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Tom Martin

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I am new to wine making, I have been making beer and cider for about 3 years so still new on that too. I have a WE Malbec with skins in the carboy, I also have a Pink Moscato both at about 3 months in the secondary carboy.
I have a RJs Cru Select California Cabernet Syrah Zinfandel I am getting ready to make.

I am ordering 2 more and have narrowed my search to the following would these be good or something else?? these are in a random order. okay after writing my list maybe I will get 3 more.:slp
1) WE Lodi Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon
2) WE LE17 Negroamaro
3) WE LE18 Barbaresco
4) WE LE18 Black Red
4) RJs CRU Select Italian Amarone
5) CC Showcase Amarone
 

kuziwk

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I am new to wine making, I have been making beer and cider for about 3 years so still new on that too. I have a WE Malbec with skins in the carboy, I also have a Pink Moscato both at about 3 months in the secondary carboy.
I have a RJs Cru Select California Cabernet Syrah Zinfandel I am getting ready to make.

I am ordering 2 more and have narrowed my search to the following would these be good or something else?? these are in a random order. okay after writing my list maybe I will get 3 more.:slp
1) WE Lodi Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon
2) WE LE17 Negroamaro
3) WE LE18 Barbaresco
4) WE LE18 Black Red
4) RJs CRU Select Italian Amarone
5) CC Showcase Amarone
I can't recommend the CC showcase series enough, I have not yet tried the amarone but I have tried their carmenere, Sonoma Valley cab cav and most recently the Rosso fortisimo. The carmenere was simply amazing, the cab sav and Rosso are aging, although the cab sav has been bottled ive yet to open a bottle. I was starting to taste really good before I bottled it, I'll likely crack a bottle around Christmase either way these kits need at least 4-6 months to really enjoy them and a year or so to reach peak maturity. If you filter it may speed up the process a bit due to exygen exposure.
 

Tom Martin

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Oh I forgot 1 I was also looking into the Old Vine Cab not sure which company makes those yet.
I guess I should also say the my wife and I I both enjoy Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and red blend wines. Brands are kind of all over the place 19 Crimes in good 14 Hands. Just tried a Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon last night and it was very good.
 

kuziwk

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Oh I forgot 1 I was also looking into the Old Vine Cab not sure which company makes those yet.
I guess I should also say the my wife and I I both enjoy Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and red blend wines. Brands are kind of all over the place 19 Crimes in good 14 Hands. Just tried a Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon last night and it was very good.
Have you ever had amarone? If not it's definately worth a try if you like heavy reds like me. I loved 19 crimes btw. I don't focus on brands really for commercial wine but if you have the chance mission Hill has some nice big reds from Canada which are a personal favorite.
 

GaDawg

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If you are new to wine making, may I suggest alternating between early drinkers and ones to age.
 

Tom Martin

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If you are new to wine making, may I suggest alternating between early drinkers and ones to age.
Yes that would be awesome, the 2 red kits I have now need 18-24 months. I think the pink moscato is next summer 9-12 months.
 

rca

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I'm new to wine making as well. Any suggestions for early drinking kits if we are really red wine drinkers? I know most reds kits need to be aged.
 

jsbeckton

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FWIW I have made the WE Lodi Cab 2x and have not been impressed. Made pretty much by the book except for skipping sorbate, bulk aging for 1 year before bottling but it’s been 28 months on the first now and I find it kinda meh.

It gets good reviews which is why I made a second batch but seems to be coming along the same as the first. Not bad, just not that great either. Hey, maybe at 3 years it turns a corner!

The Stags Leap Merlot is much better IMO.
 

kuziwk

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I'm new to wine making as well. Any suggestions for early drinking kits if we are really red wine drinkers? I know most reds kits need to be aged.
If you have access to Costco they have an Argentina coast amarone which is excellent for the money. It's a 23l kit that you don't have to add water which is nice, however I'm 99% sure it reconstituted. In either case it's excellent for the money and only needs minor tweaking. The 7l Argentina coast kits are decent for the money as well, great for carboy topping, company that overstay their welcome and quick wine that needs little aging while still be palatable.
 
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Tom Martin

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If you are new to wine making, may I suggest alternating between early drinkers and ones to age.
What would be an early drinking Cabernet Sauvignon or red blend you would recommend?
I don't know a lot of different reds. We enjoy Malbecs Cabernet Sauvignon and red blends but don't really like merlots as much. I have seen many other red kits but I have never had those wines types before.
 

jsbeckton

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Generally speaking when people say early drinkers they are referring to lower juice volume kits rather than the premium kits with skins. Thought is that the premium kits take longer to develop but have more potential while the lower end kits develop quicker but don’t ever reach that premium level.

Before I made the 2 Lodi cabs I made the WE world vineyard cab (10L I think?). While I am still hoping the Lodi cabs continue to develop I would say that the cheaper WV cab was every bit as good if not better at 6mo than the Lodi’s are at 28mo. YMMV.
 

Grabo

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It's not a super early drinking red, but the Winexpert Selection Enigma is a good red blend as well. It's similar to Apothic Red. In my notes, I have that it turned the corner into a "remake this" kit at 12 months from pitching the yeast.
 

kuziwk

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Generally speaking when people say early drinkers they are referring to lower juice volume kits rather than the premium kits with skins. Thought is that the premium kits take longer to develop but have more potential while the lower end kits develop quicker but don’t ever reach that premium level.

Before I made the 2 Lodi cabs I made the WE world vineyard cab (10L I think?). While I am still hoping the Lodi cabs continue to develop I would say that the cheaper WV cab was every bit as good if not better at 6mo than the Lodi’s are at 28mo. YMMV.
Agreed, generally the 10-12L kits are still pretty good and can be appreciated to some extent even by those heavily educated wine snobs. I have never made a bad kit yet that I could not drink... even the cheaper 7l kits...its just some are far superior in taste, body, aroma ect. Some of the 10l kits have a "kit" taste (think reconstituted fruit juice vs fresh) but generally speaking it will age out after a few months. They do get better with time like all wine but the age time is less to reach peak and they are more palatable than a high end kit with grape skins if you were to drink both shortly after clearing. The high end kits with grape skins really should not be touched for 6 months if possible, ideally requiring a year to start drinking them. It also depends on how fast your are aging, I found bottle aging is faster as is aging at temperatures of 68f vs 60f. Filtering will also speed aging. Typically though the higher end kits are borderline not drinkable or enjoyabe after clearing and completely out of balance with muted flavors and even possibly a funky or strong aroma. You are basically wasting your money by drinking them early...again though age duration depends on the grape variety and some of the factors i listed above as there is no hard or fast set rule. It really is a magic how the wine transforms over the months. The general consensus is that we ferment cheaper kits to prevent us from drinking the higher end kits because as I said it's almost like throwing away your money by doing so.
 

GaDawg

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Yes that would be awesome, the 2 red kits I have now need 18-24 months. I think the pink moscato is next summer 9-12 months.
Winexpert Vintners Reserve Bergamais. It’s basically a Beaujolais.
 

Tom Martin

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Thank you for all of the feedback from everyone.
I was at the LHBS picking up some new kits, great black Friday sale.
My early drinking selections
1) Winexpert Vintner Select Cabernet Sauvignon 10L
2) RJS Cru International Malbec 12L

My selections to age
3) RJS En Primeur Amarone
4) RJS En Primeur Australian Cabernet Sauvignon
 

NelsonC

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I can't recommend the CC showcase series enough, I have not yet tried the amarone but I have tried their carmenere, Sonoma Valley cab cav and most recently the Rosso fortisimo. The carmenere was simply amazing, the cab sav and Rosso are aging, although the cab sav has been bottled ive yet to open a bottle. I was starting to taste really good before I bottled it, I'll likely crack a bottle around Christmase either way these kits need at least 4-6 months to really enjoy them and a year or so to reach peak maturity. If you filter it may speed up the process a bit due to exygen exposure.
I second this!
CC Amarone (18L): i have made numerous times (over several years), consistent quality, excellent body.
 

GaDawg

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I second this!
CC Amarone (18L): i have made numerous times (over several years), consistent quality, excellent body.
Really, you want to recommend a wine he can't drink for almost 2 years?
 

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