Other Merlot kit recommendations

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g8keeper

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ok...after ALL of these years of wine making, i finally want to pull the plug and make a red, other than WELCH's concord....looking to you good folks out there to give mr recommendations on a nice merlot kit....most of my experience with kit wines have been WE kits, BUT if i can get a better product, for a better price (without breaking the bank, that is), i am willing to venture out of my comfort zone, as i do know that my lhbs carries more than JUST WE, even though that is their main line....i have looked at some of our sponsors' sites and have contemplated the WE ECLIPSE series merlot, but also noticed that the price varies, from like 142.00, upwards of 167.00...not sure if i want to spend quite that much on a kit...at the same time, by no means am i looking to make a WE vintner's reserve merlot either...so come on, folks, your recommendations are truly welcomed here....:a1
 

MrKevin

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I would recommend WE Stags Leap Merlot this may have been upgraded to the new Eclipse series (it wasn't when I made it). This is a good one even when I made it. One of there more high end kits. Being WE this would even keep you in your comfort zone.

Kevin
 

ibglowin

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Too early to tell yet on the Eclipse kits but they do look promising. They are also Ultra premium and the most expensive kits on the market as well.

RJS Winery Series kits have always been an excellent product and raved on year after year. One of the highest QPR out there. They have a WA State Merlot. CC Showcase has one as well. Both are premium kits with grape packs.

Price is $126-135 from one of our sponsors. Quite often you can find them on sale. I would not go lower than a 16L kit on a big red.
 

wineh

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I have made the Stag's Leap Merlot in Estate version, and I just put the Eclipse version in the primary on Monday. I have never had a better aroma from a fermenting wine than this one...plums, cherries, raspberries and tobacco are plainly evident in this must already. I certainly hope these aromas make it all the way to the bottle. The downside would be that my SG was low at 1.088 at the start, so not going to be a monster by any means.

PS there is currently a $20.00 coupon available (in Canada anyway) for the Eclipse series wines. It expires sometime in March.
 

g8keeper

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Too early to tell yet on the Eclipse kits but they do look promising. They are also Ultra premium and the most expensive kits on the market as well.

RJS Winery Series kits have always been an excellent product and raved on year after year. One of the highest QPR out there. They have a WA State Merlot. CC Showcase has one as well. Both are premium kits with grape packs.

Price is $126-135 from one of our sponsors. Quite often you can find them on sale. I would not go lower than a 16L kit on a big red.

thanks mike, and everyone else so far for your reccomendations...i think you are closest so far, mike....i do want at least a premium, but not sure if i can justify the eclipse price tag to SWMBO, especially if she's one of those that probably wouldn't drink it, unless after fermentation, i split into 2 3 gallon batches, and sweetened 1 batch to her liking....lol...but yeah, i think you are definitely in the ballpark that i am thinking of....and no, after making some of the wines i have made, i was definitely not looking to make a pure "budget" kit...lol..was definitely looking at closer to top of the line, without being at the top of the price world...lol...
 

ibglowin

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I "try" and wait for the sales as that's when you can usually get an extra 10% off.

Then its time to pounce!
 

g8keeper

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I "try" and wait for the sales as that's when you can usually get an extra 10% off.

Then its time to pounce!

well i guess i'll just have to first check out the prices at the lhbs around the corner from me....as long as it's not one of the new guys working there, and it's one of those that's known me for years, they give me a 10% discount on all my purchases from when i was a club member....so that's always a plus, and one of the reasons u try to keep my purchases local....it also eliminates shipping costs....guess having a lhbs less than 1 mile from your house isn't an advantage everyone has...lol...
 

LeChat

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I can vouch for the RJS Winery series Washington Merlot. At about 7 months old, I can already tell it will be at the top of my favorites' list. I also really like the RJS Grand Cru International (with xtra oak) although this is more like a budgetémid range kit (12 L and grape pack).
 

g8keeper

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thank all of you for your recommendations....after careful consideration, i made my choice and pulled the trigger....they say go big or go home, right?....well, i guess you can say i went big....i bought the WE Eclipse Series Stag's Leap Merlot.....don't think i got a bad deal at my lbhs....kit tag was 167.50....also refilled my 4 containers of B-Brite and bought 50 shrink caps for 2 batches of wine i recently bottled....when all was said and done, and my 10% discount was given, it cost me 158 dollars and some change, out the door for everything....that's less than the original cost of the kit alone!...not too bad if i do say so myself......
 

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