2011 Vieux Chateau du Roi

November 2011To avoid legal problems the kit wines that emulate a regional style have to use a different name, which are sometimes hard to figure out. This one is a Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Rhone) style wine which promies to be heavy.

Eric translated the kit name for me — “Old Castle of Kings”. I think I’ll take him to American Brewmaster with me next time to help with the kit names. 🙂


Kit RJ Spagnols – Heritage Estates Vieux Chateau du Roi
Bentonite yes
Yeast Lalvin EC-1118
Sulfite yes
Sorbate yes
Kieselsol yes
Chitosan yes


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

Added juice/concentrate, stirred well.

Added rehydrated elderberries.

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

As with the chardonnay, I used the wine thief to check SG. The elderberries plugged it and made it a PITA to do. For future reference I will add “extras” after checking SG.

SG 1.082
This also fermented fast.

Racked. Using drill mounted stirring rod, stirred in sulphite, potassium sorbate, kieselsol, and chitosan.

Transferred to carboy for clearing.

SG 0.998
The lees compacted well after 2 week, but after 5 the lees were tight.


SG 0.994


Yield 26 bottles
Alcohol 12.0%
01/08/2012 Green at bottling time (yeah, duh!), but promises nice flavor.
05/02/2014 This wine was a disappointment. It developed a bit of a harsh flavor that never went away. I wasn’t sad to see the last bottle go, and I’m hesitant about doing another one. While I realize that it was this particular kit and another kit will probably turn out better, I’m still not going to make another any time soon.
October 2018 Reading through my old records, it appears I’m more likely to be disappointed in the outcome of R J Spagnol kits than Winexpert.