Carmenere Wine Kit - Master Vintner Winemaker's Reserve
The juicy fruit makes it tempting to drink young, but ageing will bring out more structure and elegance. Serve with grilled flank or skirt steak, roast lamb, grilled Portobello mushrooms, or for an amazing flavor sensation, with 70% dark cacao chocolate!
Yield: 6 Gallons
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This is our favorite wine I have made (from 9 different varieties) over the last 3 years. We are on our 4th batch as all the neighbors, friends and relatives love it. The Malbec is a close second.
This was my first attempt at winemaking after many years of beer brewing. I had low expectations, but this turned out very well and was a consistent hit with friends. I will likely make this kit again at some point.
So, a few things - first, this has all the chance to be a good wine, but the kit should really include different instructions on maturing it on the oak chips. I followed the directions, but got very little flavor. I ended up putting in an oak spiral that I had in there for more depth. In fact, it's still in a carboy and I haven't even bottled it yet (going on 4 months). I just keep tasting until it starts to resemble something a little more to my liking. But...good thing with kits is you have the freedom to do that.
Also, the instructions have you add the chips into a clean carboy and rack into it - whoa nelly! Since we hadn't degassed, there was what you might call 'a wine explosion' - there was not enough head-space in the world to deal with that foam. In the future, I'd have just sprinkled them into the bucket and waiting to rack to a carboy until I could de-gas (lesson learned -but fixing the instructions or a fore-warning would be nice).
There were no skins in this batch - so I also added my own chestnut tannin to help with need tannin. Adding either skins or tannin powder would be nice for future kits.