2019 Merlot #2
May 2019 – My niece asked me to make her a Merlot kit — we decided on a R J Spagnols kit (see 2019 Merlot #1) that was on clearance.
At the same time, I purchased this kit, a Winexpert Selection Merlot kit, which is a higher quality kit. I’m starting this kit the same day as #1, so in a year we can compare them.
|Kit||Winexpert Selection Merlot kit|
|Oak||60 g French Oak Medium (whatever that means)|
|Added 2 cups hot tap water to the primary fermenter and sprinkled the bentonite on a bit at a time. Like with Merlot #1, no clumping.
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 then sprinkled yeast on top.
|Racked into carboy.||05/18/2019
|Racked. Stirred for 4 minutes, reversing direction every 30 seconds.
Added sulfite and stirred 1 minute. Added chitosan, stirred 1 minute. This kit does not include Kieselsol for some reason.
Added 3 oz Hungarian oak cubes, medium toast. I want to make this one a bit heavier. I’m going to let this set for a month then test it.
I skipped the sorbate — the wine is bone dry so it is not necessary. I suspect it’s included in all kits because some folks do not let their wine ferment out completely, and the addition of sorbate helps prevent a renewed fermentation in the bottle.
|Racked. Added 1/4 tsp K-meta. Bottled||09/05/2019
|09/05/2019||Another one that tasted good at bottling time. I think this one needs a year of aging … but I admit I’ll sample it at the 6 month mark.|
|02/29/2020||I felt the need to crack a bottle to see how this one is developing. Wow! I’m really happy I added the Hungarian oak cubes. The wine is a lot more complex at an early age than expected from a kit wine. Three months was just right. It will be interesting to see how this one develops over the next couple of years.|