2020 Cabernet Sauvignon

September 2020

In the summer 2020, Patrick asked me to make wine for his wedding reception, scheduled for October 2021. After a fair amount of thought, I made this one and a Chardonnay.

Note: This is the first time I’m trying the new formulation of the Winexpert kits. Their new process produces a smaller volume that they claim is the same quality — in the past this would be a 12 liter kit. The jury is still out regarding if this is just a marketing gimmick.

I printed 2 labels for the wine — serious and funny. Patrick & Grace loved both of them, so 25% of the bottles at their wedding reception had the joke label.

Kit Winexpert Reserve Australian Cabernet Sauvignon 6 week/10 liter kit
Bentonite 30 g
Fermentation Oak 90 g medium toast American oak chips
30 g medium toast American oak granular (dust)
Yeast Lalvin EC-1118
Sulfite as needed
Sorbate N/A
Kieselsol provided in kit
Chitosan provided in kit

Added 2 cups hot tap water to the primary fermenter and sprinkled the bentonite on a bit at a time, then stirred until dissolved.

Added contents of grape juice bag. Rinsed it with warm water and added to fermenter. Topped up to 5.75 gallons, as my per usual method.

Stirred oak chips & dust into the wine. Sprinkled yeast on top.

SG 1.096
Racked. Moved to carboy 09/11/2020
SG 1.000
Racked. Added kieselsol/chitosan + 1/4 tsp K-meta. Threw away the enclosed K-meta/sorbate pack as sorbate is unnecessary in a dry wine. 09/16/2020
SG 0.994
Racked. Added 2 oz French oak cubes + 1/4 tsp K-meta. 09/27/2020
SG 0.994
Added 1/4 tsp K-meta 12/25/2020
SG 0.994
Racked, added 1/4 tsp K-meta, bottled. 04/17/2021
SG 0.994

Yield 25 bottles
Alcohol 13.9%
04/17/2021 At bottling time, the wine is honestly amazing. It’s the best kit Cabernet Sauvignon I’ve made, and it’s still young. The new Winexpert formulization appears to be as good as advertised.
10/24/2021 We served this wine and the 2020 Chardonnay at our son’s wedding reception last night. Both wines were a hit. I am highly pleased with the new WE formulization.
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