Malbec – R.J. Spagnols “RQ” – 2007

Malbec is generally known as the grape of Argentina. However, one of this year’s Restricted Quantities from R.J. Spagnols is Malbec from Chile.

Malbec grapes are also known for the blending of good wines from the Bordeaux region. A dark coloured grape, Malbec has been transplanted to a variety of “new world” locations, but especially grows well in Argentina.

This evening, I started a R.J. Spagnols “Restricted Quantities” kit using juice from Malbec grapes produced in Chile. I purchased the kit from Winemakers, here in Orangeville. Retail price is $90.00 Canadian.

The juice, once reconstituted with water seemed delicious to both my four year old son who couldn’t resist sticking his finger into the must and licking it. Yes, his hands were washed beforehand.

Believe it or not, my little Maltese puppy also seemed to enjoy the juice, licking up a few splashes off the floor before I cleaned them up. He kept looking up at me for “more,” it seemed too.

As is the norm for R.J. Spagnols kits, good quality packaging, instructions and ingredients. This kit came with two different packages of oak – oak marked “heavy” in a packet that can be dropped into the must, and then a further 80 grams of loose Hungarian Oak, meant to be just poured into the must loosely.

As well as the oak, the normal bentonite, yeast, potassium sorbate (which I likely won’t use), and sulphite.
For final clearing agents, instead of liquid Isinglass, this kit came with Kieselsol and Chitosan. I’m not sure I recall R.J. Spagnol kits including these types of clearing agents before. Interesting to me.

As well, the kit came with very nice bottle labels.

The one thing I didn’t like was the fineness (or lack thereof) of the Bentonite. The bentonite could not even be called powder. The easiest to dissolve in water bentonite that I\\’ve come across in a kit is that included in Advintage Celebrations kits.

Ok, back to this R.J. Spagnols Malbec – the starting specific gravity of the juice was a very very good 1.098. No wonder my sweet toothed four year old enjoyed the juice! I guess my Maltese puppy also has a sweet tooth too.

Tasting notes to follow.

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