2019 Merlot #1
May 2019 – My niece asked me to make her a merlot kit. American Brewmaster had an R J Spagnols kit on clearance, $58 instead of $80. She decided she liked the price so I purchased it.
At the same time, I purchased a Winexpert Selection merlot kit (See 2019 Merlot #2), which is a higher quality kit. I am starting it at the same time so we can compare the kits.
|Kit||R J Spagnols Grand Cru Merlot kit|
|Kieselsol||1 bag, size not indicated|
|Added 2 cups hot tap water to the primary fermenter, sprinkled a bit of bentonite on top, then stirred. I kept this up, adding only a bit at a time. The result of exercising a bit of patience is no clumping.
Started “tea” of oak in a cup of hot water, which steeps for 10 minutes.
Added contents of grape juice bag. Rinsed it with warm water and added to fermenter. Topped up to 5.5 gallons. Kit calls for 6 gallons, but I typically do 5.5. Stirred for 4 minutes with powered stirring rod, reversing direction every 30 seconds.
Added oak “tea”. Sprinkled yeast on top.
|Racked into carboy.||05/22/2019
|Racked. Stirred for 4 minutes, reversing direction every 30 seconds.
Added sulfite and stirred 1 minute. Added kieselsol, stirred 1 minute. Waited 5 minutes then added chitosan, stirred 1 minute.
|Racked. Added 1/4 tsp K-sulfite. Bottled.||09/21/2019
|09/21/2019||This wine is surprisingly tasty at bottling. It certainly will (and should) benefit from a year’s aging. It will be interesting to taste if any bottles survive to the 2 year mark.|
|09/30/2019||I delivered the wine to Shannon … she HAD to open a bottle. This bottle agreed with my impression that the wine will be very good given time to age.|
|06/15/2020||Shannon’s notes: Opened a bottle. It was very tart. The tartness over powered the flavor. Needs to be aged awhile longer.|
|07/15/2020||Under the advice of my uncle, I opened another bottle. It was less tart. I’m starting to notice more of a flavor. Not quite as smooth as I would like it to be. Still needs to be aged. It’s getting better.|