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WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by Jenise » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:40 pm

Blind tasting, six attendees. An introductory white was available for early arrivals:

2015 Long Shadows Wineries Chardonnay Dance Horse Heaven Hills
Notes of apple with stone fruit, richly flavored but not tropical. Plush, silky mouthfeel. Very good.

Then the reds started.

2010 Domaine le Galantin Bandol Mourvedre Blend, Mourvedre
Tim's. Soft and ready. Good but didn't exhibit the bloody, feral thing that usually differentiates Bandol wines.

1995 Lindeman's Pyrus Coonawarra Red Bordeaux Blend
My wine. The 'Pyrus' was Lindeman's flagship bordeaux blend from Coonawarra and not widely distributed in the U.S. Initial funk blows off revealing mint, eucalyptus and olives on sweet cherry and black currant fruit. Deceptively youthful for it's age and type. PnP'd, the wine gained weight with air and the leftovers were stellar about five hours later. Bill Spohn recently hosted a tasting of 'Aussies 1997 and Prior' (I didn't own this then or would have taken it), this might have taken the field.

2008 Goretti Montefalco Rosso Le Mura Saracene Sangiovese Blend
Doran's. Vitamin B nose with blueberries, black cherry, coffee, and huge tannins. Spectacular future but not close to ready.

2008 Montes: Napa Angel Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Tim's. Apparently Montes had plans back in the day to make wine in the Napa Valley. Didn't last long. Good balance and varietal typicity. Resembles Montes' Chilean endeavors more than it does other high-end Napa wines, but still quite good and killer for the $10 on close-out savvy opportunists paid.

2009 San Fereolo Dogliani Dolcetto
Vic's. I loved this. Deep and tasty red fruit, a little animal in the background: more body and complexity than I knew this grape could deliver. Fantastic.

2013 No Girls Tempranillo Walla Walla Valley
Doran's. Pervasive sulfur/rotten egg nose, can smell nothing else until a penny thrown in the glass tames it and even then it can't go far enough. Not mentioned in other notes on CT.

****Can we talk? Once upon a time the sulfur/rotten egg thing was somewhat prevalent, hence I knew the penny trick, but I haven't run into it in a long, long time. So, first question: It's a form of bacteria, right, but a different one than what causes the typical moldy TCA? Second question: where did it go? Have cleaner winemaking practices eradicated it for the most part? Third question: is it odd that this bottle was so affected and other CTers don't seem to note it? I mean, it had no other aroma so how could they miss it? This bottle was opened around 3:00, and our tasting started around 8:00. It had plenty of time to blow off if it was going to of it's own accord.*****


2013 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard Walla Walla Valley
Doran's. Absolutely gorgeous. Lighter bodied than I would have predicted, drinks more like a Burgundy than an American syrah (all to the good IMO). All red fruit, plum and strawberry, glides across the palate into a bright and precise finish. My WOTN.

2011 Force Majeure Collaboration Series I Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Mountain Red Bordeaux Blend
Mine. Initial testing pour was fine but later, when the bottle was passed, I picked up TCA. DAMN!

2003 Tenuta di Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva La Forra Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend
Tim's. No stranger to oak with murky death-spiral black fruit, earth, chocolate bar and cocoa dust. Not what I want Chianti to taste like, but to be fair others liked it.

2012 Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Corvina Blend, Corvina
Bart's. Good substance and body. Pleasantly not porty or hot for 15.5% alcohol.

2011 Long Shadows Wineries Chester-Kidder Columbia Valley Cab-Syr Blend
Doran's. Big big fruit, black cherry notes, low acid, very ripe and alcoholic. To call 2011 a cool vintage is an understatement, more like frigid. Yet this drinks like an '09 (very ripe vintage in WA). 15.1% abv--how'd they do that? Not a fan.

2000 Behrens & Hitchcock Petite Sirah Spring Mountain District
Mine. Not one to give points, but must in this case to underscore the injustice done this wine by previous reviewers who apparently had badly stored bottles or drank the wines too soon. Boisterous red and black fruit with slight dill, sweet canned tomato puree and bay leaf. Showed like a wine 5-8 years younger and was suspected of being French or Italian by knowledgable tasters. WOTN for several. Should easily make it to 2025, if not 2035.

2013 Wapato Point Cellars Syrah Reserve Cougar Ridge Vineyard Lake Chelan
Vic's. From a winery located on Lake Chelan's cooler north-facing slopes. Dialed-back cherry with mild vanilla, not overly syrah-ish until you detect the tar on the finish. Very balanced and pleasing. Best wine I've had from this appellation.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by David M. Bueker » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:03 pm

The penny trick is to address reduction and/or excess sulphur.
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Re: WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by Dale Williams » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:13 pm

Did the B&H have plastic/synthetic cork? Most the late 90s/00s Behrens were closed with plastic, and vast majority have died.
I had a pair of late 90s Syrahs (part of a mixed lot) one was quite alive though really not my style, other totally oxidized.
Think you just got lucky
As David says the rubber /egg notes sound like extreme reduction, I think when it's that bad (mercaptans?) penny doesn't help much.
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Re: WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by Jenise » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:24 pm

Dale Williams wrote:Did the B&H have plastic/synthetic cork? Most the late 90s/00s Behrens were closed with plastic, and vast majority have died.
I had a pair of late 90s Syrahs (part of a mixed lot) one was quite alive though really not my style, other totally oxidized.
Think you just got lucky
As David says the rubber /egg notes sound like extreme reduction, I think when it's that bad (mercaptans?) penny doesn't help much.


Yes, it was a plastic cork. And obviously, this bottle was gloriously alive. Happy to get lucky!

On the No Girls, the penny really did help here. Not 100%, but at least 50% better. Even those who refused a penny "I don't know where that's been" said one and fair enough, could detect a lot of improvement. The last time I ran into extreme reduction--more like stewed cabbage than this wine's obvious rotten egg--six out of the six bottles I bought (for a big tasting) were identically affected. What part of the process does this occur in--IOW why are some bottles affected and some not?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by Howie Hart » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:27 pm

IIRC, the penny trick works if the penny is 1983 or earlier. After that, they changed the alloy to contain much less copper. I keep a 1975 penny with my Vinturi, just in case.
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Re: WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by Jenise » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:41 pm

Howie Hart wrote:IIRC, the penny trick works if the penny is 1983 or earlier. After that, they changed the alloy to contain much less copper. I keep a 1975 penny with my Vinturi, just in case.


Interesting! These were newish pennies, still shiny so not in circ very long, and they did work. Well enough, anyway.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by Dale Williams » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:00 am

Howie Hart wrote:IIRC, the penny trick works if the penny is 1983 or earlier. After that, they changed the alloy to contain much less copper. I keep a 1975 penny with my Vinturi, just in case.


Nope, shouldn't matter, the only interaction is with the surface, which is copper coated (body is now zinc).
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Re: WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by Howie Hart » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:41 am

"In 1962, the cent's tin content, which was quite small, was removed. That made the metal composition of the cent 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc.
The alloy remained 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc until 1982, when the composition was changed to 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper (copper-plated zinc). Cents of both compositions appeared in that year." - from https://www.livescience.com/32401-whats-a-penny-made-of.html
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Re: WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by Dale Williams » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:06 pm

yes, but the copper that remains is plating, so surface is all copper. And only the surface is in contact with the wine.
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Re: WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by David M. Bueker » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:19 pm

"They are composed of an inner core alloy of 99.2% zinc and 0.8% copper with an outer plating of pure copper..."

Emphasis mine.
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Re: WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by Victorwine » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:31 am

Second question: where did it go?

Hi Jenise,
I don't it think it weent anywhere. Do you really want all volatile sulfur compounds to
be totally eliminated from a wine? Some of those volatile sulfur compounds (in small
concentrations), if they play nice with other components in the wine may contribute to
"varietal characteristics" or just make a wine more "interesting". All one can really hope
for is the wine remains "tamed".
Aeration, the copper penny trick might reduce or eliminate some of the stink, but does not
stop its formation (if the wine's chemistry (over a period of time) swung in that direction).

Salute
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Re: WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by Victorwine » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:31 am

Second question: where did it go?

Hi Jenise,
I don't it think it weent anywhere. Do you really want all volatile sulfur compounds to
be totally eliminated from a wine? Some of those volatile sulfur compounds (in small
concentrations), if they play nice with other components in the wine may contribute to
"varietal characteristics" or just make a wine more "interesting". All one can really hope
for is the wine remains "tamed".
Aeration, the copper penny trick might reduce or eliminate some of the stink, but does not
stop its formation (if the wine's chemistry (over a period of time) swung in that direction).

Salute
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: The Dorks tackle "Big Reds"

by Jenise » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:06 pm

Victorwine wrote:Second question: where did it go?

Hi Jenise,
I don't it think it weent anywhere. Do you really want all volatile sulfur compounds to
be totally eliminated from a wine? Some of those volatile sulfur compounds (in small
concentrations), if they play nice with other components in the wine may contribute to
"varietal characteristics" or just make a wine more "interesting". All one can really hope
for is the wine remains "tamed".
Aeration, the copper penny trick might reduce or eliminate some of the stink, but does not
stop its formation (if the wine's chemistry (over a period of time) swung in that direction).

Salute


Victor, my question 'where did it go' wasn't particular to the wine I was tasting but the fact that IME this sulfurous stink used to be a lot more common than it is now. I've gone a few years without running into it. Coincidentally, though, ran into it two days later in a bottle of Italian wine. I enjoy a little brett and funky aromas--in harmony--just not sulfur. If that's the only thing I can smell when I stick my nose in the glass as was the case here, then it's all wrong.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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