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WineXpert Eclipse Stag Leap Merlot Extended Maceration

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dmguptill

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I know there are a couple threads out there for this kit, but I have only seen a few comments here and there about doing it as an extended maceration. I plan to do this one as the same way as the other couple extended maceration kits I have done: 8-9 weeks on the skins. @jgmann67 I know in another thread you said you plan to do this one soon as EM for 4-5 weeks. Would be interesting to find a way to swap a bottle and compare...

Just got the kit today from Label Peelers, and noticed something interesting. The instructions had no mention of a grape skin bag, even though there was clearly one included. I looked up the instructions on Winexpert's website and I think they sent the wrong instructions. No big deal, but they were included in the bag of chems which also included the yeast. The included yeast was EC-1118. Is this still the standard yeast for this kit, or have they switched it to rc-212 or something else? The other eclipse kits I recently got had 212.
 

jsbeckton

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I first did that kit per the instructions in 2016 and just did it again with a 8wk EM in September. I also added some currants and fermentation tannins this time as well but used the provided yeast. I still have most of the 2016 kit left so should be interesting to see how they compare down the line.
 

Regmata

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While not the same kit, I just did the Eclipse Zin/Cab bourbon barrel kit twice. Once per instructions and once with tannins, blackberry, cherries, currants and EM. They are sitting side by side in carboys. Can't wait to find out if the extra work was worth it.
 

jgmann67

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Mrs Mann is pushing for another white wine kit as our next project. Given how much she tolerates, I’m willing to give her this one. But the next red will be the SLM. My daughter got me specially etched Bordeaux bottles for this particular kit (given how much we like it). So, it’ll come in around early spring.

I plan a 4-6 week EM, with some tannin in the primary and some TRE in the finish.

I’ve been adding extra oak (Medium+ French Hungarian blend). But, think I’ll just add what’s included in the kit. Also, I don’t care for the E-1118 and will swap in the RC212 if it’s not included.

Age in bulk for a year, then bottle.
 

dmguptill

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I checked the other eclipse kits I have, they come with 1118 also. Except the Forza, which has both 212 and 1118.

If you're using rc212 instead of ec1118, do you plan to add any extra nutrients during fermentation? I've read here to be cautious about that, but I haven't gotten a good sense of what exactly to do.
 

dmguptill

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I first did that kit per the instructions in 2016 and just did it again with a 8wk EM in September. I also added some currants and fermentation tannins this time as well but used the provided yeast. I still have most of the 2016 kit left so should be interesting to see how they compare down the line.
Sounds like a fun experiment!
 

jgmann67

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I checked the other eclipse kits I have, they come with 1118 also. Except the Forza, which has both 212 and 1118.

If you're using rc212 instead of ec1118, do you plan to add any extra nutrients during fermentation? I've read here to be cautious about that, but I haven't gotten a good sense of what exactly to do.
I’ve swapped in RC212 and BM4x4 and have never needed any nutrients. I know others add nutrient tho.
 

pillswoj

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When I swap out EC 1118 for either RC212 or BM4x4 I will typically give it 1/2 dose of fermaid K just to be safe.
 

jgmann67

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Well, it’s almost a year later and I’m finally starting this kit.

The skin pack is gigantic. Bigger than I remember. I made a little bit of a mess getting the skins bag into the primary vessel (7.5 gal fermonster)... a sticky, sticky mess.

SG is 1.098. I’m going to let the skins sit on the wine until bedtime, check the SG and drop the yeast.

Planning a BM4x4, with the EC1118 for backup.

But I have to be honest, I’m contemplating NOT doing an EM with this one. I’m starting to think that an EM isn’t for every red. Given that it’s a year later, how’s everyone’s SLM doing? Tasting?? Talk me into it. [emoji1303]

I’m going to start the Three Moons Cab directly after this one and want to EM that.
 

jsbeckton

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Well, it’s almost a year later and I’m finally starting this kit.

The skin pack is gigantic. Bigger than I remember. I made a little bit of a mess getting the skins bag into the primary vessel (7.5 gal fermonster)... a sticky, sticky mess.

SG is 1.098. I’m going to let the skins sit on the wine until bedtime, check the SG and drop the yeast.

Planning a BM4x4, with the EC1118 for backup.

But I have to be honest, I’m contemplating NOT doing an EM with this one. I’m starting to think that an EM isn’t for every red. Given that it’s a year later, how’s everyone’s SLM doing? Tasting?? Talk me into it. [emoji1303]

I’m going to start the Three Moons Cab directly after this one and want to EM that.
I’ve made the SLM twice now. First without EM and second with. The non-EM one is about 3.5 years old and the EM is about 16mo. So far the EM one hasn’t made me think “I should do this every time”. Honestly not noticing a large difference from what I remember last time.
 

jgmann67

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I’ve made the SLM twice now. First without EM and second with. The non-EM one is about 3.5 years old and the EM is about 16mo. So far the EM one hasn’t made me think “I should do this every time”. Honestly not noticing a large difference from what I remember last time.
I think I’ve done 5 EM’s so far. The Nebbiolo, Amarone and the Brunello were all spectacular (I did the Amarone previously as a non-EM and the EM was markedly better).

But, I’m rethinking the Merlot.
 
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cmason1957

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I made the Merlot two years ago (more or less) did not do an extended maceration with it. Our wine club does a small competition every month, it won best of reds and then at the end of the year we do a "best of the year". It won that as well. Normally a port wins. I am about to order another one of these kits and will probably make it straight from the box.
 

jgmann67

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. So far the EM one hasn’t made me think “I should do this every time”..
I felt that way with the Italian reds. But, with the French Merlot I did (both EM and non-EM), it’s two years later and I’m thinking as you do here.

I’ve done the SLM twice before and am thinking I’m better off doing this as a non-EM.

Dropped yeast before bed last night, along with some Tannin FT Rouge.
 

joeswine

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I just bottled this one last week and was going to post it, use the stocking that comes with it .
The finish is what I expected med.body good fruit mild finish .
Will finish later.
 

jgmann67

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Dropped my yeast (BM4x4) and the Tannin after dinner last night. Yeast multiplying away when I looked this morning.

Interesting - the starting gravity is a little hot @ 1.104 at 68*.
 

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