2014 Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot

January 2014I haven’t made a Cabernet in years! For the most part, I haven’t drank Cabernet in years – I moved away from it at least a decade ago, switching to Merlot and other reds.


Kit Winexpert Selection Original Series Wine Kit — Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot
Bentonite yes
Yeast Lalvin EC-1118 (included in kit)
Sulfite yes
Sorbate yes
Kieselsol yes
Chitosan yes


Dissolved bentonite in 2 quarts hot tap water in fermenter, using powered stirring rod to mix.

Added juice/concentrate to fermenter. Added 1 quart hot tap water to bag, put the cap back on and shook well; pulled the cap and added to the fermenter, then topped up to 5.5 gallons, again mixing well.

Stirred in the oak dust.

Sprinkled the yeast on top.

Note: I made the kit up to just 5.5 gallons instead of 6. They always claim the SG will be 1.080 to 1.100, but EVERY time it’s low.

SG 1.085
Racked the wine, filling a 5 gallon carboy and a 750 ml bottle. The temperature in the cellar has been around 58 F, so fermentation has been slow. 01/30/2014
SG 1.008
Stirred up sediment (as per kit instructions) and racked to a 7 gallon fermenter.

Using powered stirring rod, added the metabisuliphite & sorbate, then the chitosan. Racked back to carboy and bottle.

Note: The SG on this one never dropped below 0.998. While the directions state 0.996, this wine is NOT going to ferment more. It’s stable, and especially so after the addition of sorbate. I do not expect problems.

SG 0.998
Racked the wine. 01/31/2014
SG 0.998
Bottled the wine. 03/31/2014
SG 0.998


Yield 25 bottles
Alcohol 11.8%
04/11/2014 I lost the fight with temptation and opened a bottle. It was surprisingly good for a green wine. This one will do well!
11/11/2015 This wine has been a disappointment. I expected great things from it, but there is an aftertaste I don’t care for. It’s not horrible, but it detracts from the wine.

The funny thing is that everyone who has tasted this wine loves it! I supposed it could be worse, I could love it and everyone else could hate it.