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joeswine

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I tasted my ginovese yesterday, even though this wine is young it's outstanding at present,Really.
I added to mine a vinco grape pack in the primary, oak tannins and one bag of oak chips.
In the secondary another teaspoon of tannins ,I like my wines well balanced and fruit forward .this ones a winner 🏆.
 

Lynx rufus

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Just ordered the Super Tuscan & got the confirmation I’ve been entered into the early adopters.
cheers!
 

Gilmango

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I bottled my Super Tuscan today. Very pleased with it. Does anyone know which grapes are used in the blend?
Well if they did not state it on their website I would tend to guess a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauv, and Merlot as that is most common. Sometimes Syrah makes it into these blends too, basically always Sangiovese plus grapes usually associated with France not Italy, but grown in Tuscany, Italy in the original Super Tuscans (the Finer Wines uses California grapes from Lodi). But no need to guess, this is from the label peelers site:

"Finer Wine Kits' Super Tuscan is made from top quality California grapes. It is a classic blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that makes a fruity yet earthy wine with a cherry bouquet that will keep your friends asking for more. Enjoy the hints of cherry and plum, a smooth mouthfeel, dry finish and that signature ruby red hue of Sangiovese wines."

Love to know when you started the kit and whether you used a single or double skin pack, as my first Finer Wines was a Super Tuscan also, 10 weeks old now, but I did an extended maceration with double skins so probably going to bulk age for a few more months (but it has tasted promising when I've racked it).
 
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Sailor323

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. . . "Finer Wine Kits' Super Tuscan is made from top quality California grapes. It is a classic blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot . . .

Love to know when you started the kit and whether you used a single or double skin pack, as my first Finer Wines was a Super Tuscan also, 10 weeks old now, but I did an extended maceration with double skins so probably going to bulk age for a few more months (but it has tasted promising when I've racked it).
I started the kit on 5/12. It didn't quite go as well as I would have expected. First of all, I failed to put the initial nutrient pack in when I started. Then, fermentation proceeded much more quickly than I expected-it went from IG 1.100 to SG 1.020 within 5 days, I added the additional nutrient pack at that time. The wine fermented out to .994. I used only a single skin pack as I don't expect this wine to age long enough to smooth out 2 packs. All in all, I'm very satisfied with this wine. I'm a big fan of Rhône wines and this blend is similar. I had forgotten that the description of the wine included a mention of the grapes used. Thanks for reminding me.
 

Gilmango

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I started the kit on 5/12. It didn't quite go as well as I would have expected. First of all, I failed to put the initial nutrient pack in when I started. Then, fermentation proceeded much more quickly than I expected-it went from IG 1.100 to SG 1.020 within 5 days, I added the additional nutrient pack at that time. The wine fermented out to .994. I used only a single skin pack as I don't expect this wine to age long enough to smooth out 2 packs. All in all, I'm very satisfied with this wine. I'm a big fan of Rhône wines and this blend is similar. I had forgotten that the description of the wine included a mention of the grapes used. Thanks for reminding me.
Thanks for the response.

A couple weeks earlier in this thread (page 23, starting July 10th) there was a question about how for many of us the Finer Wine kits' final gravities were often finishing at 0.996 or higher. But they did not taste sweet. It was pointed out by @sour_grapes that total dissolved solids (TDS) could make the gravity readings higher. And I think use of skin packs correlates with higher TDS, perhaps extended maceration also increases TDS. So it is cool to see that your final gravity got down to 0.994 using a single skin pack. I used two skin packs and did 27 days of extended maceration as well, to make the same exact wine within a few days of you and my final gravity is 0.997. (Obviously other factors could come into play in determining final gravity -- like yeast, yeast nutrients, fermentation temperature, and more, but I still think that this is at least an interesting data point.)
 

Wayne Freeman

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Thanks for the response.

A couple weeks earlier in this thread (page 23, starting July 10th) there was a question about how for many of us the Finer Wine kits' final gravities were often finishing at 0.996 or higher. But they did not taste sweet. It was pointed out by @sour_grapes that total dissolved solids (TDS) could make the gravity readings higher. And I think use of skin packs correlates with higher TDS, perhaps extended maceration also increases TDS. So it is cool to see that your final gravity got down to 0.994 using a single skin pack. I used two skin packs and did 27 days of extended maceration as well, to make the same exact wine within a few days of you and my final gravity is 0.997. (Obviously other factors could come into play in determining final gravity -- like yeast, yeast nutrients, fermentation temperature, and more, but I still think that this is at least an interesting data point.)
I'm getting a final SG on my FW Zinfandel of .996 but my ABV calculator gives an ABV of 13.6%. The starting SG was one of the highest I've ever recorded, at 1.095, balancing out the high final SG. Must be the TDS causing this. Can't wait to find out what those TDS taste like!
 

jgmann67

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I'm getting a final SG on my FW Zinfandel of .996 but my ABV calculator gives an ABV of 13.6%. The starting SG was one of the highest I've ever recorded, at 1.095, balancing out the high final SG. Must be the TDS causing this. Can't wait to find out what those TDS taste like!
I struggle with whether I want to do anything about the TDS and, if I do - what can be done?? I suppose I could filter my wine or I can use the fining agents that they provide with the kit. But, I don't know that it would make any marked difference (and if it did, whether that difference carried with it good and bad changes to the wine). So I think I'm content just leaving it be. Take my wine (TDS and all) and enjoy it.
 

Wayne Freeman

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I struggle with whether I want to do anything about the TDS and, if I do - what can be done?? I suppose I could filter my wine or I can use the fining agents that they provide with the kit. But, I don't know that it would make any marked difference (and if it did, whether that difference carried with it good and bad changes to the wine). So I think I'm content just leaving it be. Take my wine (TDS and all) and enjoy it.
I have already used the fining agents and will be filtering, as I always do.

I use these for red wines: Pentek P5 Spun Polypropylene Filter Cartridge, 9-3/4" x 2-3/8", 5 Microns

and these for whites: Pentair P1 Spun Polypropylene Filter Cartridge, 9-3/4" x 2-3/8", 1 Micron
 

jgmann67

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I have already used the fining agents and will be filtering, as I always do.

I use these for red wines: Pentek P5 Spun Polypropylene Filter Cartridge, 9-3/4" x 2-3/8", 5 Microns

and these for whites: Pentair P1 Spun Polypropylene Filter Cartridge, 9-3/4" x 2-3/8", 1 Micron
I’ll be interested to know if the filtering changes your SG at all. I stopped using fining agents a few years ago and rely predominantly on time as my clarifier. I have a filtering set up that I got for a specific wine. And it did a nice job. But unless the wine refuses to clear, I don’t see the need for that either.
 

sour_grapes

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Gosh, naively, I take higher TDS to be a good thing. More goodness, less water! :)

I don't know, of course, if I am correct, but Tim Vandergrift says:

TDS
What really separates different volume wine kits is the level of total dissolved solids (TDS) they have. TDS is what is left over after every bit of the water is removed from the kit. Simply put, the more total dissolved solids, the more aroma and flavor compounds a wine will have. Fresh, not-from-concentrate juices have more TDS and straight concentrate kits have the lower levels, while super-premium grape skin kits have the most.

But that’s only half the explanation. When a kit has high levels of solids, it also has high levels of fermentation by-products and green flavors and aromas. “Green” refers to the terpenes and esters in the wine kit that will, over time, change into the more mature flavors and aromas that make great wine. A kit with lower levels of dissolved solids will have fewer of these green characteristics, and be ready to consume sooner.

So how do you decide which kit you need? First, it helps to understand the nature of the ingredients in the kits, and how that affects their outcome. We’ll start with the basics, and it might surprise you to know that each of these ingredients isn’t unique to kit wines: all of them are used to make commercial wines, and have been for a long time.
 

Gilmango

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Gosh, naively, I take higher TDS to be a good thing. More goodness, less water! :)

I don't know, of course, if I am correct, but Tim Vandergrift says:
I agree, higher TDS seems like a great thing (not something I want to reduce), but obviously something which, as Tim Vangergrift indicates, can take longer to mature.

The Finer Wines guidance, while not talking in terms of TDS, makes that same point in that they suggest you age longer if you use one skin pack, and longest if you use two skin packs. While they suggest you bottle earlier than many on WMT do (here bulk aging seems to predominate), they suggest that the bottled wines are aged for at least 6-12 weeks with no skin packs, 4-6 months with one skin pack, and 6-12 months with a double skin pack, before drinking. In their update they are clear that bulk aging is perfectly fine, but that wine ages quicker in the bottle.

EDIT - while I said I think higher TDS seems like a great thing, I should also be clear that I look forward to making Finer Wine kits with 1 skin pack and maybe even no skin pack, particularly something like a Barbera, or a Pinot, or, if they ever make one, a Grenache (please make a Grenache). I feel like some wines don't need as much stuffing (less TDS, less oak, less tannin) to be enjoyed, and, as a bonus, I can drink them quicker!
 
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Jim Welch

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I like to take my Final final gravity reading at bottling time after ~6 months bulk aging. I’ve seen wines drop another point or two during bulk aging, not all but quite a few. I try to transfer to bulk aging when the gravity drops to 0.996
I never considered TDS in my gravity readings unless there was visible slurry/sediment but it would seem to me that the lowest TDS would be after bulk aging and a clean transfer to bottling.
 

winemaker81

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While they suggest you bottle earlier than many on WMT do (here bulk aging seems to predominate), they suggest that the bottled wines are aged for at least 6-12 weeks with no skin packs, 4-6 months with one skin pack, and 6-12 months with a double skin pack, before drinking. In their update they are clear that bulk aging is perfectly fine, but that wine ages quicker in the bottle.
There is evidence that wine ages slower in larger quantities*, and it makes sense for quicker drinking wines to get into the bottle sooner. However, bottling early raises the possibility of having perceptible differences between bottles.

Wine undergoes chemical changes, rapidly starting with fermentation, and ramping down in post-fermentation aging. The first 6 to 12 months of a red appear to be the where the most changes take place (this is an anecdotal observation, not hard fact). After that, changes continue throughout the wine's lifespan, but at a slower rate.

I was resistant to the idea that bulk aging for any length of time is necessary. Aging is aging, right?

Nope. I became a believer. In this thread I detailed how one bottle stood out dramatically from the remainder of a kit wine batch. The TLDR is that one bottle exhibited strong kit wine taste while those opened before and after did not. I have no explanation other than that I bottled quickly so that one bottle developed differently than the others. While not proof, when taken with the experiences others have posted, I'm doing more bulk aging for all wines.


* an article in Wine Spectator circa 1988-1990 about old Rieslings noted that bottles surviving from the 1700's were all large bottles.
 

Bmd2k1

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There is evidence that wine ages slower in larger quantities*, and it makes sense for quicker drinking wines to get into the bottle sooner. However, bottling early raises the possibility of having perceptible differences between bottles.

Wine undergoes chemical changes, rapidly starting with fermentation, and ramping down in post-fermentation aging. The first 6 to 12 months of a red appear to be the where the most changes take place (this is an anecdotal observation, not hard fact). After that, changes continue throughout the wine's lifespan, but at a slower rate.

I was resistant to the idea that bulk aging for any length of time is necessary. Aging is aging, right?

Nope. I became a believer. In this thread I detailed how one bottle stood out dramatically from the remainder of a kit wine batch. The TLDR is that one bottle exhibited strong kit wine taste while those opened before and after did not. I have no explanation other than that I bottled quickly so that one bottle developed differently than the others. While not proof, when taken with the experiences others have posted, I'm doing more bulk aging for all wines.


* an article in Wine Spectator circa 1988-1990 about old Rieslings noted that bottles surviving from the 1700's were all large bottles.
I'm a newbie vino vintner - 1st kit started in Oct2020. Based on some insight/feedback I've gotten from a vino "mentor" (who's been making vino for 20+ years) - I'm bulk aging most of my Reds -- the bolder ones -- for 6months on 1 oak spiral (so far all the bolds have been on an American Med Toast). Per his suggestion -- my Sangiovese will only be bulk aged for 3months on 1 light toast American oak spiral.

Everything is getting atleast 2months of bottle aging after bulk.

I'm curious about the diminishing marginal returns of bulk aging. Gotta be some kinda bell curve for it....

Cheers...
 

winemaker81

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I'm curious about the diminishing marginal returns of bulk aging. Gotta be some kinda bell curve for it....
Actually, more like a random number generator. ;)

Winemaking is an art, not a science, because there are so many uncontrollable variables. Fruit varies from year-to-year on numerous points. Yeast is different, temperature is different, etc. No matter how much science we apply, we have to make judgment calls to (hopefully) address the capricious nature of Mother Nature.

My comment on bulk aging reds 6 to 12 months is case in point. I cannot point to any fact and tell you that is why I aged one wine 6 months and another 12. Actually, that's not quite correct -- I barrel age wines for ~12 months as I don't bottle last year's wine until this year's wine is ready to go into the barrel.

But that's a condition of my situation, NOT a fact regarding either wine, so it doesn't count, right? 🤣

A lifetime of practicing martial arts taught me the only way to get good at something is to practice. Winemaking is no different -- keep practicing and learn from both successes and failures. Both are necessary, although failures are never fun.

On the plus side, winemaking has never caused me to take 6 weeks to recover from bruised ribs. :p
 

Old Corker

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Thanks for the response.

A couple weeks earlier in this thread (page 23, starting July 10th) there was a question about how for many of us the Finer Wine kits' final gravities were often finishing at 0.996 or higher. But they did not taste sweet. It was pointed out by @sour_grapes that total dissolved solids (TDS) could make the gravity readings higher. And I think use of skin packs correlates with higher TDS, perhaps extended maceration also increases TDS. So it is cool to see that your final gravity got down to 0.994 using a single skin pack. I used two skin packs and did 27 days of extended maceration as well, to make the same exact wine within a few days of you and my final gravity is 0.997. (Obviously other factors could come into play in determining final gravity -- like yeast, yeast nutrients, fermentation temperature, and more, but I still think that this is at least an interesting data point.)
I wouldn't call this a data point but an interesting observation. This past Sunday I racked the FW Bordeaux off the skins (single pack for 4 weeks) and I also racked a WE Fiero kit off the skins pack that came with it. The Fiero was a week behind the Bordeaux so 3 week EM. When I set then on the shelf for clearing the difference in suspended solids was remarkable. I used no bentonite or clearing agents in either of them. The two on the left are the Bordeaux

IMG_7010.jpg
 
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