Winexpert Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel 2015

I’ll be reviewing and comparing three different Lalvin yeasts using this kit.  The goal is to compare the taste and aromatic differences between Lalvin BM 4×4 vs RC-212 vs EC-1118.  Fermentation Temperature: 70F

 

Inside the box ($140 CDN):
  • bag of grape juice (16 litres)
  • crushed grape pack (2 litres)
  • oak cubes (french medium – 60 grams)
  • bentonite (15 grams)
  • potassium metabisulfite (4 grams)
  • potassium sorbate (5.5 grams – not used)
  • chitosan (150mL x2)
  • yeast (Lalvin EC-1118)

 

Pitch Date: October 24, 2015

Lalvin BM 4×4

Lalvin RC-212

Lalvin EC-1118

  • 4.5 gallons
  • OG: 1.084 – likely higher from grape pack
  • .75 gallons
  • .75 gallons
Day 2
  • Added 1/2 tsp wyeast beer nutrient.  Full Dose
  • Light Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
  • Added 1/8 tsp wyeast beer nutrient
  • Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
  • Added 1/8 tsp wyeast beer nutrient
  • Light Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
Day 3
  • Added 1 tsp wyeast beer nutrient.  Double Dose
  • Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
 –  –
Day 4
  • Added 1/4 tsp wyeast beer nutrient. (Half Dose)
  • Reduced Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) detected
 –
  •  Most CO2 by far, wine is very fizzy compared to the other 2 yeasts.
Day 8
Move to Secondary & Taste Test

Aroma:

  • blueberry
  • blackberry
  • plum jam

Flavours:

  • dark plum
  • ripe dark berries
  • light sulfur (should off gas)
  • light heat

Notes:

  • #1 pick

 

Aroma:

  • dark cherry
  • blueberry


Flavours:

  • non-descript dark red berry
  • light sulfur (should off gas)

Notes:

  • #2 pick
  • thinner body than BM 4×4
  • would use in a pinot noir or lighter red wine

Aroma:

  • dark cherry
  • mild blackberry


Flavours:

  • mild strawberry
  • red berries

 

 


Notes:

  • #3 pick
  • least aromatic
  • lightest body
Day 14
Degas / Sulphite / Fine
Day 21
  • Bottle an unoaked sample 
  • Rack to 3 gallon carboy
  • add 35g oak cubes
  • add 1/8 tsp k-meta
  •  Bottle an unoaked sample
  •  Bottle an unoaked sample

 

oak the leftover gallon with 10g medium french oak cubes

 

This was racked off the oak after 3 weeks into a fresh 3g carboy for the rest of the bulk age.  (Should have left them in)

 

combine leftover rc-212 with the ec-1118.  
(should be about a gallon) 

 

French Oak Cubes (rate 10g/gallon):

2 grams light
3 grams medium
5 grams heavy

Tasting Notes for the un-oaked bottles 1 month after bottling
This yeast certainly takes over and imposes it’s own flabour profile.  Currently overwhelming and I wouldn’t use it again.

Preferred the rc-212 & ec-1118 blend

Bulk Aging Timeline

4 Months – Feb 24, 2016 – Add 1/8 tsp kmeta to 3 gallon carboy.

7 Months – May 24, 2016 – Add 1/8 tsp kmeta to 3 gallon carboy.

8 Months – June 24, 2016 – Bottled and added 1/8 tsp kmeta. (needed the carboy, should have really bottled at last addition)

12 Months – Oct 24, 2016 – Drink.

Tasting Notes from the BM4x4:

-Aroma: berry, oak

-Taste: berry, cherry, concentrate juice

Personal Rating: 2/5