2011 Australian Chardonnay

November 2011I decided to start 2 more kits before the end of 2011. Given that the last white & red I made (chardonnay-semillon and pinotage) are going fast, I decided to make another white & red. This one caught my eye.


Kit RJ Spagnols – Premier Cru Australian Chardonnay
Bentonite yes
Yeast Lalvin EC-1118
Sugar yes
Sulfite yes
Sorbate yes
Kieselsol yes
Chitosan yes


Started wine following kit directions. Stirred bentonite into hot water.

Aadded juice/concentrate, stirred well. Added oak dust.

Patrick topped up fermenter to 6 gallons with water while I kept the drill-mounted stirring rod going. This mixed it very well, initial SG was good, no sugar needed.

Note: I used the new wine thief I purchased last week that allows me to check SG in the thief, it worked nicely. However, next time I will not add oak dust until after checking SG.

SG 1.092
This fermented fast. Instructions way to let it ferment completely out, but this was good enough.


Using drill mounted stirring rod, stirred in sulphite, potassium sorbate, kieselsol, and chitosan. Transfer to carboy for clearing.

SG 0.998
Supposed to bottle after 2 weeks, but it wasn’t quite clear enough, so I let it set another few weeks before bottling. 01/08/2012
SG 0.996


Yield 26 bottles
Alcohol 13.0%
01/08/2012 Nice taste at bottling, not as green as I expected.
05/02/2014 This wine opened up after a year in the bottle. The oak is silky and soft. Granted, it’s not a $40 chardonnay, but it’s as good as any $10 bottle and maybe better than a lot of $20 bottles. I’ll do this one again. Sad I’m down to 2 bottles.