Note: This is a copied post from a previous blog to consolidate into a single space. Earlier this year (2006), I bought a Winexpert Santa Ynez Syrah kit with a grape skin pack as a way to practice with making wines from grapes before I tried the real thing. Didn't have a grape press at the time, so I used the siphon filter. Boy, was that a good way to waste a gallon of wine! If I ever do that again, I'll pour the must into a fine mesh straining bag and squeeze out as much wine as I can. After clearing and degassing, I left the finished wine over the oak saw dust that came with the kit and some additional dark toast French oak chips for a little too long and ended up with a very heavily oaked wine. OK, the stuff tasted and smelled like I was drinking a tree. Yuck! I was thinking that I had ruined the wine and decided to bottle it anyway to free up the carboy for other use. Maybe I could put it in the corner of the basement and forget that I had wasted $140 on that kit.
About 2 months after I bottled, I opened a bottle more because I didn't like the bottle size and wanted to empty it and throw the bottle away. Wow--what a change! The oak aroma and taste is still there, but GREATLY reduced! The dark fruit and tannins are beginning pushing their way forward, while the oak is really beginning to mellow out. I'm going to try to let the other 2 cases sit for another couple of months to see how much more the oak aroma & taste will lighten. As it is, I think this wine will be a really good everyday wine.