Use of Grape Packs in Making Red Wine Kits

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highrw

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I have been making the kit wines for some time using kits that have the grape packs available; I have used kits from RJS, WE, and Meglioli.

I seem to taste a quality of "jammyness", a sameness that seems (to me) to be found in all the high-end red wine kits I have made and that seems to mask the tastes one associates with the different varietals of the grapes for that kit.

The sameness seems to abate with extended aging of the bottled wine (out to 3 years for a few of the wines.

Does anyone have an opinion about this sameness quality or any potential solution to "my perceived problem" (examples might be reducing the amount of "grape pack" used for the kit, or perhaps getting ahold of some newly harvested grapes (maybe 10 or so pounds) to use in place of the "grape pack".

I would be interested in your comments.

Thanks,

rwh
 
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Welcome to WMT!

It may be the nature of the beast -- kits with skin packs are higher end kits, which generally require more aging as they have more heavy constituents such as tannin.

Try Finer Wine Kits (sold through Label Peelers). Their kits are not shelf stable (non-pasteurized) and so far they are proving to be very good.
 

sour_grapes

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Welcome to WMT!

I agree with your observations. Personally, I had not considered this phenomon of sameness as due to the pack; I just figured it was the nature of the kit biz. I don't know, though, you could be correct.
 

wineview

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Welcome to WMT!

It may be the nature of the beast -- kits with skin packs are higher end kits, which generally require more aging as they have more heavy constituents such as tannin.

Try Finer Wine Kits (sold through Label Peelers). Their kits are not shelf stable (non-pasteurized) and so far they are proving to be very good.
Label Peelers bend over backwards for their customers. I had a Cab Sauv FWK arrive bloated because of the extreme heat. They replaced it immediately and encouraged me to make the bloated kit. Their feeling was that it might be viable and I would have two kits for the price of one. Haven’t made it yet as my 7 gallon bucket is in use. Plan to start it within ten days.
 

sremick

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I've been wondering if the "kit wine taste" comes from the sorbate packet, but this wouldn't be exclusive to the high-end kits with skins.
 
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I've been wondering if the "kit wine taste" comes from the sorbate packet, but this wouldn't be exclusive to the high-end kits with skins.
We've beaten this topic up repeatedly -- there is a long thread from last year that you may find interesting.

My take is the common denominator is the concentrate, so KWT appears to be a by-product of something in some concentration processes. FWK doesn't have KWT, nor do the two WE kits (CS, Chardonnay) that I've made since WE introduced their new concentration process a couple of years ago.

I prefer fresh grapes and my success with FWK makes them my preferred choice for kits, although I'll try WE again.
 

ratflinger

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I used to shun WE in favor of RJS & Mosti. However, I have purchased a few WE kits from LP, in WE's new configuration and I think they are much better than before. FWK is clearly superior, but sometimes I'm looking for a varietal that FWK doesn't have, and so far WE has been acceptable.
 

Noontime

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Between you and Winemaker81 I think you've covered it... most wines need to age, bigger wines need more time to smooth out and integrate, and the concentrate is the one variable in kit wines you don't always have in commercial wines (some commercial do use concentrate).
 

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