Kenridge Founder’s Series – Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre

I have a special occasion in mind that will take place who knows when exactly? More than one year – less than five, probably. What wine should I make for it?

After some discussions with Bob Collins of Winemakers in Orangeville, I decided to blend some wine from two different kits, with Grenache being of the highest ratio. I’ll blend the kits after the fermentation has completed.

The first kit is a Kenridge “Founder’s Series” – the Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. Kenridge doesn’t tell us what the ratios of the varieties are in the kit, but Bob indicated that he found that this wine, once made, had bold tones of leather that some might not like. Hence softening that up a bit with with another kit of pure Grenache.

Here’s what the Kenridge website says about this wine:

“Appellation: Languedoc, France

The Region:
With its astonishing transformation in quality over the last decade, Languedoc-Roussillon has become France’s most dynamic and exciting wine region. Languedoc-Rousillon covers the area on the border of the Mediterranean Sea between the west of the Rhone and Camargue to the border of Spain and Pyrenees mountains. The vineyards of this sunny region are one of the border of Spain and the Pyrenees mountains. The vineyards of this sunny region are one of the largest expanses of vine growing in the world and is perfect for many of the varietals traditionally used in Southern Rhone red wines including Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.

The Wine:
The winemaker’s of France have known for centuries that blended wines combine the strengths of each varietal resulting in a superior wine than what each varietal could create on its own. In this superb red, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre come together to create a rich full-bodied wine boasting an intricate collection of flavours. Its full nose has generous cherry, plum and blackberry aromas with toasty vanilla undertones and a dash of white pepper. Initial fruit flavours gain complexity as more spicy, earthy and savoury elements show themselves in the warm and generous finish. A delicious Rhone-style red wine fine yet firm tannins.

The Food:
Pair this excellent red wine with barbequed pork shoulder, braised lamb, marinated beef tenderloin and full flavoured pastas.

Sweetness Code: 0 (completely dry)

Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%

Oak: European

Bottle Aging:
It is recommended that you cellar this wine for a minimum of 3 months. Aging at least a year will result in superbly developed flavours.”

~ (See Their Website)

Now, there were a couple of things about this kit that are noteworthy. First, it comes with crushed grape skins that are added to the primary fermenter.

The kit says it is 18 liters – however, I don’t think this refers to just the juice. When I poured in the contents of the juice into my primary fermenting pail, it only came up to the 16 liter mark on the pail. The crushed grape skins looks to about 2 liters in volume, so Kenridge probably included that in the total volume of the kit.

The website says that European Oak is included, but the oak package that came with the kit states “American Oak Cubes.” Personally, I don’t care either way – but this does seem to be an inaccuracy on their website.

The fact that the kit comes with crushed grape skins is excellent! However, I much preferred the packaging and mesh bag provided by this RJ Spagnol’s wine kit. In this Kenridge kit, the grape skins come in a plastic packaging similar to what the juice comes in. It is difficult to squeeze the thick jamlike skins out of the cap. Instead, I sliced open the plastic and transferred the grape skins to the mesh bag provided. Having four hands to do this would have been helpful, and even though I was careful, some of the skins plopped into the juice instead of the mesh bag.

If you’re going to make this wine or use any kit with crushed grape skins, be sure to hold the mesh bag over the juice and transfer the skins while you are holding it over the pail.

Other than the criticism of the grape skin packaging, the kit is excellent. It should be, at a retail price of $145.00 Canadian.

What’s included:

  • Lalvin EC-1118 Yeast
  • Bentonite
  • Potassium Metabisulphite
  • Potassium Sorbate (which I probably won’t use)
  • Two packages of Chitosan
  • Attractive bottle labels

After the grape skins were added, the Specific Gravity of the juice was 1.100.

Tasting Notes
To be added later.

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