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Old 07-30-2008, 11:04 AM   #1
summersolstice
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Default Limited release port-style dessert wines

I didn't see an appropriate category in the reviews section and perhaps this wouldn't be too interesting to the board as a whole so I'll review them here.

Each year two or three of the major wine kit manufacturers come out with a limited edition dessert port-style wine kit. The kits are available on a preorder basis and have 12L of pure juice and make three gallons. They come with an additional foil pack for adding the flavor to the port at the end of the fermentation process. These kits are high in alcohol and very sweet so a little goes a long way. Due to the fact they're limited release, they're only sold once during the year and once they're gone, that's it.

Last year I made the R.J. Spagnols Cru Select Orange Chocolate Port. This was a truly amazing wine that received raves from nearly everyone who tried it. You can pour a glass of deep ruby liquid and hold it at arm's length and literally smell the chocolate. It was a fairly common practice to add brandy or Everclear to boost the alcohol, as is done in commercial ports. I added a pint of Everclear in an attempt to offset the sweetness a bit. I bottled the entire batch in 375ml bottles and only have 12-15 left. They make fantastic gifts and they were ready for Christmas gifting.

This year, as they did last year, Wine Expert is offering a Chocolate Raspberry port-style wine. I placed my order yesterday. Ausitn Homebrew has them available as a pre-order and you pay up front for delivery in September. If this wine is half as good as the Orange Chocolate Port I won't be disappointed. By all accounts, it is. I've read a lot of reports from people who made them last year.

Apparently R.J. Spagnols is offering a limited edition Cru Select White Chocolate White Port available as a pre-order beginning sometime in August so I guess they aren't doing the Orange Chocolate this year. I like the tartness the orange, and I'm certain the raspberry, imparts and I don't know how well a straight chocolate would be.

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Old 07-30-2008, 11:45 AM   #2
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Selection is supposed to be really good wines, but $110 for only 3 gallons seems expensive when most of their kits make 6 gallons for the same price.

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Old 07-30-2008, 01:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DutchK9 View Post
Selection is supposed to be really good wines, but $110 for only 3 gallons seems expensive when most of their kits make 6 gallons for the same price.
But you are making those 3 gals with about the same amount of juice you would use to make 6 gals. Ports and ice wines are both much stronger and richer than regular wine. Try to buy them some time and you will see a similar or greater disparity. I was just thinking about getting some ice wine last night and there cheapest bottle was $30 for 375ml. I'm not sure about ports but I'm guessing they are nearly as expensive.

I may have to get a 3gal carboy so I can make an ice wine soon. I do enjoy drinking ice wine but I'm too cheap to buy it. The kits are so much less expensive and have gotten great reviews by those who have made them.

Craig
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:11 PM   #4
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But you are making those 3 gals with about the same amount of juice you would use to make 6 gals. Ports and ice wines are both much stronger and richer than regular wine. Try to buy them some time and you will see a similar or greater disparity. I was just thinking about getting some ice wine last night and there cheapest bottle was $30 for 375ml. I'm not sure about ports but I'm guessing they are nearly as expensive.

I may have to get a 3gal carboy so I can make an ice wine soon. I do enjoy drinking ice wine but I'm too cheap to buy it. The kits are so much less expensive and have gotten great reviews by those who have made them.

Craig
Ports can vary quite a bit in price. I just bought a local one called Forte which I have not tried yet and it cost me $23 for a 750ml bottle. Old aged ports can get very expensive $50 and up a bottle.
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