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RJ Spagnols How do you mix it up?

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jdammer

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I just got my RJ CC Washington Merlot in. It's the most expensive kit I've bought so far. I was curious how you guys make your kits better? Any deviations from the directions or hints. Since I won't really be able to try it until next year I want to make it the best I can.
 

Wade E

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I usually just oak it to my liking which typically means adding more and when its near bottling time I play around with adding tannins and use this product which really can improve even a very good wine. Really, I implore any of you who make wines to try some of these Scotts Labs tannin products. I have included a link below to check out the Scotts Lab site and then another for you if ytou want to buy ome in small quantuty to try out. I really like the efects of the last link in my red wines.
http://www.scottlab.com/products/fermentation/tannins.asp

http://www.finevinewines.com/ProdDetA.asp?PartNumber=015440A
http://www.finevinewines.com/ProdDetA.asp?PartNumber=015430A
 

jdammer

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Thanks Wade. Thought this thread would get a little more action.

Just picked it up today. I'm going out of town this week so I'll start it next.

I was impressed on the amount of grape skins that came with.
 

femki

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I just bottled a batch of RJ Spagnols Grand Cru Cabernet Sauvignon (10L / 4 Week kit) this weekend. Pitched the yeast at my local ferment-on-premesis August 2009, bottled May 2010. At the time I thought this was a step up from my previous kits, but am learning that the shop owner is a bit conservative with newbies.

I'm currently letting the bottles rest to avoid any bottle shock throwing off the flavours. However we had a partial bottle left and after waiting 10 months I just couldn't wait to try it. To my tongue, this is not a Cabernet! I found it thin, fruity, and acidic. I'm really hoping that some additional bottle time in the cellar will help.

The reason for this post is because I'm wondering if adding a grape pack, tannins, or oak (or any combination thereof) would have helped this wine kit? Will adding any of these help round out and add flavours/complexity to a lesser wine kit? Will adding any of these cause the aging time to increase?

I just pitched the yeast on an RJ RQ Trio when I bottled the Cabernet, and the juice looked so wonderful, rich, and dark. I can't wait to get a taste!
 

Tom

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I havent made this but, adding raisins will add body.
 

jdammer

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Haven't been doing this a long time but I think it seems like you should spend the money on the reds. Probably can go a little cheaper on the whites. I've made three WE VR white kits. They taste pretty good. I got a premium chardonnay coming. It will be interesting to see the quality difference.
 

Wade E

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IMO you can not make a decent Big red wine like a Cab with these smaller kits, you can get away with a Malbec or Poinot Noir bt not these bigger bold reds. You will need to step up to like 15 liter with grapes with grape skins to acheive this.
 

femki

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jdammer, I am definitely going up in quality in the reds. Like you I haven't been in this long, the Cab Sauv is only my third batch and like I said, it was done at my local FOP.. meaning the shop owner took care of everything for me. I don't currently have any equipment. I've started the RJ RQ Trio and I have an RJ RQ Cab Franc Merlot in the wait, both are 16L kits and contain grape packs. I think I will see a noticeable improvement once I bottle those. My plan is, if I see what I want in the RJ RQ kits, I'll spend the money on equipment and start at home.

I was wondering what effect tannin, oak, or grape skins would have on the lesser kits... if these would be an economical way to "boost" cheaper kits.
 

cpfan

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I was wondering what effect tannin, oak, or grape skins would have on the lesser kits... if these would be an economical way to "boost" cheaper kits.
There are no wine grape skins available in the stores. You would have to get fresh wine grapes in the fall and either freeze them whole of crush then freeze the skins. Not sure what availability would be like in the Soo.

Steve
 

skiboarder72

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I'll be starting an En Premiur Amarone kit soon, hopefully this will turn out awesome! I gotta see if going big on these kits is really worth it.

In the past I've done the Grand Cru International Cabernet w/ Grape Skins, and it's pretty darn good after only being bottled last week. I'm excited to see what its gonna do after another few months :D
 

femki

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There are no wine grape skins available in the stores. You would have to get fresh wine grapes in the fall and either freeze them whole of crush then freeze the skins. Not sure what availability would be like in the Soo.

Steve
Steve, I was asking about grape packs because of the links that Wade posted. He linked to some tannin additives, but looking at the site closer I find:

 

cpfan

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Interesting. I believe that is a new product. I recall no mention of it in the past. So I have seen no feedback on it.

Great news for those making kits that a Cab or Syrah grape pack would be compatible with.

Steve
 

jimk

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I usually just oak it to my liking which typically means adding more and when its near bottling time I play around with adding tannins and use this product which really can improve even a very good wine. Really, I implore any of you who make wines to try some of these Scotts Labs tannin products. I have included a link below to check out the Scotts Lab site and then another for you if ytou want to buy ome in small quantuty to try out. I really like the efects of the last link in my red wines.
http://www.scottlab.com/products/fermentation/tannins.asp

http://www.finevinewines.com/ProdDetA.asp?PartNumber=015440A
http://www.finevinewines.com/ProdDetA.asp?PartNumber=015430A
Wade, do you use these on all your reds? Do you bulk age with them or add right before bottling?
Jim
 
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