WineXpert Opinions on Wine Expert Sauv Blancs?

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blackcrk

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Hello,

Just curious what the opinion of the forum is on Wine Expert savignon blanc choices. As a variety, sauv blanc is the our current favorite white wine. I started out making the basic VR Sav Blanc last year. The result was good, but a little too thin for our taste (taste tested on regular intervals for over 8 months). So I moved up to the French Sauv Blanc- much more body in our opinion and worth doing again, but still not the full body and flavor we were hoping for.

So tonight I started a Selection Estate New Zealand Sauv Blanc. This is my first attempt at a "ultra-premium" kit (wine experts description-not mine). Just curious if any of you have had experience with any of these, and if so, what your opinion is and if there are other Sauvignon Blanc kits that you recommend.

For full disclosure, I would like to add that I've been more than pleased with the Wine Expert VR reds I've made - 2 pinot noirs and 2 Merlots - just trying to find a Sauv Blanc that meets our needs.
 

Wade E

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Im not big on W.E. brand but must say their whites wine kits are good but they can sometimes give you a hard time clearing.
 

NSwiner

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We did the French Sauvignon Blanc it was really tart and would definitely back sweeten IF we did it again and I don't think thats going to happen anytime soon . There's alot better wines out there that we can make . Not sauvignon blanc but 2 good wines is the Gewurztraminer & liebfraumilch that they make . We have always liked sauvignon blancs that why we tried it but it is one of thier cheaper kits . We have 2 of thier other cheap kits going now the Italian Pinot Grigio and Mezza luna white will let you know how they turn out .They were on sale and we wanted soemthing to hold us over while we aged some of the other wines we having .
 

Catrys

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I made the Winexpert French Sauvignon Blanc (it's a year old from start of fermentation). My husband and I drink mostly reds, but we like whites as well, and Sauvignon Blanc is my favorite white varietal at the moment.

We originally made this kit to have something to drink sooner than the reds we were also making. After 4 months of bottle aging, we taste tested and found the wine to not be super complex (hints of citrus, floral and garden), but felt it to be balanced and pretty smooth (not overly acidic). It did not have as dark of color as I usually see in commercial Sauv Blanc; it was colored more like a Pinot Grigio.

We tried to not open too many bottles while it was young and still have some around. It has definitely gotten better as it aged, though the color is still light.

The few kits I have done (only 4 bottled and all are Winexpert; 3 more currently going including 1 WE, 1 Mosti, and 1 RJS), seemed to me to have what I can only describe as a "yeasty" taste and smell which has gone away as the wines age. I presume this is what people refer to as "kit taste". In the wines we have that are a year old (only 2), this has gone away.

Overall, I am pleased with the French Sauv Blanc based on the total price to produce ($3.71/bottle including labels, shrink caps, all associated cleaners/sanitizers and a dzn bottles which I had to purchase). I find it to be a decent table wine for casual consumption, but I do not think it stands up to some $12 commercial Sauv Blancs I have had. Given that this is not a top-end kit, I presume that the more premium kits would produce an even better result.
 

cpfan

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From the WE site, it appears that the French Sauv Blanc that folks are mentioning is a World Vineyard kit. [BTW, I sure wish people would say the name of the WE brand not just WE. It sure helps those who are not familiar with the WE product line to understand the questions and responses.]

Personally, IF I was going to make a WE Sauv Blanc I would make the Selection Estate New Zealand Marborough Sauvignon Blanc. WHY? Cause I like NZ Sauv Blancs and it's always better to make the better kit.

I have some Ken Ridge Classic NZ SB (limited edition) at home now, and I quite like it. Sorry but I can't compare to any commercial SBs cause I haven't had any in 3-4 years. BTW Ken Ridge Classic is roughly the same as World Vineyard.

Steve
 

cbw

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We've made a couple of the WE World Vineyard Savignon Blanc kits and and have happy with both of them.

Both kits were slower fermenting and clearing ... but we feel the kits produced a nice drinkable wine ... and yes, we'll be making more in the future.
 

lurivera

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I am on my second batch of WE Selection Vinter's Reserve Sauvingnon Blanc. The first batch was my first attempt at winemaking last year and I remember my anxiety at trying to ferment wine in a very cold basement. I wound up using a brew belt and think that I accelerated the process a bit more than I should have. I remember asking about that in the forum and Wade mentioned that patience was imporatant in wine making, and a slower process would help the fruity esters establish themselves in this type of wine.

Anyway, the final product was okay; definitely drinkable, but missing that citrus finish that I enjoy with the Sauv Blanc. This second batch I let progress
more slowly, and when I opened a bottle the other day, it was still a bit young, but I could tell it will mature a lot better than the last.
 

cpfan

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Tim V from WE commented some time ago about one of their Sauvignon Blancs (sorry don't know which one) that it takes a length of time for the grapefruity taste to come out. I think it was over a year. If you want to do a lot of searching on winepress you might find the actual post.

Steve
 

blackcrk

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First, thanks to all of you that contributed to this thread. And a special thanks to Wade E and cpfan who have always taken the time to help on all of my previous posts. Also, sorry if this doesn't come though ok, been getting errors while trying to post.

Just a quick update.

I did an early "taste test" of the Selection Estate New Zealand SB that motivated me to start this post. The taste test was couple of days ago - the wine was started on March 15. After clarification, I racked this wine from a 6 gallon carboy to a 5 gallon carboy (for aging) and a filled few 750ml bottles.

This wine has only been in the bottle for a week or 2, but I opened one of the 750ml bottles. You wouldn't want to serve it to your dinner guests this early, but I was fairly impressed. No real "off" flavor, and seems like it will be much more full bodied than the other 2 WE SavBlancs I made. I do think that another 3-6 months in the bottle is required.

I'm thinking that after the few months in the bottle, this wine may be very good. I actually ordered another Selection Estate SB kit and extended the experiment to include Selection International Chilean Savignon Blanc. I'm also starting another World Vineyard French SB which we found to be pretty good.

I'll be more than happy to keep you all informed of the results and would appreciate any feedback from you about these kits.

So far, with regard to WE Sav Blanc kits,I would have to say that :

1) Wine Expert VR Sav Blancs are pretty good considering the price, but are pretty thin and really engineered for early drinkability- not a bad investment but may disappoint, depending on you personal preferences.

2) The World Vineyard French SB is well worth the additional $10 or so, more body and flavor and still are very drinkable early

3) New Zealand Sav Blanc - jury still out, but I was impressed enough to buy another kit a month or so after starting the first one.

4) WE Selection International Chilean SB? New experiment for me, any feedback very appreciated.
 

Wade E

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Me thinks someone likes SB's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you have access to Mosti Mondiale kits? Ive heard $ for $ their kits are better.
 

NSwiner

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just thought i would let you know The Italian Pinot Grigio - Vintners Reserve turned out very good for the money .It's a good early drinkable kit and now even better that it's sat a couple of weeks so in a couple of months should be even better . So far the Mezza luna white is tasting good ,I haven't bottled it yet but by the samples I've taken it should be a early drinker also . These will be good for when we have company that want to sample our wine but not really big wine drinkers . Save the good stuff for really wine drinkers .
 

jdammer

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. So far the Mezza luna white is tasting good
I like the Mezza Luna white. What kind of grapes are in this kit? I dumped the full f-pack in the primary. I just started making it again. This time I'm leaving it out. It will be interesting to see the difference between the two.
 

blackcrk

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I don't have local access to Mosti Mondiale kits. My local HB supply only carries WE wine kits. Any favorite Mosti Mondiale suppliers who do mail order where shipping to Vermont won't kill me?

Just a quick update on the WE Selection Estate NZ Sav Blanc:

As I think mentioned in a previous post, I transferred this SB from my 6 gallon carboy secondary to a 5 gallon (for aging) along with 2 750ml bottles. At that time (about 3.5 weeks ago) I also transferred the "dregs" (the wine from the bottom of the carboy that is cloudy from lees) to another 750ml bottle and waited for the lees to settle. Last week I had enough dreg wine to fill 3 187ml mini bottles. For the purpose of full disclosure, my "dregs" usually end up used in cooking (and sometimes down the drain). They receive the worst treatment of any part of the batch of wine - extended contact with the lees, lots of contact with oxygen (as the bottle is never full), they get moved around (as I always try to keep them in the kitchen to watch them and if they are in the way they get moved), etc.

I taste tested one of the "dreg" mini bottles tonight. Once again, the wine isn't ready for prime time, but is almost totally drinkable - just a bit of an alcohol bite and flavors need to meld and soften a bit. Great potential IMHO. That's pretty amazing considering that this wine came out of the secondary only about 3 weeks ago and this is the most abused wine in the batch.
 

GHowe

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So?????

I'm totally new to all of this, still waiting to get my first kit, but I've read a ton and talked to other home winemakers. I'm ready. And I too love SB and especially the New Zealand varieties! Sooooo? Here it is, 3 mo later, and being in Maine I know your Vermont has been warm lately...just right for a cool SB. Have you opened any more bottles? Has it aged well even just over 3 months?
 

Runningwolf

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GHowe, welcome to our forum. You're entering one of the greatest and most rewarding hobbies. How about going into the introductions thread and let us know a bit about you. Once again, welcome!
 

GHowe

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new guy

Thanks, Dan...I'll do that! I've enjoyed all your posts and those of others here!
 

blackcrk

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Reply to GHowe on the New Zealand SB in Vermont

Hi GHowe, you're absolutely right about the warm weather we've been having here in Vermont and we have been drinking SB in those hot, high humidity evenings (but mostly commercial wines). As I mentioned in a previous post, I moved 5 gallons of the 6 gallon NZ Marlborough SB kit to a five gallon carboy for aging. We taste tested the rest of the batch over the first few months and I continued to be encouraged. I do have to say that although I would rate this wine fairly high, I didn't find it to have the same level of citrus I find in most NZ SB wines I've had. But I do think it was too early to make a final determination.

The 5 gallons is still in the carboy, I'm actually planning on bottling it tomorrow. Depending on which part of the Wine Expert literature you read (discussion on the outside of the box, or on the instruction sheet), WE recommends a minimum aging of 3 months in one spot and 6 months in the other.

After bottling the 5 gallons, we will be testing this wine some more, so stay tuned!
 

lurivera

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Anything new on the SB? I just started a batch of the Wine Expert NZ Sauv Blanc this week, so I am curious on how yours is going.
 

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