WineXpert World Vineyard French Cab

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Dec 26, 2009
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I just tasted my first batch of wine. It's the World Vineyard Frnech Cabernet Sauvignon. I bottled it on 25-Jan and opened the first bottle on 25-Feb, one month later. I would have to describe it as rather undrinkable. It still had the same metalic smell it had when I bottled it, although it had declined a bit. Of course smells are hard to describe, but it wasn't sulphur or anything else that I recognized. I had decanted it to try reduce the order, but that didn't help much.

As it was my first batch, I did learn an important element and that is next time I will rack one extra time than indicated in the directions. I pulled out a bit of sediment when racking it into the bottling bucket, and noticed a bit in each bottle after laying down for a month. I had turned the bottle I tried on end two days prior, and then gently decanted it. I'll know better next time.

So, is the smell in the wine likely to just be from it's tender age, the little bit of sediment in the bottle, or could there be something else? I just bottled an RJSpagnols cab blend that tasted much better right out of the carboy, but it too had a bit of that oder as well.
Can you post every step you did? Temps..etc..maybe someone can help
Okay, here are the steps:

Started on 26-Dec-2009
S.G. 1.076 fermenting maintain at 78 degrees throughout

01-Jan-2010 - Secondary in carboy
S.G. 998

10-Jan and 11-Jan
Two day test of S.G. of 996
added clarifiers

You may be smelling sulfur. I dont see that you degassed. I think you rushed to bottled. Is it still setteling in the bottle?
Sorry, I left that out. I degassed with a drill-mounted whip until the bubbles stopped.
I did the exact same thing as you - I also posted this in another thread:
Winexpert World Vineyard, French Cab
12/26/09 - SG = 1.076
1/1/10 - SG = .996 - racked into secondary
1/9 & 1/10 - SG = .992 - degassed with drill mounted stirrer (and 2 volcanoes later)
1/24 - Racked again and bottled from there.

It didn't taste great, I followed the directions and the days very specifically. Temps were always at 72 because of constant use of the brew belt. I had a glass or 2 from the leftovers and it gave ME gas. Kind of metallic tasting. And hoping that after 3 months of aging that it will taste better. If not, I'm complaining to WE. It was also my first kit.
I don't know much, but these schedules look awfully rushed to me. That's two weeks total between adding clarifiers and bottling. That's awfully fast. I know what the instructions say, but my retailer advised me to rack again after that two weeks, degass, and leave it for at least another two weeks. If after 2-3 weeks there is any additional sediment at all, repeat. So your 1-mo aging is really just barely bottling time according to a guy that makes 5-6 of these kits every day.

I would definitely give it at least three more months before you try another bottle, and then report back and let us know if you are getting sediment in your bottles and if the taste and aroma have improved. Any Cab should have strong tannins should benefit from aging.
Everything I read said that as a beginner, one should follow the directions to the letter. Only after having a few batches under your belt should you change anything. Well, it took one batch to learn exactly as you've described. I will never bottle just two weeks after clarifying. I had sediment in my bottles within days. Not to mention the nasty smell too. A bummer of a first batch experience.

I've just bottled my second batch, which was the RJSpagnols Cali Cab Syrah and Zin blend. It suggested an optional second racking, which I did. I had nothing in the carboy when I racked it to the bottling bucket. I hope after a few months this one will be at least drinkable, compared to the WE kit.
I wouldn't worry. If you have sediment in your bottles, just get a decanter and leave the sediment in your bottle when you pour into the decanter. I like decanted wine better anyway.

Check back in a few months and let us know if it improved with a little age, I would almost guarantee it will. I've had the W.E. VR Barolo and VR Merlot and thought both were terrific.

Last year my retailer made a batch of Spanish Rioja for me, and when I first got it home I thought... well there goes 170 bucks down the drain. 6 months later it was some of the best wine I've ever had.

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