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BabaPerson

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I have just started a kit that, according to the date sticker, is 26 months old. It is an En Primeur Trio Red.

I bought it and kept procrastinating. I bought new yeast, and will follow the directions pretty closely, except for some extra bult aging, and maybe some extra oaking.

I'll try to post on how it comes out.
 

Rocky

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I have just started a kit that, according to the date sticker, is 26 months old. It is an En Primeur Trio Red.

I bought it and kept procrastinating. I bought new yeast, and will follow the directions pretty closely, except for some extra bult aging, and maybe some extra oaking.

I'll try to post on how it comes out.
How does the juice appear to you? Can you see any evidence of oxidation (browning) in the juice? If it still has a good color and you use fresh yeast, k-meta and k-sorbate, you will likely be all right. In any case, it is all sunk cost at this point except for a buck or two in chemicals, so why not?
 

Keith5

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I got a RJ Spagmols Top level Grenache kit that was 8 years old when buying some other wine stuff off Craigslist. Last September I threw fresh yeast on it, BM 4x4, just to see what happens. It is brownish from oxidation but overall flavor is ok. A good cooking wine for sure. I’m glad I didn’t just throw it out.
 

BabaPerson

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I got a RJ Spagmols Top level Grenache kit that was 8 years old when buying some other wine stuff off Craigslist. Last September I threw fresh yeast on it, BM 4x4, just to see what happens. It is brownish from oxidation but overall flavor is ok. A good cooking wine for sure. I’m glad I didn’t just throw it out.
That's encouraging.
 

BabaPerson

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How does the juice appear to you? Can you see any evidence of oxidation (browning) in the juice? If it still has a good color and you use fresh yeast, k-meta and k-sorbate, you will likely be all right. In any case, it is all sunk cost at this point except for a buck or two in chemicals, so why not?
It looks fine. The taste on day 15 is slightly sweet, but the SG has dropped nicely. Onward!
 

mainshipfred

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I got a RJ Spagmols Top level Grenache kit that was 8 years old when buying some other wine stuff off Craigslist. Last September I threw fresh yeast on it, BM 4x4, just to see what happens. It is brownish from oxidation but overall flavor is ok. A good cooking wine for sure. I’m glad I didn’t just throw it out.
I got a throw in on a Marketplace purchase. It was 2008. Opened it, smelled and tasted it and I just couldn't bring myself around to even try.
 

BabaPerson

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I got a throw in on a Marketplace purchase. It was 2008. Opened it, smelled and tasted it and I just couldn't bring myself around to even try.
Funny, I just bought a commercial boxed wine and it tasted off. Interestingly, it was (only) 5 months past the "Best By" date.
 

winemaker81

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I look for outdated kits at my local shop as the discount is significant. Most are not really that old, may be a year or so. Before last year the oldest one was 18 months old.

Last year I purchased a R J Spagnols Grand Cru Vieux Chateau du Roi kit that was 3 years old. The label said 2016, but the "6" had to be examined carefully -- it looked like an "8".

The juice was bright purple, so I replaced the yeast & k-meta, and it fermented fine. I used the chitosan/kieselsol and it cleared fine, so that was not a problem. [Unless the kit is sweetened, I skip the sorbate.]

At bottling time (last September) the wine is bright and fruity.
 

BabaPerson

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Review at bottling of En Primeur Trio Red. I followed directions on this 26-month old kit, except for adding a toasted French oak stave for 5 weeks during racking. The SG went to .996, and there were no off flavors. It appears very extracted, in a good way. My only concern is that it seems too sweet for my taste.
 

Boatboy24

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My only concern is that it seems too sweet for my taste.
I feel that a lot of red kits are very fruit-forward early on, giving them a perception of sweetness. This decreases as time goes on. You could also consider adding some finishing tannin.
 

BabaPerson

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I feel that a lot of red kits are very fruit-forward early on, giving them a perception of sweetness. This decreases as time goes on. You could also consider adding some finishing tannin.
I thought of it. I have some, but I've never done it, wasn't sure what stage was best, and ended up passing. The only thing left to do now is to let the bottles do their work... I just stuck the labels on and put them in the rack.
 

TonyP

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I believe the rule of thumb on expiration is 12-18 months from packing date. Typically, it's on the longer end for lower volume (less expensive) kits due to the higher brix. I've haven't purchased an outdated kit because I've never been efficient at wine making so it takes a lot of work and I'd rather avoid issues. For me wine making is hard enough under the best of circumstances.
 

BabaPerson

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I believe the rule of thumb on expiration is 12-18 months from packing date. Typically, it's on the longer end for lower volume (less expensive) kits due to the higher brix. I've haven't purchased an outdated kit because I've never been efficient at wine making so it takes a lot of work and I'd rather avoid issues. For me wine making is hard enough under the best of circumstances.
If it's 18 months, I overshot by 8. I am not incredibly discerning, so I may never know, and I swapped yeasts and added extra oak, so it's not a controlled experiment. The Trio Red appears a bit too sweet, but fermented to 13.5%. I don't think I would ever choose to buy a kit that old: I just kept procrastinating. So the question for me wasn't, "Shall I buy it?" Rather the question was, "Shall I kick myself and trash it or try making it even though it's way old?" The jury is out on the sweetness, I'm hoping bottle aging will balance it, but everything else looks fine. I hope this post is helpful to some other procrastinator some day...
 

TonyP

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One way to deal with sweetness is to blend with another dry red wine. Doing so involves experimentation (creating small samples) until you make a blend you like then adding dry at that ratio. I'm not a big fan because I'm a purest but, as your wine is a blend already, tweaking makes sense.

BTW, your wine is a blend of Cab., Syrah, and Zinfandel - with the Cab. generally the driest of the three.
 

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