WineXpert Eclipse Stags Leap Merlot

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by jgmann67, Apr 16, 2015.

Wine Making Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk by donating:

  1. Apr 16, 2015 #1

    jgmann67

    jgmann67

    jgmann67

    Rennaisance Man

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    Messages:
    3,174
    Likes Received:
    1,536
    Gender:
    Male
    Received this kit yesterday. Unpacked it last night to see what comes with it. I now see why so many people rave about these premium kits. Everything is high-end, top shelf kind of stuff.

    90 gr. of oak dust for the primary with an additional 90 gr. of oak cubes for aging. The juice is 18L of deep, dark and awesome; and the skins look substantially better (like raisin and grape jam) than the genuwine skins in the RJS Cab I did recently.

    This is going deep into center field... It's going... It's going... YES!!!! Home run!
     
    Boatboy24, sour_grapes and JoeCal1952 like this.
  2. Apr 16, 2015 #2

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

    Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Messages:
    9,000
    Likes Received:
    6,401
    Yes, I agree with this post! I pitched yeast on mine just over 2 weeks ago. Still in secondary, so obviously I do not know how well it will turn out, but it has looked very promising at every step of the way. I, too, was blown away by the amount of oak provided -- I think the most of any kit I have purchased to date.
     
  3. Apr 16, 2015 #3

    wineh

    wineh

    wineh

    wino

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    86
    My favorite kit!
     
  4. Apr 16, 2015 #4

    terroirdejeroir

    terroirdejeroir

    terroirdejeroir

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    62
    You will love it, just let it age as long as you can. Mine is almost two years old and just keeps getting better. Have another one in secondary right now....
     
    knockabout likes this.
  5. Apr 16, 2015 #5

    geek

    geek

    geek

    Still lost.....

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    5,418
    Likes Received:
    1,965
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CT
    I don't think it has 18L of juice, but rather 16L plus the grape skins.

    Can you guys confirm?
     
  6. Apr 16, 2015 #6

    Brian55

    Brian55

    Brian55

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    306
    16L of juice.
     
    geek likes this.
  7. Apr 16, 2015 #7

    JoeCal1952

    JoeCal1952

    JoeCal1952

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    5
    Sounds awesome!

    I haven't tried the Eclipse with skins as of yet but I am about to do so after I finish with this Barolo. As you may recall from previous posts, I am using a different type of equipment and experimenting with it only to find SUPERIOR results. Very pleased with the Fast Fermentor. Back in the day I made wine in oak barrels, in a garage, and we had no fancy ways of doing things and no additives. I bought fresh picked Zinfandel grapes and that was all I had. Good luck with your wine! Keep us posted on how it turns out..
     
  8. Apr 17, 2015 #8

    jgmann67

    jgmann67

    jgmann67

    Rennaisance Man

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    Messages:
    3,174
    Likes Received:
    1,536
    Gender:
    Male

    I'm not home right now but this is what one site says:

    Additional Information
    Body:4
    Sweetness:0
    Flavoring Pack:N
    Oak Type:Toasted & French
    Oak Intensity:3
    Includes Grape Pack or Raisins:No
    Type of Grape Pack or Raisins:N/A
    Brand Information
    Manufacturer:Winexpert
    Kit Size in Liters:18
    Kit Size in Gallons:4.75
    Gallons of Finished Wine:6
    Style of Wine:Traditional
    Shipping Weight:49 pounds
    Manufacturer's Instructions:Instructions

    That says there's no grape pack, but I know there is. So maybe it's 16L of juice and 2L of grape jam.

    Then again, Label Peelers says:

    Light warm oak accentuates a spicy aroma with a soft, supple and fruity palate of plums and red berries. Rich, round flavor provides an elegant lingering finish. The new Eclipse Napa Valley Stag's Leap District Merlot 18L Wine Kit also includes grape skins, which increases the nose of your wine considerably. Add it all up and this kit turns out a commercial-quality wine for a fraction of the cost. The Eclipse Napa Valley Stag's Leap District Merlot 18L Wine Kit is a full-bodied, dry red with premium oak cubes for a tremendous oak flavor. After fermentation, your wine will average 14% ABV.

    So, I just don't know for sure.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  9. Apr 17, 2015 #9

    geek

    geek

    geek

    Still lost.....

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    5,418
    Likes Received:
    1,965
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CT
    It is 16L of juice plus a 2L grape skins pack.
     
  10. Apr 17, 2015 #10

    Boatboy24

    Boatboy24

    Boatboy24

    No longer a newbie, but still clueless.

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    11,825
    Likes Received:
    6,959
    I started mine last August. It's in the Vadai now and will be until early June. Samples so far have been excellent. It's very fruit forward, but I'm really liking what I've seen so far.
     
    geek likes this.
  11. Apr 17, 2015 #11

    ShaunDanz

    ShaunDanz

    ShaunDanz

    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    25
    I've made four of these so far, three with grape skins. The first kit without skins tasted good within 18 months. The other three were not good (in my opinion) until two years. It's a great big Merlot, you have to let this one age or you will have a mouth full of tannin.
     
  12. Apr 18, 2015 #12

    slurve

    slurve

    slurve

    Junior

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    7
    Does anyone recall what type and level of oak cubes are included
     
  13. Apr 18, 2015 #13

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

    Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Messages:
    9,000
    Likes Received:
    6,401
    The 90 g of sawdust for primary just says "Oak chips -- superior."

    The 90 g of cubes for aging just says "Oak cubes -- American."

    Neither has an indication of toast level. (I have not opened the cubes yet, so I don't have a visual indication either.)
     
  14. Apr 18, 2015 #14

    scram

    scram

    scram

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    42
    I just racked mine today and added oak cubes... Quite dark and smokey... I'd say there a heavy toast. God I love the smell when I stuff my nose into those freshly opened cube bags :)
     
    sour_grapes and Boatboy24 like this.
  15. Apr 18, 2015 #15

    scram

    scram

    scram

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    42
    I waited until after stabilization and clarification to add them... They'll sit in there a good 6 weeks until I rack again...
     
    GaDawg likes this.
  16. Apr 18, 2015 #16

    scram

    scram

    scram

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    42
    Like I mentioned earlier in this thread I had a bunch of sediment. Fit it all into 5 gallon carboy at this point... A bit disappointing but quality is better than quantity under my roof...
     
  17. May 1, 2015 #17

    jgmann67

    jgmann67

    jgmann67

    Rennaisance Man

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    Messages:
    3,174
    Likes Received:
    1,536
    Gender:
    Male
    I pitched the yeast for this one tonight. In a word - wow. Lots of oak in the primary and a big bag of grape skins. The smell is just incredible. There are an additional 90 gr. of oak for finishing, and two packets of chitosan.

    I have extraordinarily high hopes for this project.

    I'm leaving the lid loose in the primary, am going to skip the Sorbate and do some bulk aging in the carboy to finish, but otherwise am going to pretty much follow this step by step.

    As always, suggestions and recommendations are welcome.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  18. May 1, 2015 #18

    scram

    scram

    scram

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    42
    Nice to see someone else getting this kit going... I pretty much followed the instruction except :

    I waited until stabilizing and clearing was complete,racked then added oak cubes. That's were mine stands now and will oak for 6 weeks...

    Please keep us updated. I had tons of less. So much that it only fills my 5gallon carboy which I'm fine with if the quality is there. I'm curious as to what your experience with the kit will be.

    I have high hopes too:)
     
  19. May 1, 2015 #19

    Boatboy24

    Boatboy24

    Boatboy24

    No longer a newbie, but still clueless.

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    11,825
    Likes Received:
    6,959
    I added 1tsp of tannin to the secondary. Used the oak dust in primary. Then for clearing, I added 60 of the 90g of American oak cubes. It has been in my nearly neutral barrel since the first week of March. 1 month to go and I'll rack, test, adjust as needed and bottle. It'll be almost a year old at that point.

    It is definitely a big, fat Merlot.
     
    sour_grapes likes this.
  20. May 1, 2015 #20

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

    Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Messages:
    9,000
    Likes Received:
    6,401
    Curious, Jim: Why did you decide to hold out some of the oak cubes? Because of the barrel? Just wanted to wait and see the oak level?

    I just went ahead and put all of it in. Didn't even occur to me to hold any out!
     

Share This Page