Wine for 1st Grandson's 21st bday!

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Bmd2k1

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If you were gonna make a wine meant to age 21years...and be Very Drinkable then....what would it be? At this point I've only made kits....so that's the direction I'd go...and based on previous experiences & research...a red would be a better candidate than a white.

Cheers!
 
If you were gonna make a wine meant to age 21years...and be Very Drinkable then....what would it be? At this point I've only made kits....so that's the direction I'd go...and based on previous experiences & research...a red would be a better candidate than a white.

Cheers!
Found this.....for what it's worth...
 

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Realistically, the likelihood of any of us making a white that has a 20+ year lifespan is close enough to zero to be zero. So you're making a red. Given the tiny fraction of the world's wine production rated for 10 years, much less 20, you have an uphill battle.

Note on the chart -- it's misleading. The ranges are potential longevity, and the top end for each varietal is a very tiny fraction of the world's production. Leaving out plonk (wines intended for consumption within a year or two), the wines that survive to the higher range are still a tiny fraction.

Longevity in wines is a factor of ABV, acid, tannin, sugar, etc. Since you're making a red, sugar is not considered.

If you're making a kit, I'd buy either FWK Forte or WE Reserve or Private Reserve.

Assuming FWK, I'd buy 4 extra skin packs. A while back Matt P of LP mentioned diminishing returns on adding more skin packs, so adding a total of 6 packs is not going to make the wine better, but IMO it will provide the wine with more oomph.

When fermentation is done, press the skin packs in a press to get the most from them. While some folks may argue against this as it extracts the harshest wine, it also has the heavy body you need to longevity.

Chaptalize to get an ABV around 16%. Yeah, it's gonna be a heavy hitter, but the higher ABV is good for longevity, and it will have time to mellow.

Add fermentation oak. And I'd add a maceration enzyme such as Scottzyme Color Pro. I've gone high with the dosage and got staining in the bottle as it pulled out too much from the pomace, and I've gone with the minimum. For you, I'd go mid-range.

For aging oak? Here I would not go heavy, using only what's in the kit. Folks claim that oak mellows over time, and while that's true, it's still very possible to over-do it.

Once the wine is 4 months old, I'd add tartaric acid until it approaches being sharp. Jack up the acid level. During bulk aging you may lose some to crystals, but that's ok.

Then bulk age until 2 years old, and bottle with high end corks. Normally I scoff at using high end corks, but in this instance you'll need it.

A while back I listed my ideas for making a big red. While it's geared towards grapes, you may find the detail useful.

One last idea -- don't make one kit, make two. At the 5 year mark I would open a bottle annually so you can see how it's aging. If all goes well, you'll have 45 bottles left from a 46 liter batch at the 20 year mark. However, if you find the wine is declining, then start using it.
 
This article mentions 4 traits of wines that age well: acidity, tannin, ABV, and residual sugar: https://winefolly.com/tips/4-traits-of-wines-that-age-well/ Even for a wine that ages well, it will gradually improve to a certain point, and then start to decline. I'm not sure that you can come up with a wine that will peak at 20 years.

Mead ages very well, so you might consider making a mead. On the mead forum, a number of people have shared goals similar to yours.
 
This article mentions 4 traits of wines that age well: acidity, tannin, ABV, and residual sugar: https://winefolly.com/tips/4-traits-of-wines-that-age-well/ Even for a wine that ages well, it will gradually improve to a certain point, and then start to decline. I'm not sure that you can come up with a wine that will peak at 20 years.

Mead ages very well, so you might consider making a mead. On the mead forum, a number of people have shared goals similar to yours.
I'm not all that positive it will work, either, but it's a good experiment that is worth trying.

The mead idea is a good one. My longest lasting wine was a Metheglin that lasted 10 years and was still doing good to the last bottle. If I did that, I'd do a lot of what I said in my last post. It would be a straight mead or Metheglin, no fruit juice as I'd expect that component to break down first.

I'd ferment to 16% ABV, finish with a high TA, add powdered tannin during ferment and later a finishing tannin, and backsweeten to a couple of percent. This would be more likely to hit 20 years than a kit.
 
I think it's a great idea. You may also want to consider getting a good bottle of scotch or cognac as a backup in case the wine doesn't work out. It would certainly last a couple of decades. Not the same sentimental value as something made by your own hands, but something you had the forethought to do. And if the wine works out, you have a nice bottle of Courvoisier or something.
 
Is it possible to talk with a local distillery. make 25 gallons of wine and have them distil for you and you age the brandy in oak barrel for 20 years. would only be a few gallons of Brandy but would be special.

if you make a red wine make sure you have a perfect wine cellar and keep maintain the wine. it would suck to make a perfect wine and not store it well and ruin it.

if doing this much commitment I'd invest in an oak barrel instead of oak chips. definitely worth it for a long aged wine.
 
Honestly, I think it's really hard... The number of commercial wines (of any color and style) that are suitablefor aging 20+ years is really quite small, and that is for professional producers with access to more resources than home winemakers.

That being said, I would vote for sparkling wine! Yes it is difficult to produce, particularly in the home winemaker environment, but it can be done and the advantage is that the high acidity and CO2 provide a protective environment. The weak spot will probably be the bottle closure, but crown caps are surprisingly good (and industry standard for sparkling wines up until riddling and disgorgement). If going this routeI would definitely go the extra mile to riddle/disgorge rather than leave it on the yeast.
 
This article mentions 4 traits of wines that age well: acidity, tannin, ABV, and residual sugar: https://winefolly.com/tips/4-traits-of-wines-that-age-well/ Even for a wine that ages well, it will gradually improve to a certain point, and then start to decline. I'm not sure that you can come up with a wine that will peak at 20 years.

Mead ages very well, so you might consider making a mead. On the mead forum, a number of people have shared goals similar to yours.
Haven't made a mead yet -- only vinos and hard ciders.

Cheers!
 
I went off the deep end on this subject. REALLY off the deep end.

Last night I kept thinking about it, and this morning my son & I discussed it while shoveling mulch. This afternoon I completed a post that I started last night. where I documented my ideas in detail. I hit on ideas beyond what I've already mentioned.
 
I went off the deep end on this subject. REALLY off the deep end.

Last night I kept thinking about it, and this morning my son & I discussed it while shoveling mulch. This afternoon I completed a post that I started last night. where I documented my ideas in detail. I hit on ideas beyond what I've already mentioned.
Thanks for the great write up! I appreciate your & everyone else's input ✌️

Gonna eval my options 4 a bit & will report back on the direction(s) taken.

Just so happens I have one bottle left from a Pinot Noir batch I did with a buddy at a make your own place back in 1999....that was made for both our new daughters at the time. This daughter being the now expectant Mom! This bottle was Not cared for particularly well....so my expectations are not high for it once opened :-/

The fun & beauty is in the journey!

Cheers all ✌️
 
I went off the deep end on this subject. REALLY off the deep end.

Last night I kept thinking about it, and this morning my son & I discussed it while shoveling mulch. This afternoon I completed a post that I started last night. where I documented my ideas in detail. I hit on ideas beyond what I've already mentioned.
 

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Thanks for the great write up! I appreciate your & everyone else's input
This is a great mental exercise, taking our existing knowledge and applying it to a brand new situation. Keep the grey cells active!

That's a beautiful label.

Make a wine in your grandson's honor. While it would be great to open on his 21st birthday ... it's still a keepsake.

Another idea -- make a batch on his 15th birthday, something he can help you with. Open it on his 21st. It's not quite the same as a birth wine, but it passes on your learning.
 
If you were gonna make a wine meant to age 21years...and be Very Drinkable then....what would it be? At this point I've only made kits....so that's the direction I'd go...and based on previous experiences & research...a red would be a better candidate than a white.

Cheers!
Many years ago, I got turned on to Vintage Port wine. There was a tradition to procure bottles of the Port from the year of your child's birth and other significant events. The idea being that they will both be of age at the same time. I started with a 1977 Quady Port and just continued to pick up other years. We then opened the appropriate bottles at our children's 21st birthdays. At some point, and I cannot remember when or where, I picked up two Ports, made in the US, with a vintage of 1973. We opened them last year for our 50th wedding anniversary, and they tasted wonderful. The Christian Brothers cost me $7.00!
I decided to try making a batch of homemade Vintage Port, and what better grapes to use were ones growing next door, Wild Grapes, I think Fox grapes. I bottled it on 6/28/2008, 7.5 bottles and I really splurged on it - my cost per bottle including a real cork was $2.04. I opened a bottle last year to see if it was vinegar or otherwise bad and it was delightful. It is fortified with Brandy. It will easily last another 10 years.
 

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I've got a Nebbiolo bulk aging currently that's ready for bottling in midNov -- I'm going to target a portion of for a GrandSon Port ;-)

I've also got an FWK Blackberry bulk aging - due for bottling in midSept -- maybe create a couple bottles of BB Port too ;-)

Cheers All!
 
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