, use it to your advantage and degass the kit thoroughly with it, no more manual stirring!
 

g8keeper

Mad Scientist
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
652
Reaction score
45
Ken,
When you first open the grape pack you will see that it is a thick super jam like consistency, I put the muslin bag that is included over the sides of a med. deep bowl and squeezed the snot outta it, and tied loosely, almost as if you were steeping grains in a beer recipe, after i added it to the muslin bag and put it in the fermenter, I gently worked it with the big paddle that I have against the bottom to release some of those sugars and give me an accurate initial SG.
The Eclipse kits are the first "Ultra Premium" kits that I've made as well, and I have to admit, the wine already tastes nice.
The one thing I highly recommend is that when the instructions call for degassing, if you have an All In One Wine Pump, use it to your advantage and degass the kit thoroughly with it, no more manual stirring!

oh, i wasn't initimidated that way....lol...yeah, that part will be a piece of cake, tom...lol...but thanks for the tip about squeezing against the bottom of the bucket to start releasing the sugars for the dravity reading reading....and when it comes to the AIO, well, now that i have mine, there is no way in the world i would ever go back to manual degassing....roflmao....i've only used the pump a coule of times so far with the batches i currently have going, but i am already spoiled...::...just still have to get my filter set up now and then i'll be ready once i want to finish up the CRP and muscat, which will DEFINITELY be sweetened up to a moscato style...
 

Pumpkinman

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
3,433
Reaction score
643
Ken,
I've used my All In One so much that I've already wore out a spring...lmao...I LOVE THAT MACHINE!!!!!!!!!!!
 

pioneergirl

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
133
Reaction score
2
Started mine in primary 2/16 using 212 yeast and a bit of nutrient and brew belt. It is cold here and it is still fermenting down. I am trying to be patient... Started at 1.10 and is now at 1.045 using my little gadget my husband got me for my birthday...refractometer ? Right :). Still punching down and around each day.
 

Crabbyman

Junior
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Great Kit

I made a batch of this kit in January 2014. It is the second kit I have used that included the skins,. This kit is by far the best ever. The wine has full body, great color and a wonderful finish. I am about to do another batch soon that I can fully enjoy next summer. Do try this, it's great!:HB
 

ffreds

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
30
Reaction score
1
I have a batch of this I have been aging 6 months that I am going to rack and bulk age another 3 months and then bottle age for a month or two. It is my first kit, usually I make concentrates that barely make it 3 months so I am pretty excited about this one
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
16,042
Reaction score
22,178
Location
DC Suburbs
I just racked mine today. Started in July. It is very fruity, but excellent so far. It will get some barrel time after the first of the year and will be bottled in April/May. I highly recommend.
 

cimbaliw

8 year veteran
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
690
Reaction score
228
Location
West MI
Pitched this about a year ago. It's one of our favorites. We've had solid results from all of the eclipse kits we've tried.

I miss having tannin-Meister pumpkin man 'round these parts.
 

francois_du_nord

Fermenting Trough Wiper
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
180
Reaction score
50
Warmer is better with red wines, to a point. The WE directions say 72-75 F for both, and I ran mine at about that temp. Just moved out of Secondary tonight.

I think you will find it worth the extra expense, even 30 days in, it seems like it is going to be a winner.

Best, Fran
 

Extram

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
I started the Eclipse Napa Valley Stags Leap District Merlot w/ Grape Skins kit last Friday (1-9-15) and my primary fermentation is going well and very active. The odor is good and already smells like a merlot! The instructions were easy enough to follow and I am looking forward secondary fermentation. This is my first wine making kit. My only other experience was a 5 gallon batch of skeeter pee, which came out great, but I am slightly prejudiced.:h
 

Latest posts

Top