WineXpert Eclipse Stags Leap Merlot

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heatherd

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I'm dangerously close to many winegrapes in Northern California, and already get emails from a guy in the Brentwood/Oakley areas (East of SF, SE of Napa) who leads early weekend morning picks at different small vineyards where you pay about $0.50-$1.00 / # to pick different varietals, plus another $20 to use his crusher-destemmer. So that could be in my future, but the press would be a big expense.
You may be able to rent a press.
 

pillswoj

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I'm dangerously close to many winegrapes in Northern California, and already get emails from a guy in the Brentwood/Oakley areas (East of SF, SE of Napa) who leads early weekend morning picks at different small vineyards where you pay about $0.50-$1.00 / # to pick different varietals, plus another $20 to use his crusher-destemmer. So that could be in my future, but the press would be a big expense.
Google bucket press, not as good as a real press but for the cost of a 3 5 pal pails it will work.
 

Gilmango

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Google bucket press, not as good as a real press but for the cost of a 3 5 pal pails it will work.
Nice, that is something I could easily make, would not take up much storage space, or be a big financial commitment. Thanks for the tip, I figured there was a way to take this next step without buying a press. The drilled bucket reminds me of the really early all grain beer brewing set ups. This video is a long one at 10 minutes but seems to pretty thorough on the pressing process:
 

jgmann67

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Nice, that is something I could easily make, would not take up much storage space, or be a big financial commitment. Thanks for the tip, I figured there was a way to take this next step without buying a press. The drilled bucket reminds me of the really early all grain beer brewing set ups. This video is a long one at 10 minutes but seems to pretty thorough on the pressing process:
I made mine after a season of grape and juice wines... total cost $3.00 for the spigot and $5.00 for the brew bag.

i used it for three seasons and it worked really well. But, you do lose some wine vs. using a basket press. When I found a good deal, I bought a used, small, basket press. Fine for the volume of wine I make every year.
 

pillswoj

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I was able to get the buckets from work, because they are all the same manufacturer I was able to use a 3.5 gallon bucket at the middle one (drilled strainer). That way I didn't need the spigot, lots of room in the bottom 5 gallon bucket. So far I have only used it on my peach wines, but am planning on moving from to grapes this fall given the drop in kit quality from all manufacturers.
 

wineh

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but am planning on moving from to grapes this fall given the drop in kit quality from all manufacturers.
It's too bad that kit manufacturers don't frequent this important forum. Maybe they would take a step back from the brink!
 

cmason1957

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It's too bad that kit manufacturers don't frequent this important forum. Maybe they would take a step back from the brink!
I am not a kit manufacture, but I don't know that I agree that increasing the concentration equates to a drop in quality in kits. It's just a change.

and just my $0.02, so take it for what it's worth.
 

Handy Turnip

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I am not a kit manufacture, but I don't know that I agree that increasing the concentration equates to a drop in quality in kits. It's just a change.

and just my $0.02, so take it for what it's worth.
Yes I agree, again just my £0.02 too. I can't see any logic why they would do it if it reduced quality. Companies like this generally innovate to make the quality better, or the same but cheaper.
 

wineh

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I am not a kit manufacture, but I don't know that I agree that increasing the concentration equates to a drop in quality in kits. It's just a change.

and just my $0.02, so take it for what it's worth.
Depending on the kit I'm working with, I may agree or disagree with your position. I made Selection Estate series kits, and the Eclipse kits were definitely an improvement across the board. Since the private reserve version launched, I have made the Stag's Leap merlot, Lodi ranch cab, Lodi Zin, nebbiolo, and supertuscan and have had mixed results. Although none are properly aged, some results are :
All started 10 (.01)points lower in SG,
The merlot and the cab are lacking colour, and the cab appears to be a dud,
The Zin and nebbiolo are going to be really good, and have great color,
The supertuscan was fermenting in the bag, so that's a "luck of the draw" I've never had before (not stabilized yet). It has been an odd experiment.
I also made a reserve Malbec, but I added a kg of Saskatoon berries (you might call them juneberries) so can't compare to anything. It's quite tasty!
The experiment continues!
 
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