Unimpressed with top line kits?

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by baron4406, May 23, 2019.

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  1. May 25, 2019 #21

    bstnh1

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    Any of the expensive red kits (and some not so expensive) I've made don't improve much during the first couple of years. I usually wait 4 years before judging them. At 5 years, they're really good. You really shouldn't be concerned about the ones you mentioned after only 15 months.
     
  2. May 25, 2019 #22

    baron4406

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    Anyone ever make the Nebbiolo kit from WE Eclipse? This one is a little over a year old, it has a completely different flavor, I check my notes from when I bottled it. Very earthy and almost as complex as the Amarone but a completely different taste profile. So I'm going to let all these bottles sit until next summer tho the Amarone is a hit and i may have to hide it lol. I think I'm just a little picky, I've made so many wines over the years plus our local wineries are really pumping out some fantastic wines so maybe I've expected too much. Example the wine I was least impressed with, the Malbec sat for two days (good and decanted) and its actually darn good now. Who knows? I have alot of fruit wines to keep the greedy visitors happy lol.
     
  3. May 25, 2019 #23

    jgmann67

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    Yes. I did mine as an EM, with tannin additions on the front and back end. When it was young, the tannins were overpowering and it had too many sharp edges to the flavor.

    It’s two years old and has a nicely integrated tar and floral taste. I also used some medium plus oak cubes that added a nice coffee and smoke underpinning.

    It’s good now. In another year, it will be even better. I think at 4 years, it will be stellar.
     
  4. May 25, 2019 #24

    sour_grapes

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    I actually chose not to add tannins, because, as per my notes, "Kit comes with 60g oak dust and 90g (!) oak cubes." The result was very nice. Perhaps would have been better with some added tannins, but this is one of my pretty-darn-good outcomes.
     
  5. May 26, 2019 #25

    szap

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    A friend of mine won a blind auction wine tasting and tapas at a local fairly exclusive wine business. We brought two bottles of our Eciplse old vine zinfandel and after the tasting we returned to the hosts home and opened the two bottles we had brought. Every person said that our wine was better than anything they had at the tasting. Now I know things like taste preferences are subjective and we did not know much about the reds that were served at the tasting, but subjective or not the Eclipse kit was a hit. The way we look at it is yes they are the more expensive wine kits, but it still works out to $5 to $6 a bottle and for us these kits make wines that for that price are a steal.
     
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  6. May 26, 2019 #26

    Bill McNab

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    I have been making wine from grapes for 40 years. Most of the time I can get premium CA and or Canadian white grapes. Red grapes from CA. Once in a while I blend a kit into my grape wine in order to keep my barrels full.
    I have aged expensive kits for several years , however, never reached the same level of satisfaction as grape wine.
    My votes will always be
    1. Grapes.
    2 juice
    3 kits as a last resort.
    I read lots of posts talking about tweaking kits , many different ways.
    Seems like the quality of a $200 kit should not need multiple tweaks to make it drinkable.
    Grapes for me every time even if I have to drive 10 hours each way to get them.
    Good luck with the kits that y'all make.
    Bill.
     
  7. May 26, 2019 #27

    bstnh1

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    I don't think anyone is talking about tweaking a $200 kit to make it "drinkable". Virtually any kit that's made properly is drinkable and most equal or surpass the quality of a $10 or $15 store bought wine. It's also not unusual to have a kit wine top wines made from fresh grapes in competitions.
     
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  8. May 26, 2019 #28

    jgmann67

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    I tend to agree that fresh, quality grapes will make a better wine than a kit.

    But, understand that wine kits are made for the masses... follow the directions, wait for your wine to mature and you’ll get something that’s universally drinkable... or better... without failure. Much like making wine from fresh grapes, though, knowing what yeast works best for the wine kit you’re making, what oak imparts the flavors you like, what tannins will help round out your wine... those things can make a good kit a much better kit, not for the masses, but personalized for your own tastes.
     
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  9. May 26, 2019 #29

    kuziwk

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    Honestly I don't think commerical wine is any better, just different and in alot of cases kits can be better. I have not made a wine kit to date that I hated, just some were better than others or made with higher quality grales. I do firmly believe that the quality of the grapes in a kit can only go so far, the best wineries hold on to their best grapes and keep their family secrets. Im talking about the $50 bottles of wine which I very rarely purchased anyways. I just opened up two bottles of commerical white yesterday ..the sav Blanc was extremely tart and I didn't care for it. The one from Portugal was disgusting and tasted like puke, I had to dump it when everyone was not watching. At Any rate..i think a portion of the difference is tannins and aging in a barrel....both of which can be done in a kit. For the money I'm pretty happy with the kits, they make much better wines than a $10-$15 bottle in Canada. My usual wine was on average $10-$15 a bottle so I'm drinking better wine now with kits. On occasion I would splurge $60 on a bottle of Amarone or something but generally not very often.
     
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  10. May 27, 2019 #30

    joeswine

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    It's all subjective to one's own taste preference.
     
  11. May 27, 2019 #31

    bstnh1

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    Yep! That's the bottom line. If everyone liked the same thing there would be one red and one white and we'd all walk around happy as clams!:h
     
  12. May 28, 2019 #32

    kuziwk

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    Not sure of it's just me but I feel when I aerate commercial wines, they taste much different and I find they lose their bite and a bit of structure. When I aerate my top kits it seems to help with structure...am I crazy? Either way yes it's subjective, however I think the biggest thing alot of people should recognize is that if they want a wine that tastes like commercial wine than they should make it as such which involves aging in a barrel.
     
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  13. May 28, 2019 #33

    szap

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    My wife's favorite kit to date is the Eclipse old vine zinfandel and I have made it 4 or 5 times. Before wine kits, she was a $10 to $12 a bottle wine drinker and she feels the kit is far better than the wine we were drinking. What really opened our eyes was when after drinking nothing but the kit wine for a while going back to a bottle of the commercial wine. What a huge difference! Now granted none of our friends are expert wine tasters but we have poured the kit wine for a number of them and without exception they all loved it. The high end kits seem expensive but work out to only $5 to $6 a bottle. So even if you only serve it to your less savvy friends, it is still a bargain.
     
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  14. May 28, 2019 #34

    bkisel

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    I believe the best wine I've tasted has been from a kit. Member @ceeaton gave me a bottle of Forza which I'm guessing was made from the WE Eclipse kit.
     
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  15. May 28, 2019 #35

    baron4406

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    My vote would be:
    1. Grapes
    2. High end Kits
    3. Cheap kits with tweaks
    4. Cheap kits
    1000000000000000. Juice buckets

    I've made about 30-40 juice buckets and every one except one has been tasteless, watered down garbage (talking red wines here). The one that wasn't was a bucket from Walkers in an oddball varietal (Noriet) and it had 3 lugs of premium Cabernet grapes in it. This has been verified by many get togethers from other wine makers. White wine is a different story tho juice buckets are fine for them.
     
  16. May 28, 2019 #36

    joeswine

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    It's all about structure you either have a base with it or you have to construct it yourself , but that's wine making isn't it.
    Think outside the box
     
  17. May 29, 2019 #37

    ratflinger

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    3 years folks, My Mosti All Juice kits are becoming good at 2 years, but they really start to shine at 3. 18 months, no way.
     
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  18. May 29, 2019 #38

    kuziwk

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    Yup I agree with this, in additional while I wouldn't call my parents wine snobs...although most would they mostly drink $50-60 bottles typically regularily. They are trying to compare my high end kits with these, however my kits come up short. Obviously the Kits should, they only cost $6 a bottle to make ...and with what I would peg $30 a bottle on average
     
  19. May 30, 2019 #39

    ceeaton

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    It was the special kit they first released that is now offered as an Eclipse kit. I'm guessing the Eclipse version is just a different box and the same kit I made.
     
  20. May 30, 2019 #40

    jgmann67

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    Close. From what folks are saying it’s similar, but lower abv (like 14% instead of the 16% in the limited).
     
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