WineXpert Mezza Luna Red questions

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Redbird1

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I just finished fermenting this kit and transferred to a glass carboy. It made it down to 0.992 even though the instructions said the furthest it would go is 0.998, but after reading some older threads, others have had theirs go that low as well.

Now that I'm here, I was wondering if anyone has had any experience tweaking this kit. Some of the old threads talk about adding raisins, but didn't know if it was too late for that. I'm also wondering about oak and tannins. I've not seen much in those regards. I'm guessing the answer is to do it by taste, but was looking for first-hand experiences on the overall idea.

Even though I've seen this listed as an early drinker, I plan to bulk age for at least 6 months. Definitely going to skip the sorbate and was originally planning on skipping the chitosan, but I'll probably go ahead and add it.

I appreciate any feedback.
 

salcoco

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this is definitely a early drinking red wine. aging to six months is a good approach. fining with chitosan per instructions would be best. adding anything now would not be productive. if you added oak I am afraid the fruity value of this wine would be buried by the oak. if you wish to oak a red I would go for a higher priced kit and a varietal like Cabernet Sauvignon, zinfandel etc.
 

Mismost

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I tweak the snot outta this kit...5 instead of 6 gallons, dried cherries and currants and simple syrup. In the secondary I use cherry wood...which was an accident the first time, there was a cherry honeycomb in the oak box at the LHBS! It's required now because my loves this kit.

At this point about all you can do is is add oak and you can still do that, but salcoco may indeed be be right. I wouldn't know because I've never made this kit straight up with no tweaks.
 

Redbird1

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I completely missed the 3 month Kmeta addition and transfer, but it seems none the worse for wear at this point. I couldn't pick up any wet cardboard flavor that I associate with oxidation from beer. I added a heaping tsp. of Kmeta since I figured the SO2 levels were pretty low. Best I can tell it is perfectly clear and the CO2 went away on its own.

I'd say it is a decent table wine at this point (especially at less than $2/bottle) and will let it sit another 3 months before bottling with no tweaks. My palette is not refined, but I picked up raspberry flavor and what I thought was faint vanilla/oaky notes. I plan to give some to family over the holidays, who will hopefully provide some good feedback. It will be just shy of its first birthday at that point.
 

rustbucket

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Mezza Luna was one of the first wines that I made. According to my notes, it had a strong acid taste at bottling but it turned out to be a great wine after 6 months of aging in the bottle. At nine months, it was superb.
 

Mismost

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Mezza Luna was one of the first wines that I made. According to my notes, it had a strong acid taste at bottling but it turned out to be a great wine after 6 months of aging in the bottle. At nine months, it was superb.
Ditto...we had a bottle the other night, about ten months old. I was like DANG that is GOOOOOD! Slap your Momma good. Still have a case stashed. Need to start another one.

Good pretty early on too...not bad at 3 months.
 

sour_grapes

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Okay, you guys talked me into it. I am going to open a bottle of my nearly 4 year-old Mezza Luna tonight or tomorrow. I never did like this batch, and did not notice much improvement with time... I will keep you posted.
 

sour_grapes

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Sorry to say, still not a fan.

It was my 2nd wine ever, and, although I followed the instructions religiously, perhaps I erred in some fashion.

Only 2 bottles left now.
 

rustbucket

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Sorry to say, still not a fan.

It was my 2nd wine ever, and, although I followed the instructions religiously, perhaps I erred in some fashion.

Only 2 bottles left now.
I've had that same experience with other wines that people on this site have raved about and wondered, 'Did I do something wrong!'. :slp

There are too many variables to pin it down as the outcome discrepancy could be procedural or it could be taste preference.
 

Redbird1

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Neither I nor any of my family are great connoisseurs of wine at this point. We'll happily drink anything from "Not bad" to "Smack your momma." :h
 

Mismost

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Sorry to say, still not a fan.

It was my 2nd wine ever, and, although I followed the instructions religiously, perhaps I erred in some fashion.

Only 2 bottles left now.
There's your problem! I tweak the snot out of this kit....have never made it straight up by the instructions.

In fact, I have only NOT TWEAKED the 3 Eclipse kits I just bottled....everything else has been tweaked to my hearts content with a lot of inspiration from joeswines.
 

Redbird1

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I took another taste tonight to compare it to a commercial red blend a neighbor shared and I'd say it compared relatively favorably. Mine was a little lighter and definitely less nose, but taste-wise I was happy with how it stacked up.

One thing I did happen to catch as I was finishing my glass was small, dark wispy things hanging out. I would have never noticed them except I had my phone directly under my glass that was just about empty and it illuminated them perfectly. I'd say there were 4 or 5 of them in that small amount.

I never did add any clearing agents and was wondering if this was normal. It had been in the carboy just over 6 months in my 65 degree basement and I transferred it a couple weeks ago to a plastic carboy. I did miss the 3 month kmeta addition, but it has been kept topped up and under a towel pretty much the entire time.

Any thoughts on what they might be? Any cause for concern?
 

Redbird1

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In preparation for bottling I tried a sample of this again yesterday. Taste at 10 months is just about slap your momma good. It still had some of the wispy stuff, so I hit it with Dual Fine. Within a couple hours it dropped a half inch of sediment! The bottom of the carboy had barely accumulated a dusting since August and then BAMM! I was amazed. It is nice and clear now and I hope to bottle it up tomorrow.
 

rustbucket

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Good to hear about how effective Fermfast Dualfine was with the Mezza Luna Red. I used the fining agent that came in the kit and didn't have any sediment after bottling; but I'm glad to hear of another fining product that may be better.

Redbird, your posts have convinced me that I need to make this wine again. It was good the first time and should be good if I make it again.
 

tjgaul

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I've had this kit on the shelf for a while waiting for its turn in the rotation. Planning to start this in a couple weeks when the current two "with skins" kits finish their EM and come out of primary. Planning to ferment this on top of the once used skins (Brunello and GSM - both fermented on RC-212). My normal SOP for reds is to add nutrient, some oak chips and generic tannin to the primary. I figured on targeting a starting SG of 1.085-1.090, whatever volume that dictates (guessing 5.0 to 5.5 gal).

I am shooting for an early drinking (6 months), fairly fruit forward wine. Not planning to add much oak or finishing tannins after primary. I have several big reds aging in carboys so this kit is aimed at making a daily drinker that we and our not so serious wine drinking friends will like.

Should I stick with my stated game plan or follow the basic recipe? Any other suggestions?
All opinions are welcome.
 

rustbucket

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Tim,
I don't see anything wrong with your plan to add grape skins from a former kit to the wine. That addition won't hurt and it may add some body. The only negative that I can think of is that it may lengthen the wine's maturation, in my case six to nine months, to a year. Then again, it may make no difference to the maturization timing.

I hope you like this wine as much as I did.
 

jdwebb

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I'm not a fan of kit wines either, however, this is the only one I really liked. After 2 years, it still makes a good table wine. Still time to kick it up a notch, try some bourbon soaked oak with some dried cherries, just let it sit for a couple months, bottle and sit back and wait.
 
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