Yeah it was already wine. I only have 5 gallon carboys so I put the first gallon from each bucket in a 1 gallon jug and put the rest in carboys. I drank one gallon and will be drinking the other gallon over the weekend most likely. It's not bad at all. It's ruby colored and cloudy. It's got that annoying slight effervescence that all of my reds seem to end up with. It's a little bubbly when first poured and it gives the flavor a bit of bite. It smells like a typical red, lots of oak and maybe berry? It's light, crisp and a little dry. It tastes like it smells...berry and oak. The flavor persists but it's light. The alcohol comes through pretty strong. Since the first batch is already fermented out I'm thinking I should just go ahead and bottle it and let it age for a few months. It's already been conditioning in the bucket for 6 months, though, so maybe I don't have to leave it for too long.
From what I've read the malolactic fermentation can get it down to .996ish and add some pretty nifty flavors so I'm going to let that second batch go for at least a couple of months in the fermentor before I bottle. How long should I let the malolactic bacteria work? Should I do anything special to it before bottling? Also, how do I get rid of that effervescence?