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What Are Your Top 5 Favorite Wine Kits?


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#1 danehauser

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 09:10 PM

I'm a newbie and recently started a WE Select International Chilean Merlot, WE Stag's Leap Merlot, CC Red Mountain Cab and WE Gewurztraminer. Other than the Gewurz, I won't be able to enjoy the fruit of my labor for a long time so at the risk of being tempted to buy more kits, I'd like to hear what your favorites are and what it is about them that sets them apart.

Thanks!

#2 tonyt

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 10:23 PM

I'll bite.
Petite Verdot WE Limited. Was so good early on ordered a second kit. Just came out in the International Series line, now with grape pack. Very smooth, fruit forward. Won lots of awards and I know why . . . taste!

Rosso d'Avola Mosti Mondaile Renaissance, Dark, full, excellent mouth feel.

Trapani Sicillian Syrah RJS EP, really neat kit. Came with two Hungarian Oak Staves. Juice sourced from the same Provence in Sicily that my family comes from. The wine tasted really outstanding early on and has improved since.

Valpolicella Ripasso RJS Cru Select. I questioned if the juice was really blended with Amarone raisins at crush and really doubt it. BUT the wine is very good and yes even tastes like a Ripasso. Wine is dark, thick and a bit musty just as it should be. I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

Rosso Fortisimo - with "Super Size Grape Pack" CC Linmited. Did I save the best for last? Perhaps! Anyone that has not made this kit should order it now, then you'll have something to judge all other kits by. You can't get the super size grape pack anymore but they say the regular one is just as good. Why haven't I made another one of these yet?

I guess I'm a sucker for all of the limited kits, haven't made a limited kit that I didn't love. It makes sense that the companies would put their best foot forward with the limiteds. On that same note I have the RJS Toro limited in bulk aging and am loving it already. Hope this is the kind of information you were looking for. I did a similar poll on another forum, if you send me a message or email I will send you the link to it. May not be proper for me to link to another wine forum on here.
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#3 JW Austin

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 07:49 AM

I have quite a few kits aging right now which could easily end up on a list of my favorites, but I won't know how good they are until they get about 2 years on them. Of the kits which have enough age on them to shine my 2 favorites are both CC Showcase kits. The Red Mountain Cab which needs no more praise, and the Amarone. The Amarone was excellent at about 11 months. Full mouth feel, spice, pleasant tannins, great finish.

2 more recent favorites took 18 months to shine. Both are MM Renaissance kits, the Shiraz and the Barolo. Both have a nice spicy note.

I am still waiting for a wine to have great nose. That would be icing on the proverbial cake.
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#4 cpfan

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 08:42 PM

Very tough to answer this question, as there are so may kits that I haven't tried, and several that I haven't had in a few years. Also, it so depends on personal preference, eg in whites, I like Rieslng-gewurztraminer types rather than Chardonnays. Regardless (and in no particular order)....

1. Ken Ridge Showcase German Gewurztraminer. We make it dry, by adding the Suss-Reserve F-pack to the primary. Lots of other good gewurztraminers.

2. Ken Ridge Showcase British Columbia Merlot. Discontinued a few years ago.

3. Ken Ridge Classic Merlot. Maybe not a Top Five favourite, but this is a red that doesn't ned a lot of time to be good. It's our House Red.

4. Cru Select Shiraz Viognier. We don't use all of the oak that comes with this kit. Vinterra Merlot used to top up the carboy. Tastes real nice.

5. En Primeur Hightail Washington Merlot 2008. Hightail kits have been only available in Canada, and availability changes from year-to-year. Cut back on the oak here too.

Lots of other good kits. So many people like Amarones. I made three in 2007, and still haven't decided which I prefer.

Steve
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#5 bret

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 09:44 PM

I started my first and only kit so far, just over a month ago, based on online reviews. It's RJ Spagnol's En Primeur Dashwood New Zealand Pinot noir. I racked it for the first time a couple days ago, and couldn't believe how good a sip tasted. I just added the Hungarian oak to the carboy, and can't imagine how good it will be in a year or three.

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#6 PurpleToes

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 07:06 AM

My favorite five kits are:

- Cellar Craft Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (won 2 medals with this one)
- Cellar Craft Red Mountain Syrah (limited release - won a medal)
- Cheeky Monkey South African Sauvignon Blanc
- Cellar Craft Chardonnay / Semillon
- Cellar Craft Porto Corinto

My two cents... as Steve has already said, it's difficult to pick your top five, since there are many great kits out there. I suppose you could easily say that my favorite one is the one I'm currently drinking!
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#7 Carl

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 06:23 PM

Here are my top 5. You can see what I have made from my .sig below.

Some of the reds are just too young to judge. The whites have been consistently better then the reds, but the reds need more time. The WE Luna Rosa was a huge disappointment and I am not sure why.

1. RJS German Gewurztraminer
2. WE NZ Sauvignon Blanc
3. CC Showcase Amarone
4. LE Australian Petit Verdot
5. CC Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Carl

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2013: WE Argentina Malbec Bonarda, CC Rosso Fortissimo, CC Viogner Yakima, NM Seyval Blanc, NM Leon Millet
2012: Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel, Seyval, WE Symphony
2011: CC Showcase Amarone, WE Selection Meritage, RJS German Gewurztraminer, CC Showcase Carmenere
2010: WE Estate Stag's Leap Merlot, CC Showcase Yakima Pinot Gris, CC International Trio Tinto, WE Selection LE Pacific Quartet, New Mexico Siegfried Grapes, New Mexico Ruby Cabernet and Baco Noir blend.
2009: WE Selection LE Australian Petit Verdot, WE Estate Okanagan Pinot Blanc, WE Luna Rosa, RJS German Gewurztraminer, CC Showcase Amarone
2008: WE California Trinity Red, WE NZ Sauvignon Blanc, CC Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, CC Red Mountain Merlot


#8 jbo_c

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 07:25 PM

Rosso Fortissimo - Cellar Craft
Rosso Fortissimo - Cellar Craft
Cab Quartet(Limited Edition) - Cellar Craft
Showcase Barbera - Cellar Craft
Petit Verdot - WineExpert Limited Edition (long ago)


For me.

Have a Red Mountain Cab is resting and may make the list in a couple of years.

I've done lots of others, but nothing else is even in the league with these.

Jbo

#9 danehauser

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:41 PM

Hmmm, I told my wife I was done for awhile but it's interesting that both the Rosso Fortissimo and Petit Verdot were on multiple lists (along with the Red Mountain Cab that I have going right now). I'm not familiar with either of these. Is the Petit Verdot the same as the WE that has the grape pack? I may have to get just one more. ;)

#10 DuggerNS

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 05:16 PM

1. RJS RQ Italian Barbaresco from a couple of years ago
2. WE LE Spanish Tempranillo-CabSauv from 2007 - I would love to see this one again.
3. WE LE Nebbiolo d'Alba from 2006
4. WE LE Chilean Carmenere-CabSauv from 2008, I think.
5. RJS RQ German Muller-Thurgeau from 2009

All of these were/are great wines, to my taste. I have high hopes for some wines now ageing - Trio do Vinho Tinto, Douro Tinto , Trek, Okanagan Red Meritage and the Australian Petit Verdot.
So many wines, so long to wait!!

#11 greenmind

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 05:55 PM

I've only been at the a few years, but a few favorites:
WE SE Okanagan Pinot Blanc (small lots series). Would LOVE to see this one come back.
CC LR Spanish Mencia. Didn't make it second time around, but probably should have.
RJS En Primeur Grenache Rose. Would LOVE to see this one come back.
WE LE Pacific Quartet (2007 version). This one came back and I made it again. Although still good, I'm not convinced it was quite as good as the first one, but maybe I did something different.
CC Red Mountain Cab and Rosso Fortissimo. Can't decide which of these I prefer. They're both excellent, as everyone else points out.

Looks like I like WE whites and CC reds. Never noticed that before!

Dave

#12 kcdc

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:47 AM

I've had 'favorites' come and go over the years. My list reflects those which are always available (vs. those special limiteds)

CC LOVZ: We make this every year. We age it 18 - 24 months. Sometimes, like right now, we fall into a "noLOVZ" gap.
CC Russo: It was my first grape pack, and was made during the first year it came out. Kind of like your first kiss...always a favorite
CC RMV Cab: We made 2 of these before they were part of the regular line up. I haven't made any since, but we had a continuous supply for 3 years. I'll be starting another in a couple of weeks.
WE Luna Rossa: Great with Texas BBQ and blackberry cobbler in your backyard with your friends.
And a 3 way tie for CC Barbera, CC Amarone, and MM Megliolo Barolo.. we love them all, but drink less of them for different reasons.

That's my list this year. There have been other lists and other responses over the years. Some options, like the LOVZ and the RF remain a constant, but others have come and gone.

kcd
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#13 JW Austin

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 08:09 AM

CC RMV Cab: We made 2 of these before they were part of the regular line up. I haven't made any since, but we had a continuous supply for 3 years. I'll be starting another in a couple of weeks.


Is this the Red Mountain Cab, KC?

I agree with your list of favorites with the exception of the LOVZ. Mine is taking a LONG time to lose the tartness for some reason. Right now it is 20 months old and just starting to come around. I suspect the tartness will turn into a nice spicy note, so at 2 years it might be my favorite wine. We'll see.

My RF was 2 years old yesterday and quite good. I have a double batch of the limited release version from last year aging now. The Amarone was so impressive I also made a double batch of that which is waiting for a visit to one of the barrels. Luna Rossa I've made 3 times now, the third another double batch. Tasty at 9 months and getting better. I'm glad it was a double batch so at least some of it will last until the 2 year anniversary.
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#14 kcdc

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 12:36 PM

Jim, et. al
Yes, "RMV" for Red Mountain Valley, sorry. In my occupational world acronyms are dominant. I slipped.

I have a wine-buddy who makes the LOVZ and ours are often a bit different, with mine being a bit smoother/rounder than his. No idea why.

I've just also made (but haven't tasted) the "baby" Amarone. It will be interesting to see how it compares. It should be "RTD" (ready-to-drink ;) ) soon. We love the Big Amarone, but it isn't for everyone, or much of a "daily" wine. She has a lot of power, like a strong lady in a velvet evening gown; not someone to be trifled with.

I miss the Yamhill Pinot. If that was available, it would be on my list. I still have a few bottles left, which must be drunk before they loose their luster, but still...... I've got a MM Meg. Pinot kit that I'll start soon as well. Otherwise, while there are some decent Pinot's, I don't think that the best of them rise to the level of most of the best of other types of wine kits.

kcd
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#15 gverburg

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:29 PM

WE Resiling has been a repeat customer of mine as well as the WE Premium Pinot Grigio kits. I had one WE Pinot Noir that was special but another one average.




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