Finer Wine Kits

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Matteo_Lahm

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
161
Reaction score
766
Hey, hope all is well! I just wanted to respond to the last thing you wrote about the pasteurization issue. The process to remove the water is a type of pasteurization but different from ultrapasteurization. The concentration process involves a heat flash that lasts only a few minutes but it does not produce an aseptic product. This is why it has to be kept cold. When juice is ultrapasteurized, it’s cooked at a minimum of140° for at least 20 minutes. We’ve compared our concentrates to those that have undergone this secondary process and it’s a very noticeable difference. Ultrapasteurization really changes the chemical composition. The ramifications are not just for taste. It also harms the pigments and other compounds. There’s been a lot of discussion about “the kit taste“ that is present in all traditional wine kits but not FWK.

I think it is important to point out that it is only this year's batch of Bordeaux blend adds Syrah and Petite Sirah to the Cab and Merlot, but only because they could not source Cab. Franc this year. They still wanted to offer the popular blend, so they figured a work around, but I think that they were a bit dismissive of what Cab Franc brings to the party (I think they said something like, 'it adds color'), whereas I think Cab Franc brings a flavor all its own, the bell pepper flavor, which adds to the blend.

Along the same lines, they could not source Sangiovese this year, so the Super Tuscan blend adds Grenache and Syrah to approximate the Sangiovese. Label Peelers notes that substitution is noted on their websites description, but the Bordeaux one is not mentioned on their website, which I'd love to see. Super Tuscan description "Though the classic blend is Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Sangiovese is not available in the 2021 harvest however, we have been able to make a convincing substitution of Syrah and Granach that preserves the character of the Super Tuscan as a medium body fruity yet earthy wine with a cherry bouquet that will keep your friends asking for more."

As far as new products I think that they pretty much said a Rhone blend was in the works? If so, perhaps doing some test batches already with different amounts of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, etc. to settle on the final blend?

I would love it if they also were able to contract in advance for some fruit sourced from beyond Lodi, perhaps by contracting in advance for the grapes (and maybe paying for those grape contracts by pre-selling most of those kits to customers like us, eager to get Napa, Sonoma, Walla Walla, etc. fruit).

Right now they are, I think, getting their fruit all from the same facility in Lodi. And I am guessing that facility gets grapes from Lodi and perhaps the rest of the central valley which have not been purchased by wineries. As a result they are more at the mercy of the market, and some years there won't be enough Cab Franc or Sangiovese.

EDIT - to be clear, even if they got fancier fruit from beyond Lodi, they would still need the same Lodi facility to process it, not sure any other place does the same non-pasteurized concentration of grape juice. That might be a possibility but adds more variables, which is why I think we are more likely to see more blends, or limited run varietals, rather than "fancy fruit" from "fancy AVAs".

Also, I think they said on that video that the process gets as hot as 140F for a short time, which is still pretty darn hot, but not long enough at that temp to pasteurize.
 

heatherd

Supporting Members
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
2,312
Reaction score
1,866
Location
Maryland
For the longest time, I was using spring water with my wines. Never had an issue. But, I recently switched to distilled water and probably won’t switch back.
I have used filtered tap for a several years, but switched to distilled since starting the FWK and will continue to do so for upcoming batches. Its easy to get at the grocery store and that also allows me to spend less on filters.
 

Matteo_Lahm

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
161
Reaction score
766
The other thing about distilled water is that it’s guaranteed pH neutral. Some water has impurities that affect the PH. You’re wine kit is configured to reach a very specific result so using springwater or tap-water could negatively influence the outcome.
matteo

I have used filtered tap for a several years, but switched to distilled since starting the FWK and will continue to do so for upcoming batches. Its easy to get at the grocery store and that also allows me to spend less on filters.
 

my wine

Write your epic; live your dream
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
289
Reaction score
803
Location
near Dayton Ohio
There were a number of posts recently talking about the impact that grape seeds will have on the Forte FWKs. Today I started a Super Tuscan Forte which comes with 2 grape skin packs and a packet of seeds. Before I poured in the first bag of skins, I noticed a dried leaf in the bag. Plucked it out and fingered through the dried skins. It is chock full of seeds and a decent portion of stems along with a few dried leaves. As expected the second bag was the same. I'm not sure what the extra packet of seeds adds to the wine given the amount of seeds already mixed with the skins. I put them in though. Looking forward to good wine in a year!
 

Matteo_Lahm

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
161
Reaction score
766
There were a number of posts recently talking about the impact that grape seeds will have on the Forte FWKs. Today I started a Super Tuscan Forte which comes with 2 grape skin packs and a packet of seeds. Before I poured in the first bag of skins, I noticed a dried leaf in the bag. Plucked it out and fingered through the dried skins. It is chock full of seeds and a decent portion of stems along with a few dried leaves. As expected the second bag was the same. I'm not sure what the extra packet of seeds adds to the wine given the amount of seeds already mixed with the skins. I put them in though. Looking forward to good wine in a year!

There are some seeds in the skins but not nearly as many as fresh grapes. We did bench trails and blind tastings. The seeds really improve the backend and the duration of the flavor profile.
matteo
 

heatherd

Supporting Members
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
2,312
Reaction score
1,866
Location
Maryland
I was on the labelpeelers site and saw the year end review video with Matt and Matteo. I learned a few things that stick out:

* The Forte Bordeaux blend is Cab, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Sirah.

* Those two got pretty tuned up tasting all the FWK offerings.

* We should see something new for 2022. Matteo hinted at it, but wouldn’t give up the surprise (even after his 7th or 8th varietal “tasting”).
That was a great video! @Matteo_Lahm and @Matt_Pruszynski Thanks for letting us all know the back-story for the company, how things taste, the difference between product lines, that you read the forums, and that you use the suggestions to make improvements to instructions.
 
Last edited:

Jovimaple

Kaptin Winemaker
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
500
Reaction score
1,004
Location
Minnesnowta
That was a great video! @Matteo_Lahm and @Matt_Pruszynski Thanks for letting us all know the back-story for the company, how things taste, the difference between product lines, that you read the forums, and that you use the suggestions to make improvements to instructions.

And ever since watching the video, I read @Matteo_Lahm 's posts in his voice! 😝
 

Matteo_Lahm

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
161
Reaction score
766
of course we are going to follow your suggestions. You guys are the ones making them. It’s a very interesting thing to step outside of yourself and try to forget what you know. For example, the instructions could be so clear to me but not necessarily adequate for the user because it’s hard for me to not bring my own associations. There’s also the simple truth that some ideas are just better. I once read that a good leader is interested in the best idea without caring where they come from. FWK is all about helping good people make better wine. Whatever is required to fulfill that endeavor is my top priority.
May our dialogs continue!
Matteo
That was a great video! @Matteo_Lahm and @Matt_Pruszynski Thanks for letting us all know the back-story for the company, how things taste, the difference between product lines, that you read the forums, and that you use the suggestions to make improvements to instructions.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
5,217
Reaction score
13,310
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
of course we are going to follow your suggestions
Nope, typically it's the reverse. It is to your credit that you do listen and respond.

I enjoyed the video and have watched it twice. An idea for a future video -- compare Tavola and Forte versions of the same varietal at 6 and 12 month marks. Red wine isn't all heavy stuff that takes years to age; there is a wide variety that is all good.

Last summer I purchased Barbera (pre-Forte) with no skin packs specifically to make a quick drinker, and it's already in the bottle. While it will improve with aging, it's quite good right now. Teaching folks that wines other than DB and skeeter pee can be made as quick drinkers is valuable.
 

Matteo_Lahm

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
161
Reaction score
766
It’s funny you say that because I’m actually a fan of younger wine.
I like it when it’s still aggressive and tannic. If I drop some coin on a commercial bottle, I’m not going to buy a Brunello or Amarone just to let it sit in my basement for four more years. I’m gonna drink it. I’ve actually returned expensive bottles that were over 10 years old because they were over the hill. Yes mythology that older is better with wine is totally overblown. It has a clear shelflife and once it hits its peak, it’s all downhill, just like life for the rest of us. Lol


Nope, typically it's the reverse. It is to your credit that you do listen and respond.

I enjoyed the video and have watched it twice. An idea for a future video -- compare Tavola and Forte versions of the same varietal at 6 and 12 month marks. Red wine isn't all heavy stuff that takes years to age; there is a wide variety that is all good.

Last summer I purchased Barbera (pre-Forte) with no skin packs specifically to make a quick drinker, and it's already in the bottle. While it will improve with aging, it's quite good right now. Teaching folks that wines other than DB and skeeter pee can be made as quick drinkers is valuable.
 

sluff

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2018
Messages
32
Reaction score
19
I live in northern Wisconsin. I have been hesitant about ordering a Finer Wine kit due to weather factors and my travel schedule. I was going to order one last summer (and get the lifetime discount) - but was worried about it sitting on my doorstep in 90 degrees. Now it is below zero and I am worried about it freezing if I am away when it arrives. Has anyone else had any issues with this? Also - how long do you have to get a Finer Wine kit started once it arrives? And, how should a Finer Wine kit be stored until it is started? Thanks!

My FWK is showing up today. It is 21F below zero. It will probably be frozen solid. LOL
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
386
Reaction score
555
Ok y’all…i am starting a Forte Cab Sauv but instead of using two packs of skins, I am actually using four packs of skins 😬.
Any projection or opinions on what you think the results will be??
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
5,217
Reaction score
13,310
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
Ok y’all…i am starting a Forte Cab Sauv but instead of using two packs of skins, I am actually using four packs of skins 😬.
Any projection or opinions on what you think the results will be??
It will be heavy -- bulk age for a year, don't bother opening a bottle until at least year 2.

Start a thread for this batch, and update it when you have something to report.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
5,217
Reaction score
13,310
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
It will get a good 6 months of barrel aging and then a dose of glycerin at bottling as well…
Don't go too crazy on the oak. Contrary to a popular belief, you can over-oak a wine and it may not be fixable, except by blending.

If it were me, I'd go with 3 months in the barrel, move to a carboy, for at least 6 months while you cycle a couple other batches through the barrel. And then back into the barrel for 6 to 9 months. Extended barrel aging makes a huge difference.
 

Gilmango

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
313
Reaction score
1,468
Ok y’all…i am starting a Forte Cab Sauv but instead of using two packs of skins, I am actually using four packs of skins 😬.
Any projection or opinions on what you think the results will be??
I sort of did that as the result of an accident. I got sent the same Syrah kit twice. Wound up getting a great price on the second one so I did not need to send it back. So the first kit I did exactly as FWK instructions for Forte 2 weeks till then into secondary. But for the 2nd kit I kept all the first kit's seeds and skins going, so 4x skins and 2x skin pack, and to make it spicier I did the whole FWK yeast starter thing but pitched on top of the 'yeast cake' so basically I mixed RC212 and BM4x4 in the second one, also doing EM on the 2nd one till my next kit arrives (WE LE Marselan).
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
386
Reaction score
555
The reason for this experiment is that I have two extra skins packs in the freezer that I ordered with a Tavola but decided not to use. Then yesterday as I was punching down my wines, I was comparing my current FWK Forte Bordeaux that’s fermenting to a bucket of Cab Franc frozen must that’s also fermenting. The juice to skins ratio was way different between the two,the frozen must had a lot more skins than juice, obviously that was opposite of the Forte. So it got me thinking, hey I have two extra bags of skins, why not do a Cab Sauv and use 4 bags to try to get closer ratio of skins to juice like a frozen must is..
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
5,217
Reaction score
13,310
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
So it got me thinking, hey I have two extra bags of skins, why not do a Cab Sauv and use 4 bags to try to get closer ratio of skins to juice like a frozen must is..
The skin packs are dried, so it's not necessarily an equal comparison. After a hard pressing, the grape cake is relatively small in comparison to the wine volume.

However, it's still an interesting experiment!
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
5,217
Reaction score
13,310
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
The Grape Warrior makes another good point, but I wonder since the skins are dried if it inhibits some of the extraction benefits you would normally get if the were not?
Once the skins are reconstituted, I wouldn't think it makes any difference. OTOH, if drying breaks down cell walls like freezing, skins may be better.

I'm noticing that every question seems to beget at least 2 other questions ... 😂
 

Latest posts

Top