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RJ Spagnols EP Amarone and other questions

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Sipper

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I'm about to purchase the EP Amarone and although I haven't ordered it yet, I'd like to know if you get both the GP and raisins? Are there precautions on using both or do I need to pick one or the other? I'm concerned a bit by the additional sugar in the primary fermentation stage. Has anyone used both, and was there any adjustment that was necessary? Does this affect the SG?
Secondly: I really like big red varietals and particularly love a buttery follow up. I know thatsome malalactic fermentation happens naturally in a Chardonnay,and I think it happens toa lesserdegree in reds,and therefore less noticeable. I don't want to take therisk of stirring up "gross" lees and leaving the must on the "gross" longerbecause I'm not experienced enough to know whenenough is enough. I've been told that adding a banana is the way to get the "butter" in a red. If that's the case, how much do I add and,,,once again,,,, do I need to be concerned about the additional sugar if a banana is added tothe primary fermentation. Still wondering if the SG is affected.
I would never "toy" with a Barolo, Amarone,or any other big red varietalby addingsome type of flavoring,but I would play with a Merlot. I also would like to get more vanilla insome ofthe lesserreds.Will Med toast French oak accomplish this? Sorry,,,,,,,,, I have more questions than I should attempt to put on this post. Anyone willing to spend some time on these questions?
 

TomK-B

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Hi Sipper. Welcome to the forum!

Funny you should ask about this kit because I pitched the yeast on it just last night. It came with both raisins and the Genuwine dried winery grape skins. I put both in the hop bag that is included in the kit and put it in the primary. It also came with two packs of oak, also added in primary fermentation.

My initial SG was 1.110 at 74*F. This was the exact SG that the directions suggest is within range for the beginning of fermentation.

I stirred it up and punched down that hop bag when I got in from work this evening. It's bubbling away nicely! Yeee Haaa!!!! Here we go!
 

Sipper

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Well, so far so good with a response from TomK-B. Some of my questions answered. Let's work on this together Tomand see what our mutual opinions are once done. After all,,, we all want the same result don't we? An expensive tasting big redwine and kit prices. !!!!!!
 

TomK-B

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Mike "Ibglowin" says that without pictures it never happened. So, here are a couple of pics of my newly started RJS EP Amarone.
Yeast Pitched

At 12 hrs.

At 24 hrs.

So, when are you planning to order your kit?
 

v1rotate

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I've never thought about a buttery tasting red, so can't help you there. Sometimes people add bananas to low end red kits to add body. It sounds like you are describing the batonnage technique which is used with whites to promote a buttery flavor. This technique is not recommended for reds.

As far as vanilla flavor goes, you probably want to use American toasted oak beans (cubes) or spirals. Here is Mike's (ibglowin) info about oak characteristics:

ibglowin said:
A comparison of
French, Hungarian, and American Oaks


The following are results
from research done at Stavin and should only be used to give an approximation of
what each of these three varieties of oak can bring to your wine. Each sample
was made using oak cubes with a two-month contact time and evaluated with no
bottle ageing. Note: Due to the complexities of flavor chemistry these findings
may or may not translate to your wine 100%. However, this information should be
helpful in finding out which type of oak may the best to start with as you
refine your oaking tastes.

French Oak Flavor Summary


• All toast levels have a perceived aromatic sweetness and full
mouthfeel.
• French oak has a fruity, cinnamon/allspice character, along
with custard/ crème brûlée, milk chocolate and campfire/roasted coffee notes*.
(*Especially at higher toast levels.)
• As the toast levels increased the
fruity descriptor for the wine changed from fresh to jammy to cooked
fruit/raisin
in character.

American Oak Flavor
Summary


• The American oak had aromatic sweetness and a
campfire/roasted coffee attribute present in all three toast levels, with Medium
Plus and Heavy toast having the highest intensity.
• American oak had cooked
fruit more than a fresh or jammy quality.
• American Oak imparted
mouthfeel/fullness, especially in Medium Plus.

Hungarian Oak
Flavor Summary


• The Hungarian oak at Medium toast displayed a
high perceived-vanillin content, with roasted coffee, bittersweet
chocolate
and black pepper characters.
• Medium Plus and Heavy toast imparted
mouthfeel fullness,
with only a slight amount of campfire/roasted coffee.
Heavy also had pronounced vanillin. At all toast levels, there were unique
attributes such as leather and black pepper, not observed in other oak origins.
</span>
 

Sipper

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Hi Tom,,, and thanks. I only have 6 Carboys so I'm going to have to do some bottling before I can order the Amarone. Storage space is my issue, but out of all the kits on my wish list, Amarone ranks number 1, and will be the next one as soon as I can free up a Carboy. I have to work in concert with my wine making buddy because he has his own list. We work at it in harmony with each other's schedule.
 

TomK-B

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Well, I'll keep you updated on how mine is progressing. I'm really excited about this kit, but I'm also aware that it will literally be years before it reaches its peak. On the other hand, that means I'm planning on being there when it's ready.
 

joeswine

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BUTTERY TASTE OR FEEL





USUALLY THIS MOUTH FEEL IS ASSOCIATED WITH MLF AFTER FERMENTATION WHICH REDS CAN GO THROUGH ON THERE ON IF THE CONDITIONS ARE RIGHT.
 

Sipper

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I have a Barbera I'm really excited about right now and can't, (but will) wait on it, but I'm even more excited about the prospects of adding the Amarone to the cellar. As soon as I get going on it, I'll keep you posted as well.
 

Sipper

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Joeswine,,,,,,,, I really am hoping you can tell me what the "right conditions" are and if there is a way to make it happen.
 

TomK-B

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I stirred my Amarone and punched down the hop bag again this evening. There's a thick froth on the surface and it sounds like it's sizzling. I got a text message from my wife earlier this afternoon: "The kitchen smells great! Your wine!"
 

Sipper

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The pics look greatTom. Looks like it's going to be a very chewy wine. I can't wait to get mine started but still,,,, it's going to be a few weeks before I order the Amarone. My Barbera is just finishing up on the secondary fermentation in Carboy number 6. As soon as I get it racked again I'll be giving George a call. I have about another week if I go strictly by the instructions, and I probably will. I'll post a few pics after taking some shots of what I've gotten bottled already since Christmas 2010.
Sipper
 

Dean

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there are seriously NO conditions that a kit wine should EVER undergo MLF. Only fresh juice or fresh crush can/should undergo MLF. All kits are balanced for acid and if MLF is introduced, they will get flabby and taste somewhat dead.

The only exception to that rule is a type of Mosti kit called Fresco, which is basically fresh pressed juice that comes frozen. MLF on any other kit will most likely ruin it.
 

Sipper

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Thanks for the input Dean. Well,,,, there goes my hopes for playing with a lesser kit and experimenting to get a buttery follow up. Is there no other way to somehow introduce a little butter? I know some of you are probably thinking, "Why in the world"????, but it's just a personal taste I have found enjoyable in some purchased wines, but not very many.Somehow, and some way, somebody has been able to get a buttery flavoring into the wine and I can't help but wonder, How? Don't get me wrong,,,,, I enjoy a really big red and all of it's complexities without the buttery follow up, and I haven't found very many reds with butter in the mix,,,,, but when I have tasted a noticeable butter, I've rather enjoyed it. No,,,, I really enjoyed it.
 

ibglowin

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Great pics Tom!

This thread is now officially "bonafide"!


Sipper, can you tell us which red wine you liked that had a "buttery" taste. Buttery is usually only associated with Chardonnay that has been through MLF and oaked. If you can recall which one it was perhaps we can figure out the flavor profile you actually like in the red wine and how to achieve it.
 

Sipper

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Hi Mike and thanks for the offer to help. I may be going off the deep end with the "butter" thing,,, at least it seems that way after a few responses. I WISH I could give you specifics on the redwines I've tasted that were buttery. Alas,,,, too many different wines have crossed my pallete and I've slept way too many times since to recall. Maybe my tongue is all messed up!
Hasn't anyone tastedor noticed a buttery follow up insome red winesexcept me????
Maybe, like Dean said, MLF can happen in fresh pressed red juice, and that may be why I've noticed it in somepurchased wines. Emphasis on "some".
However, my BFF got a cheap/thin Cab in a Christmas kit last year, and I found a touch of butter in that one. Don't know the name of the kit, or which manufacturer it was but it was thin, no grape pack, and it has to be decanted for a couple of hours, (4 is probably closer to the truth),before it opens up, but there is definately butter in the mix. (We moved to only High-End kits since then). Please don't trouble yourself with this unless you have an interest Mike.It's probably subjective and peculiar to my own tastes.
 

ibglowin

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I won't spend to much time on it, its probably something on your taste buds.MLF will soften a red wine as it takes the stronger malic acid and coverts it over to lactic acid. The lactic acid is the source of what you are more than likely perceiving as butter notes on some level I suspect.

Like Dean said you can not do MLF on a kit wine as they have been pre-balanced with acid and in some instances have a higher than normal amount of malic acid in them. Thus if you did put it through an MLF it would totally screw up the acid balance as well as the pH leaving you with a rather flabby tasting wine with a high pH that would not last very long.
 

Bartman

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At the risk of over-thinking it, do you possibly mean a silkiness in the mouthfeel, or more like a greasiness (in a pleasant sort of way) in the finish?

I don't know of any red wines, big or otherwise, that I have tasted that I would describe as having a buttery texture, but I have had very smooth, silky Barolos, which I loved and have tried valiantly to re-create. I believe that texture came inherently from the grapes/juice and to some extent from the aging/oaking techniques used. If that's what you are going for, a kit wine that has undergone MLF would be a total disappointment.

(To be fair, I don't care for the butteriness of those Chardonnays, but the silkiness of the Barolos I can't get enough of)
 

Sipper

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Hi BartReeder, Thanks for the input, you too again Mike. No and Yes,Bart,,,, I'm actually talking about a buttery flavor. I'm with you on the Chards! I'll take a red any day over a white, (I do drink whites on certain occasions), and the buttery taste that's in a big oak Chard is the same type of taste I've noticed in a few reds, but to a much lesser degree.

LOL at the"greasiness" you mentioned, but if anything, (in a pleasant sort of way), LOL again,,, it isalways in the finish and I'mstarting to thinkit's probably my taste buds reacting/erupting with an extra dose of Pavlovian slobbering because of some exotic spice or that little extra something you find in some wines.

I'm still puzzled a little though because I've googled buttery reds and have come up with some interesting hits on the web. Somehow I don't think I'm alone.

Hey everyone,,,,,,,, Thanks so much for putting up with me. I'm starting tofeel like I wasted enough of everyone's time and good nature. I'll drop the subject and chalk it up to one of the many mysteries I've always been curious about. If nothing else,,,, I've made some good wine making friends in the process. You've all been great!

Thanks again to all of you,

Sipper
 

TomK-B

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Hey Sipper, I love the "Pavlovian slobbering" image. I imagine I resemble it sometimes (like when Ibglowin posts pics of his dinners!).

OK, update on the EP Amarone. Got home tonight and stirred and punched down the hop bag. I think I want to start calling it the goodie bag instead. Any, still observing a vigorous fermentation, lots of froth and sizzling - especially when I hold the goodie bag down under the surface! I also took a SG reading . . . 1.022. It's gone from 1.110 to 1.022 since Wednesday night at 9:00. Like I said, vigorous fermentation.
 
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