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Jags

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My first kit is in primary, an RJS Cab-Merlot. Everything I'm reading in forums says this kit should bulk age for a year to three before bottling and then three months to years in the bottle before it reaches maturity. Do I have that right?
I have a spot in the basement, dark and vibration free for aging and will keep making more of these for the future but are there red kits made to be drunk without much aging that are worth making? Or should I just drink store bought for two or three more years?
 

smurfe

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I have never made a RJS kit but would have to add that you don't have to let them bulk age that long. Ideal to me and only to me would be to bulk age for a year and a half or so and them bottle and wait for 6 months or so, but it is not necessary. You can bottle it if you want when the kit is done, wait a few months and enjoy.

A lot of what you read is just "eclectic" (wine snob) talk. The person wants to feel like a winery owner in France or Italy. Yes, age will help a wine but the description you posted seems out there to me. This is only my opinion though. I have drank many a kit wine aged 2 years in the bottle that were just as good or far better than the average $15.00 to $20.00 bottle of wine.

On average though, the normal home wine maker gets too inpatient and drinks their wine too young. You see many that make a kit, open a bottle in 6 months to sample and another a month later, so on and so on. If it suits them. Enjoy. If not, let the rest age longer.

It will be better with age but kits are made to be drank faster. The true benefit from bulk aging is to keep you out of it until it matures. There are some other benefits to bulk aging as the entire lot of wine matures together but in the long run, it is not necessary. I have enjoyed plenty of my wines that have aged a year. They will be better in another year and probably peaked by then.

The only true benefit I have experienced to long term aging is the aroma. After a year or so at rest, I have found the taste of the wine identical to the commercial. I don't find the aroma the same. many speak of a kit taste. I have never experienced this but I do notice a kit smell. To me, all kit wines smell pretty much the same until about 2 years of age. I can then tell the difference in the varietals. This is mainly for reds. Whites mature much quicker, normally within a year.

Many don't realize it, but many of the commercial wines are made just like our kits. They use a concentrate, ferment it, rack it, clear it, age it a year or so in a steel tank. Oak chips or cube like we use are utilized and then it is bottled. Now your higher end wines are made the traditional way with barrel aging but many (not all) of your $6.00 to $10.00 dollar a bottle wines are made just like we do it, only on a larger scale.

Smurfe :)
 
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cpfan

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Jags:

Which RJS Cab-Merlot?

My neighbour did the Cru Select Gold (6-week kit, now discontinued). It was made over about 8 weeks. About 6 weeks later we had some. It was quite a nice wine. Gonna have to snag another invite over there to see how it's doing. Be 5-6 months in bottle now, I think.

Steve
 

Jags

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It's the Cellar Classic 6 week 15L. It's good to hear that it may be drinkable in a couple of months. I'll just have to keep making so much I couldn't possibly drink it all so some of them will make it to maturity.....
 

FentonCellars

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Take this from someone that made their first batch, bottled it and gave it away for xmas gifts.... keep as many as you can! I got a low number of bottles then expected (24) because I didn't top off, but I only have 6 left! Yikes!! I have to get my butt moving on the Pinot Noir kit I have from Wine Expert. This one I plan on keeping mostly, but for those that ask, will give one away. I may start charging to cover the cost of the next batch, but I'm not sure....
 

Luc

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It's the Cellar Classic 6 week 15L. It's good to hear that it may be drinkable in a couple of months. I'll just have to keep making so much I couldn't possibly drink it all so some of them will make it to maturity.....
That's the only way to go......

You will always make to little wine :p

Put them in a locked room or keep the wine in the carboys. That is the only way to keep you from drinking it. Take an old man's word for it. :D

Luc
 
C

Caplan

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Take this from someone that made their first batch, bottled it and gave it away for xmas gifts.... keep as many as you can! I got a low number of bottles then expected (24) because I didn't top off, but I only have 6 left! Yikes!! I have to get my butt moving on the Pinot Noir kit I have from Wine Expert. This one I plan on keeping mostly, but for those that ask, will give one away. I may start charging to cover the cost of the next batch, but I'm not sure....
Charging or not at least make sure you get the bottles back!:D
 

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