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Doug’s wines

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I’ve seen “my favorite kit” responses scattered around, but thought I would take a shot at consolidating them in one thread for people looking for ideas of “what should I do next”. I’m thinking about the definition of “Best” has many possible flavors so how about-

The best kit I’ve ever made -

Or

The kit I would make over and over -

Or

<make up your own definition> -

I also think it’s fair to allow kit tweaking as long as you let us know how you tweaked the kit ex: added x amount of oak / tannin in bulk, or added x amount of raisins / fresh fruit in primary etc.

Also please include as much as you want on why it’s your favorite!

For me:

The one I would make over and over - WE Eclipse NZ Sav Blanc - while I’m generally a red wine drinker, I really enjoy a good Sav and NZ is my preferred region. Frankly think kit makes as good as I can buy for about 20 bucks a bottle at my local retailer. I made the mistake of giving about half of it away and now everyone wants me to make it again and I want more so I think this one is my “over and over” winner. Next time I plan to add some citrus zest in bulk to crisp it up some, but that’s my only planned tweak.

As for the best I’ve ever made - to be honest, I’m still searching for a “best” so PLEASE help me by telling me yours!

Doug
 
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Boatboy24

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Red: En Primeur/Winery Series Super Tuscan - added tannin and barrel aging
White: Eclipse Sauvignon Blanc - by the book, but considering adding grapefruit zest or tartaric acid
 
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Doug’s wines

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@Boatboy24 Thanks for the response! I have been contemplating a Super Tuscan next, so I will consider that one.
 

cmason1957

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Red: En Primeur Winery Series Amarone Italian style. It comes with both raisins and grapeskins. I probably added a bit more tannin, but didn't think it needed extra oak. Bottled 4 months ago after about 6 months to a year of bulk adding. This one is tasty already and going to get better. I make 2 kits of it at a time.
Luna Bianca it was the second or third white kit I did and was very tasty early.
 

Doug’s wines

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@cmason1957 I almost listed the En Primuer Amarone as my favorite, but it’s too young to state it for sure. I did that kit with 2 partners and ended up with only 9 bottles. Really regretting that now :( . Also we did it as a “wine making class” together so straight into the bottle at day 42. :slp May need to just suck it up and buy a kit for myself at this point.

@sour_grapes I have never done a CC Showcase, but they seem to get high marks. Would you put them generally on the level of Eclipse and En Primier kits?
 

sour_grapes

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@sour_grapes I have never done a CC Showcase, but they seem to get high marks. Would you put them generally on the level of Eclipse and En Primier kits?
Yes, that is correct, although I have never done an En Primeur. But the Eclipse and CC Showcase appear very similar to me, and the results are comparable, too.
 

facn1989

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I have heard by many the En Primeur Amarone is good, but just noticed they the Amarone and Amarone Classico. Does anyone know which people usually refer to?
 

GaDawg

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Red-Winexpert Eclipse Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir without tweeks.
White- Winexpert Selection Luna Bianca. I added 30g of med French oak cubes at the end for 6 weeks.
 

pillswoj

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I have heard by many the En Primeur Amarone is good, but just noticed they the Amarone and Amarone Classico. Does anyone know which people usually refer to?
Not the classic. The EP winery series Amarone is the one with both skins and raisins.
 

pillswoj

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I have a CC Showcase in secondary right now will compare with the RJS in about a year.

Actually will have my daughter over to compare as she the big fan of Amarone
 

Trick

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Not the classic. The EP winery series Amarone is the one with both skins and raisins.
The classic is with dry skin. I would use crushed skin. Closer to real grape.
I am doing one now. It is at the beginning of the EM. Took a taste (Day 12), very harsh! Strong alcohol flavor, very deep colour. Pretty sure it will get smooth over time.
 

Doug’s wines

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My experience with the EP amarone is that it needs TIME. Not one you can really enjoy young, but is one that can age nicely.

That said, it would be great if @Trick, @facn1989 , and @pillswoj if you would be willing to post your favorite kits :h . (Gently nudging back to the original topic)
 

facn1989

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My experience with the EP amarone is that it needs TIME. Not one you can really enjoy young, but is one that can age nicely.

That said, it would be great if @Trick, @facn1989 , and @pillswoj if you would be willing to post your favorite kits :h . (Gently nudging back to the original topic)
Sadly, I just started this endeavor six months ago, so I haven't tasted a single bottle yet. I made the WE Italian Brunnello with skin pack, The WE Reserve Cab Sauv (cheap kit for early drinking), the EP Pinot Noir Rose for this upcoming summer, The EP Super Tuscan and now I have a RJS Grand Cru Malbec fermenting (cheap kit for early drinking).

Next on my list and in no particular order:

Eclipse Lodi Ranch, Sonoma Pinot Noir, Stag's Leap Merlot and Barolo. Also deciding between the CC Amarone and the EP Amarone, both have good reviews. Will also add a white eventually, probably the WE Luna Bianca or New Zealand Sauv Blanc
 

facn1989

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I'm not expecting much from the mid tier kits ~$75 for the WE Vintners Reserve Cab Sauv. I made that kit with no tweaks and followed instructions exactly. I will wait 6 months before trying a bottle as I read it won't get much better than that. Has anyone made this kit without tweaks? I'm hoping it's at least decent
 

Doug’s wines

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@facn1989 I suggest bottling a few half bottles of each run and trying them starting around 3-6 months. They age a little faster and give you an idea of how the wine is turning out. Plus I applaud your ability to wait as I would have torn into them by now!
 

mainshipfred

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Sadly, I just started this endeavor six months ago, so I haven't tasted a single bottle yet. I made the WE Italian Brunnello with skin pack, The WE Reserve Cab Sauv (cheap kit for early drinking), the EP Pinot Noir Rose for this upcoming summer, The EP Super Tuscan and now I have a RJS Grand Cru Malbec fermenting (cheap kit for early drinking).

Next on my list and in no particular order:

Eclipse Lodi Ranch, Sonoma Pinot Noir, Stag's Leap Merlot and Barolo. Also deciding between the CC Amarone and the EP Amarone, both have good reviews. Will also add a white eventually, probably the WE Luna Bianca or New Zealand Sauv Blanc
Good for you for waiting, I waited 10 months for my first bottle and it was a 10L WE Malbec by the book. It's fine but nothing special. The other kits were RJS En Primeur Pinot Noir and Trio Red and a Mosti 23L Amarosso. All bottled and 9-10 months old and all pretty good. I do have a hard time buying kits though because of the cost so everything after these are juice, grapes or a combination. To me it's more fun then kits but I haven't bottled any of these yet so fingers crossed. Sorry, I lied, I'm now fermenting 3 Island Mist kits. They are for my wife and those who don't like dry reds. I bumped the potential ABV to +/- 13%, only made 5 gallons, added fruit and adjusted acid up to around 3.5. So I can't tell you exactly what I like best or will do again. I'm just happy nothing sucks.
 

pillswoj

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My favourites are tough to define, been making since the 80's. The one Eclipse that I loved is the Stags Leap Merlot, RJS use to have a Winery Series Meritage that was fabulous after 18-24 months but it sadly is no longer available. I try to do all the Limited Editions from both RJS and WE, but the last couple of years many of the WE ones have been meh to my mind. I love the RJS EP Amarone, but based on a thread I read here am trying a CC Showcase Amarone.


After this year's Limited Editions I plan on trying the CC showcase Cab Merlot and the RJS EP Grenache Syrah
 

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