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Vintner's Reserve Pinot Noir

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Jacukel

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OK, bought this and started 4 days ago. First kit. Would love any feedback, answers to the questions below.

First impressions, the juice was very sweet. Based on my limited knowledge of chemistry, i would assume this will make a fairly alcoholic wine. Yes? No?

I'm following the instructions pretty much to the letter, except I found some other tips that suggested using the airlock in primary fermentation. Which I am. Right now, there's a strong fermentation smell (heavy, kinda rotten fruit/yeast) and some condensation between the water in the airlock and the tub. The temp. is about consistently 70-74.

The kit says that the wine is best drunk between 2 months and one year, which just seems a bit odd to me as I'm used to drinking wine that's typically 1-5 years old. I bought a bit of extra sulfite which I am thinking about using at bottling to allow the wine to bottle age a bit (at least some of the bottles). Good idea? Bad idea?

I also wanted to be on the safe side as far as sanitization and added a bit of ascorbic acid before sealing the primary (the kit doesn't call for it, and ascorbic acid is listed as an ingredient on the juice). But . . . i'd say I added maybe a half ounce to an ounce. Will that effect anything?

I am thinking about topping off the secondary with wine from a nice $50 pinot that I love. Is this worth it at all?

One last thing, there was a little black rubber gasket on the lid of the primary (a ring about the size of a pencil eraser) that fell into the tub and sunk when I started the wine. Obviously, I'll leave it behind when i rack it into the secondary. Will this affect the batch, or should I not worry about it?

I like my pinots balanced and complex (fruit vs. tart) and smooth, a little alcoholic is OK. What can i do to get that flavor?

What can i expect with this kit and the circumstances I've described?

THANKS
 

cpfan

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Jacukel:

I haven't done this exact kit, but I would expect about 12 - 12 1/2 %. Did you take an initial specific gravity (sg).

Some primaries are designed to use an air lock, others aren't. The 46 litres ones I use do not need an air lock.

This is a lower end kit wine and will have less sulphite than the typical commercial wine. Thus a lesser shelf life. Adding a little metabisulfite will extend the shelf life.

AFAIK, ascorbic acid has nothing to do with sanitation. I don't know what affect it will have when added to the primary. One chemist for a different kit company recommends adding ascorbic acid to un-oaked whites prior to bottling, but not to reds.

Top off with a $50 pinot? Gee, I wish I could afford one. :p

It sounds to me like you should be considering a better quality kit. The Selection brand comes from the same company, so you might want to check out their Pinot Noirs.

Steve
 

Jacukel

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Thanks

Yeah, based on some things I've read, I'll save my $50 pinot for a special occasion. Sounds like a 1.5 litre Redwood Creek will do the job just as well!

Thanks. BTW, BC is a favorite stomping ground of mine. Beautiful place.
 
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