Current StatusBottled Start Date2 November 1999
SourceAlexander's Sun Country Cabernet Sauvignon concentrate. This is highly concentrated juice. It makes a 5 gallon batch from 92 ounces of concentrate.
Initial GravitySee Discussion BrixSee Discussion
Potential AlcoholSee Discussion First Racking Date13 November 1999
Specific Gravity1.036 Bottling Date1 April 2000
Although normally when people think of Cabernet Sauvignon they think of a big, full bodied wine with a deep red color. This wine is nothing like that. Aging, though, has helped it greatly. It is a light colored, light weight wine. It has a somewhat fruity taste up front and actually lingers a bit. The slight carbonation that hampered it early is gone. The excessive sulfites that gave it a bad bouquet are also gone. All in all the wine is surprisingly drinkable for a first attempt and shows the benefits of aging all wines, even those made from inexpensive concentrate.
I started the wine at the beginning of November with the hopes of having it for Christmas. The "directions" (and I use that term loosely) seem to imply that you can make wine in 28 days. Never, never, never do this. The most important ingredient that goes into wine is time. In my case I didn't have a chance to make the mistake of bottling too early. I began by fermenting the wine as expected. Unfortunately room temperature for me in the winter is 60-65 degrees (F). Whereas red wine prefers to ferment at around 70. Thus the first (and second) fermentation lasted almost until Christmas.

I made many mistakes while making this wine as I expected I would; that is why I used an inexpensive concentrate to start with. My main mistake was attempting to follow "directions" without actually understanding what I was doing. Because of this I took my initial measurements at the wrong time and don't know what is the alcohol content of the wine. My best estimate is 10-10.5% (by volume).

I have since rectified most of these errors. See the discussions of my other wines to see how my meager knowledge has progressed. I am particularly proud of my solution for maintaining a constant fermentation temperature higher than room temperature. It has worked exceedingly well.

The wine was racked a number of times to remove sediment. It was finned with bentonite and a weak attempt was made to cold stabilize the wine. I left it out in my garage for about a week and a half but the temperature kept fluctuating between 30 and 60 so I decided to just forget it. For this reason if the wine is left in a cold place for an extended period of time it may precipitate out tartrate crystals. These may look like glass shards on the bottom of the bottle. They are harmless. Also, this wine is unfiltered. Some wineries make a big deal out of not filtering their wine and charge you extra for it. I do it (or actually don't do it) for free. This means that over time sediment may build up on the bottom of the bottle.

This wine was bottled on April 1, 2000. Somehow that seemed appropriate.

Cabernet Sauvignon front labelimage Cabernet Sauvignon back label
Front labelBack label, if you don't understand why I am adamant that this is not an Ohio wine, consider yourself fortunate.