The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Wines in Progress

I have several wines in progress currently, besides the petite sirah and merlot that is waiting to be bottled.  I started a very cool Super Tuscan red blend wine kit from Cellar Craft, “Rosso Fortissimo”, which is almost ready to be bottled. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese and comes with a pack of crushed merlot grapes that stayed in during primary fermentation. It also came with both French and American oak, and promises to have a “solid structure and bold fruit notes”, including cassis, plum and cherry with bold tannins. While we are very excited about this wine, it will need about 2 years of cellar time to really shine.

On the topic of Cellar Craft wines, I also recently started the February Limited Edition “Chateau du Pays” red rhone blend. This kit is really amazing, a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre juices from France, with California Syrah and Spanish Garnacha in the mix. The really amazing part of this year’s limited releases, though, is the crushed grape “Super Pack”, 2.6 Liters of Crushed Red Mountain Syrah grapes, made from over 17 lbs of whole grapes. The Red Mountain Syrah is a clone sourced from Chateauneuf du Pape, and this blend is basically a clone of that famous wine. I am just a few weeks into this wine kit and will likely bulk age it before bottling. Again, this red will want about 2 years of bottle aging.

I also have some great white kits going. Besides starting another Chamblaise kit from Winexpert and bottling my first French Chardonnay wine kit, I also have their January Limited Edition “Pacifica White” blend getting close to bottling. This blend is very similar to the “Pacific Quartet” released in 2008, which I loved — in fact I made 2 kits, and was still very sorry to see the last one go! I’m sure I’ll be making at least 2 batches of this kit this year, in spite of all of the other winemaking, just because this wine is so very nice.

Those are the wines I’ve started, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming Winexpert Limited Releases of Austrian Gruner Veltliner and Portuguese Douro Tinto, plus the white rhone blend of Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier from Cellar Craft.  Time to stock up on whites for the summer!

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