Wilkinson Spicy Cabernet Sauvignon 1 Gallon

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Kit Reviews' started by fbsf, Nov 1, 2012.

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  1. Nov 1, 2012 #1

    fbsf

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    Cool - thanks!

    I don't normally go in for wine kits; I tried a Young's apricot after reading some reasonable reviews, but was a little disappointed with the results. It reminded me of the kits my dad used to brew in the 70s/80s. Drinkable, but not fantastic and at a tenner or so for six bottles (inc sugar) didn't seem that great value. Especially when I've had such good results from the WOWs at around 50p a bottle.

    But whilst I was browsing in Wilko's the other day, I noticed that they are doing a small selection of "premium" 6-bottle kits - these are 1.7kg tins rather than the normal 900g, the same size as for the 30 bottle kits and are normally £14 instead of £8 for the smaller ones.

    The thing with these kits is that you only have to add water (and the yeast and nutrient packs that come with it) - no sugar as the size of the can means they can condense it to a reasonable level, and it reckons it should come out at around 14% for the CabSav.

    I was lucky in that either by mistake or other, they had the Spicy CabSav 6-bottle kit on at £8 instead of £14, so I thought I'd give it a go.

    I started it on Sunday, adding the can and 1.8L of filtered water to a sanitised demijohn as directed, and pitched the yeast. I tasted a little of the concentrate that was on the lid, and it had a good balance of sweetness and tannins - hopefully it should give a good result. By the next morning it was bubbling well, with really dark purple bubbles, and so I left it three days before topping up as directed on the pack.

    It's now the morning after, and it's already climbed out of the airlock three times and looks like it's going to do it a few more times too.

    Difficult to tell the OG, as it ferments in stages. I'll report back when it's time to rack...
     
  2. Nov 11, 2012 #2

    fbsf

    fbsf

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    Right, racking time. I left it two weeks instead of the 7 days it said (even though fermentation seemed to have pretty much finished at 7 days) as that's the way I roll...

    It's SG had dropped down to 0.992, so quite dry, but that's how I like them. I'm going to leave it for a couple of weeks in the demjohn in the garage to drop out whatever it can naturally before adding the "stabiliser" sachet and finings.

    As always, I thought it rude not to have a taste...and it's actually not bad. It's not going to be a Massive-Aussie beater for flavour or colour (it's like a light french red in colour), but has a reasonable taste up front (obv, a little yeasty still) and enough of a spicy note to make it almost shirazzy. Not a huge amount of tannins, so probably one to be drunk after about 4-6 months in the bottle I reckon.

    Now, would I do this again? At the 8 quid I paid for the kit, definitely. It's going to turn out at worst inoffensive and hopefully quite reasonable. At 14 quid, well, that verdict is going to need to wait for the maturation, as you are then at nearly 2.50 a bottle and that's getting dangerously close to budget-supermarket reds.
     
  3. Dec 19, 2012 #3

    fbsf

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    Ok, fined, left for three weeks and racked again, it's now crystal clear. The yeastiness has now gone, but so has some of the character as the acids have mellowed. It's also not that dark a red - certainly you can see through the demijohn when it's held up to the light.

    Remains to be seen what this turns out like - I'm going to leave it under airlock in the garage until March, then bottle it, so it will be interesting. My gut feeling is that it will be ok for an £8-for-6 bottles kit wine, but I'm still not sure I would be spending £14 on it. Time will tell...
     
  4. Dec 20, 2012 #4

    stevie1556

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    This sounds like a wine my sister would love. Keep me updated on the outcome!
     
  5. Mar 20, 2013 #5

    fbsf

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    Ok, bottled this last night.

    It has a bit of a strange "sharp" aroma and certainly won't worry a £5 bottle of commercial cab sav, but it's a pleasant enough drink. Good balance of flavours in the mouth - maybe a little sweeter than I would normally like, but I like wines very dry. I'm guessing therefore that the syrup must contain sweeteners given it went down to 0.992. It's also lacking any mouth-filling tannins that I would expect from a Cab Sav.

    Colour wise, it's like a mix of rose and red. Definitely darker than rose, but not quite as dark as you would expect.

    I gave some to the missus who remarked "easy drinking". I suppose that sums it up really.

    And for less than £1.40 a bottle, it hasn't turned out bad, and I'll search out another if I can find one at £8 again.

    Would it be worth the £2.33 a bottle at the kit's full price of £14? For me, probably not. Even a 3-for-£10 supermarket cab sav would better it comfortably. And for an extra quid a bottle without the effort, I know
     
  6. Jun 20, 2013 #6

    philman1975

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    Hi everyone,
    I've just bought the Wilkinsons 6 bottle Cab Sauvignon kit. It's my first kit and have really enjoyed it but the trouble is I may have gone wrong somewhere. I'm now on day 3 and had to top up to 4.5 litres after initially filling to 1.8. So I worked this out to need a further 2.7 litres of cooled boiled water to be added. The trouble is the demi-john doesnt appear to be big enough and somehow I have about 0.5 litres of water left over.
    I even had to carefully tip a bit away from the demi-john as it was fermenting like crazy and fizzing into the bung tube at the top. Has anyone else had this problem or is it just me? Hopefully I havent been daft and put too much water in initially although I could have sworn I only put in the required amount. Is the Wilkinson's demi-john too small?

    It's my first post so go easy on me...

    Phil
     
  7. Jun 20, 2013 #7

    oldbloke

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    It's rare for a demi to be less than 4.5l, they're usually a bit more. You probably miscalculated the initial amount, maybe something like only counted the water and not the kit concentrate or some similar oversight.
    I generally leave topping up until the very end of day4 or somewhere in day5, it tends to be a bit too lively before that. ...and that's with cider, wines I leave even longer.
    Just keep cleaning the airlock, and when it settles down, fill to base of neck.
    It'll be fine.
     
  8. Jun 20, 2013 #8

    philman1975

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    Thanks oldbloke. That's exactly what I did - I didnt calculate how much was in the concentrate. What an idiot I've been! It must have been about 0.5 litres as that was the amount I couldnt fit into the dj. I'll know for next time. This is a great forum by the way -even my other half is getting into the Homebrewing. I think I'll try another Wilco's kit once I've transferred the wine into the suppplied bag and then try something else.
    Thanks again...I'll let you know how it turns out.
     
  9. Jul 5, 2013 #9

    philman1975

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    Well it's now day 8 after adding the finings etc and still no clearer. Could it be the warm weather? Just bought another DJ and have a Turbo Cider on the go as I now have the home brew bug!
     
  10. Aug 22, 2013 #10

    Wasabi

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    I bought one of the Wilko 4.5 litre Cabernet Sauvignon kits in the half price sale a couple of months ago and finally got round to making it. I decided to add an extra 100g sugar to bump up the expected ABV from 12% to 13%.

    During fermentation I saw dark lumps in amongst the froth which I assume were bits of grape skin. I recall Wilko's Merlot was criticised for being too pale unlike the Cab Sauv. kit, and since there is no added colouring listed in the ingredients I assume the skin is there to give a proper red colour. (When I emptied the sediment from the demijohn later on there were a lot of what looked like tea leaves, I assume this was the grape skin as the ingredients list does not mention tea!)

    The kit bubbled over once during fermentation but after 7 days at about 22°C seemed finished. For once I didn't sample the wine at this point (later wished I had!) and simply added the supplied stabiliser and finings. Instructions said to leave it up to 10 days but after 24 hours it was clear and a bright ruby red, perhaps not quite as dark as a normal red wine but dark enough.

    After another 5 days (today!) I gave in to the temptation to bottle it and finally sampled the generous glass left over. At this stage it is quite raw, more like a blackcurrant squash than wine, and to my surprise has a definite hints of sweetness which makes me wonder if I bunged in the stabiliser prematurely? I did notice the odd tiny bubble rising in the demijohn just before bottling.

    The result is definitely alcoholic though and the very smooth fruity taste gives me hope that after a few weeks aging it will turn out like a £5/bottle wine. Cost included added sugar works out at 80p/bottle, though the kits are now £8.50 which would work out £1.60 a bottle but still worth it IMHO. Next time though I will give it a bit longer and see if it turns out drier.
     
  11. Aug 25, 2013 #11

    Duncs

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    Got the last 2 cans of this from my local Wilkos for £3.50 each, I thought it rude not to get them. :cheers:
     
  12. Sep 4, 2013 #12

    leelee

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    Hello,decided to start home brewing so got a cab. Sav. Kit from wilkos,after adding the top up water after 3 days (yesterday) it now says to leave it about 7 days for it to calm down (will prob leave it a bit longer),it then says to add the stabiliser and finings,should i rack before doing this or will it not make any difference,many thanks in advance
     
  13. Sep 6, 2013 #13

    Wasabi

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    Mine finished fermenting in 7 days total, but it will vary by temperature so you should wait until airlock activity has effectively stopped (about 1 bubble per minute). You don't need to rack the wine off (though you can if you want), just add the stabiliser (which is actually no more than a couple of powdered campden tablets as far as I can tell) and finings and then wait for it to clear and then bottle.

    Although they say to leave it for another 10 days to clear, mine cleared in 24 hours, though wasn't of drinkable quality for another week or so. The claim that you can get drinkable wine in "under 21 days" is true but only just: mine was just drinkable on day 20, but rather raw and would certainly benefit from another few weeks in the bottle.
     
  14. Sep 6, 2013 #14

    leelee

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    Cheers wasabi,I wiil just add the other bits and bobs straight in then,I never weighed the sugar out in the kit thinking it was already are weighed,when I topped up with water after day 3 it spewed all over the airlock and splattered the wall,oops! You live and learn : )
     
  15. Sep 7, 2013 #15

    Wasabi

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    Mine came out of the airlock too after I topped it up on day 3, it seemed much more active than the fruit juice bases wines I've made. Next time I'll top it up in two stages I think, leaving another couple of days before adding the final lot of water! I did add 50g more sugar than the instructions said though so as to make it closer to 13% ABV rather than the 12% it says on the kit.
     
  16. Oct 3, 2013 #16

    Alex Noodles

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    I'm considering getting this kit as well, and replace 0.7l with red grape juice to up the sugar a bit and hopefully boost the body.

    thoughts on this?
     
  17. Oct 15, 2013 #17

    Grand gris

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    I got a 30 bottle version in the half price sale a couple of months ago and its not bad - a little light in colour but definitely drinkable. I also got the 30 bottle Chardonnay(which TBH I think are the same ingredients as the quality 6 bottle kits but you just add more sugar and water as far as I can tell), and this is not too bad either - a little bland but noticeably a chardonnay and for 5 quid(they misprinted on the website) a bargain. I have definitely had worse mid range kits
     

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