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[Review] Sadlers Reserve Sauvignon Blanc wine kit from Geterbrewed

Started by Dunkel, November 10, 2014, 12:40:37 PM

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First of all, I must apologise to Geterbrewed  :-[  I received this kit for review during the early summer, but did not make it until a few days ago. The instructions state that fermentation temperature should be between 16 and 20 C; but also mention that the cooler the fermentation temp, the fruitier the final wine will be. I want a fruity wine, but due to the unnaturally warm weather my fermentation area has been holding at a constant 20 until the last couple of weeks. So I decided to wait. This has the reputation of being the bee's knees of wine kits, and I wanted to do it properly.

So to the review.

What's in the pack? Firstly a whopping 7.6 kg pack of concentrated Sauvignon Blanc juice.

Ah fcek, can't work out how to put the other pictures in  >:(  Anyway, interestingly the fill date of the pouch was given; 30/4/14, so this was pretty fresh juice. Also in the pack, which you can see from the pretty picture (not) is a pack of combined yeast and yeast nutrient, Tartaric acid, Bentonite (fining agent), a pack of stabiliser/anti-oxidant, and Chitosan (final clarification agent).
The instructions are HUGH - an A3 sheet; detailed enough for the more experienced winemaker, but simple enough for the novice. They run through what equipment you need, and an exact checklist of tasks to be done on the day. Basically the order is (would have looked better with the photos)
1) The day before, draw off 20l water into a sanitised carboy/spare FV to allow it to come to room temperature - interesting, haven't come across this before in instructions
2) Sterilize FV - yes, they use the word sterilize
3) Pour in grape juice  - one slight gripe is that no mention of sanitizing scissors
4) Rinse pouch
5) Add room temperature water up to 24 L - see later note
6) Prepare Bentonite by adding 100ml water and leaving for 15 minutes
7) Add Tartaric acid
8 ) Shake the Bentonite container and add to must and stir gently - looks like egg drop soup when it first goes in
9) Add yeast pack and stir
10) Put on lid and fermentation lock

Now because I wanted the pitching temperature to be around 16 C I ignored step 1 and topped up with tap water, which was at a temp of 15 C. The instructions note that fermentation will take 18-24 days, depending upon temperature. OG of the must was 1084; smack on according to the instruction sheet. As FG will be around 0.995, final alcohol will be 11.5%. If I were making this again, I would top up to 22 L, giving an alcohol content of around 12.5%.

So far, so good. I made this on 28th October; the gravity after 12 days at 16 C was 1.000, so should be well finished by 24 days. There was a very fruity, Sauvignon Blanc smell from the sample, so I'm optimistic.

Obviously I will continue the post from day 24 on. And if anyone can tell me what I'm doing wrong with the pictures, I'll add them  :)


Cheers for the review! The Sadlers Reserve Range has developed a reputation for producing wines of exceptionally quality. The quality of the ingredients is what makes the difference, its pure grape juice no junk!

I hope you enjoy that batch over the holiday season!

More wines are being added to the Sadlers Range and we are really please with the new Italian dry white wine addition; http://geterbrewed.ie/sadlers-reserve-wine-kits-30-bottle/
Get 'er Brewed

Join the Revolution.



      So to continue. Fermentation was at a pretty consistent 16-17 C. After 17 days the SG was 0.998; the same after 27 days. Obviously fermentation finished, although the instructions suggest target FG 0.995. Now I'm not worried about a couple of points of gravity higher - firstly when I add sachet B (next step) it will kill the remaining yeast, so no secondary fermentation is feared. Also, any slight remaining residual sugars in the wine will make it taste more fruity, which is what I'm aiming for.
      So on day 27 (which just happened to be a handy day for me, could have done this a few days earlier) you rack off the lees into another bucket, and add sachet B, which is a blend of Potassium Sorbate (preservative) and Potassium Metabisulphite (antioxidant and yeast murderer). The next day you need to degas the wine, which involves stirring as carefully as possible to avoid splashing (hence oxygen intake) until your arm drops off. You can buy yokes for this that fit onto an electric drill  http://geterbrewed.ie/degasser-for-23-litres.html , and this would be a good suggestion for Santa. After degassing add half of the final clearing agent; you add the rest the following day. The instructions say the clarification can take a week or more, but mine cleared within a few days.
       For bottling the instructions suggest using a bottling bucket, which I did, but you can get away without this as the sediment in the bucket is compact. Using a mixture of 5l polycask, 75 cl screwcap wine bottles and 33 cl beer bottles (just the perfect size for my wife) I bottled a shade under 23l, so it is a genuine 30 bottle kit. I had a few samples whilst bottling, and am quite impressed.
       For the Pinot Grigio kit the instructions say to wait one month after bottling before drinking, but that the Sauvignon Blanc is ready immediately. It is. I work in the wine trade, and part of my job is assessing the quality of wines (tough job ...  ;) ). So hopefully my judgement of this wine won't be far off.
       Colour is darker than it should be for a Sauvignon Blanc - it looks more like an oaked Chardonnay. This is my third white wine kit, and this has been an issue with all of them. I presume this is a result of the grape juice concentration process. Clarity is good - not star bright, but then it hasn't been filtered. But not far off.
       Aroma is not suprisingly of a Sauvignon Blanc, one from a cool climate. Whilst not exactly jumping out of the glass, there are definitely smells of green pepper, lime and kiwi fruit. Also a confected touch of boiled sweets, which is usually found in the cheaper end of the market (under €12 retail).
       Very few people who drink wine actually notice the colour or aromas - they just drink it. So the flavour is the most important bit. And this is where this kit scores highly. It's dry, but VERY fruity. Flavours of lime, melon and lemon are really bursting out. Acidity is refreshingly high, as it should be with this grape. Tastewise this is a dead ringer for a wine from Chile or South Africa. If the colour was lighter, I would assess this as selling for around €14 in your local off-licence. Not bad, considering the kit works out at €2.33 per bottle. Give this to your non-expert wine drinking friends, and they'll be delighted.
       To summarise; I suggest fermenting this around 16 C to produce a strongly fruity flavour. Is this kit worth buying? Definitely YES. Will I buy this again? YES. I'm ordering the Cabernet Sauvignon version today (wine for me!).

       And thankyou Geterbrewed, for making my wife a happy woman  :)


Great review Dunkel. Thanks. Will recommend this kit to my wine brewing friends.


Great review. I'd love to see similar tasting notes for the shiraz or a similar red, as it's exactly the detail I've been looking for on other wine kits to make the decision on weather to buy or not.
Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter

Sorcerers Apprentice

I bought this kit over the summer, followed instructions to the letter, I went for the middle ground and fermented at 18 deg, I was surprised by the dark colour and as you say at just over €2 a bottle it's hard to complain, I personally don't drink wine so can't stand in judgement but SWMBO thought that it was just ok and certainly not up to a Marlborough Oyster Bay style, however she still managed to get through it all though :-)
There's no such thing as bad beer - some just taste better than others


Quote from: Sorcerers Apprentice on December 09, 2014, 03:06:53 PM
I bought this kit over the summer, followed instructions to the letter, I went for the middle ground and fermented at 18 deg, I was surprised by the dark colour and as you say at just over €2 a bottle it's hard to complain, I personally don't drink wine so can't stand in judgement but SWMBO thought that it was just ok and certainly not up to a Marlborough Oyster Bay style, however she still managed to get through it all though :-)

I agree, it's nowhere near as aromatic as a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, nor does it have quite the intensity of flavour. But it's damn good value   :D



Thanks for the review, I started a 12 bottle kit brew this evening. I accidentally hydrated the Tartaric acid with 100ml of water, anyone know if this will cause problems? I was a little rushed and simply mixed up the Tartaric and Bentonite containers.



Hi hefeman,

It won't make any difference to hydrate the Tartaric Acid  :)



Thanks for confirming that hydrating the Tartaric acid is OK. I'll be going to secondary in a couple of days, is it OK to degas with a whisk on a drill? I know there are special attachments available but wondering if there is anything in my kitchen drawer I can use instead of spending 15-20 euro on a specialised tool.


Sorcerers Apprentice

There's no such thing as bad beer - some just taste better than others


Brew sheet with mine (delivered 8 Jan) now says fermentation at 10 - 20c.
I'm going to put it to the test by going on holidays and leaving the heat off.
It'll probably be around 13-14c


Let us know how it works out. Commercial white wines are fermented as low as 8C.


They must've changed the yeast out on that kit. I sort of recall reading something somewhere from the producers saying they were going to swap it out with a lower fermenting yeast


When I came home from holidays the room this was in had crept down to 9.5°. This seemed to be a bit cool for it cos it wasn't bubbling but I kept it around 13° for another few days. It's down to 0.996 now and has cleared. Samples taste really good. Still has some sweetness. Not dry at all. Pretty sure it could be mistaken for  decent €10 Malborough. Just need to bottle now.