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Re: 'Cooked' Wine

by Oliver McCrum » Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:27 pm

To be clear, though, not all Madeira is 'cooked' and not all Sherry is oxidised (eg Fino and Manzanilla styles).
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Re: 'Cooked' Wine

by Thomas » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:29 pm

Oliver McCrum wrote:To be clear, though, not all Madeira is 'cooked' and not all Sherry is oxidised (eg Fino and Manzanilla styles).


Oliver,

Which Madeira isn't cooked? Rainwater?

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Re: 'Cooked' Wine

by John Treder » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:01 pm

Rainwater Madeira is from vines on the north side of the island where there's enough rain that it doesn't dry out as much as the grapes on the southern side. It's made into a lighter style of wine, but it still tastes like Madeira, but not as definitive as Malmsey. I had a very pleasant day in Funchal a couple or five years ago.
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Re: 'Cooked' Wine

by Oliver McCrum » Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:52 am

I'm being a bit pedantic, but I understand that the best Madeira is not aged in 'estufagem.' I"ve never been there, although I'll be visiting Marsala in two weeks and I'm looking forward to it.
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Re: 'Cooked' Wine

by Steve Slatcher » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:35 am

Oliver McCrum wrote:I'm being a bit pedantic, but I understand that the best Madeira is not aged in 'estufagem.'

It isn't. Estufagem is meant to imitate the more traditional method of aging for many years in a loft (heated by the sub-tropical sun, and definitely not a cool cellar). IIRC estufagem involves higher temperatures, and certainly shorter times, but the traditional treatment would still be "cooking" by most people's definition.

Note also that caramel is actually added to some of the less expensive wines, for colouring and sweetness. That is not just for the very cheap end of the market - it varies from shipper to shipper. Don't think it happens at the top end - Colheita and Garrafeira for example.

Fino sherry is an interesting one. I agree that it is not (or shouldn't be!) oxidised, but it is still distinctively sherry-flavoured in a sense that I associate with oxidation in other wines. I haven''t yet managed to get that one straight in my own head - might just be a learning issue for me.
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Re: 'Cooked' Wine

by Thomas » Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:09 am

Steve Slatcher wrote:
Oliver McCrum wrote:I'm being a bit pedantic, but I understand that the best Madeira is not aged in 'estufagem.'

It isn't. Estufagem is meant to imitate the more traditional method of aging for many years in a loft (heated by the sub-tropical sun, and definitely not a cool cellar). IIRC estufagem involves higher temperatures, and certainly shorter times, but the traditional treatment would still be "cooking" by most people's definition.

Note also that caramel is actually added to some of the less expensive wines, for colouring and sweetness. That is not just for the very cheap end of the market - it varies from shipper to shipper. Don't think it happens at the top end - Colheita and Garrafeira for example.

Fino sherry is an interesting one. I agree that it is not (or shouldn't be!) oxidised, but it is still distinctively sherry-flavoured in a sense that I associate with oxidation in other wines. I haven''t yet managed to get that one straight in my own head - might just be a learning issue for me.


Thanks, Steve,

I assumed that all Madeira goes through a heating process, and I know that it is not the original process under the sun's rays as in earlier centuries. I did not know that caramel is added, but that information makes sense to me, or to my nose, anyway!

Re, Fino and the smell of oxidation, perhaps it comes form one of two (or both) sources: the flora strain or the barrels.
I'm not up on sherry processes these days, but those two seem like strong possibilities if they are the constants in the process.
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Re: 'Cooked' Wine

by Victorwine » Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:45 am

I always thought Estufagem was the “process” in which Madeira is made and estufa was the heated rooms or tanks.

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Re: 'Cooked' Wine

by Victorwine » Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:57 am

At one time basically all Sherries started off its life basically in the same way. For its first 10 to 14 days it undergoes a primary alcoholic fermentation, next a secondary alcoholic fermentation until “dry”. After this it was than “fortified” and placed 4/5 full in oak casks. I think it was the growth and development of the flora yeast which determined which type of Sherry was to be made. For Fino Sherries the flora yeast grows and develops fairly quickly and shields the wine from further oxidation.

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Re: 'Cooked' Wine

by Steve Slatcher » Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:06 pm

Victorwine wrote:At one time basically all Sherries started off its life basically in the same way. For its first 10 to 14 days it undergoes a primary alcoholic fermentation, next a secondary alcoholic fermentation until “dry”. After this it was than “fortified” and placed 4/5 full in oak casks. I think it was the growth and development of the flora yeast which determined which type of Sherry was to be made. For Fino Sherries the flora yeast grows and develops fairly quickly and shields the wine from further oxidation.

That's more or less still the case - except that sherries are earmarked for their fate at an earlier stage now. Those destined for finos are fortified to a lesser extent to encourage the growth of the flor (not flora!). Others get more alcohol, which protects it better and discourages the flor.

Ah! Is your point that even finos oxidise a bit before they develop their flor? That would make sense.
Last edited by Steve Slatcher on Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 'Cooked' Wine

by Steve Slatcher » Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:19 pm

Victorwine wrote:I always thought Estufagem was the “process” in which Madeira is made and estufa was the heated rooms or tanks.

Estufagem is indeed the process that goes on in the estufa, if that is what you meant. But not all Madeira goes though this process of artificial heating.

Also just found a webpage saying that the temps used in estufagem are likely to caramellise sugars - seemingly also implying that the traditional ageing process does not do this.
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Re: 'Cooked' Wine

by Thomas » Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:39 pm

Steve Slatcher wrote:
Victorwine wrote:I always thought Estufagem was the “process” in which Madeira is made and estufa was the heated rooms or tanks.

Estufagem is indeed the process that goes on in the estufa, if that is what you meant. But not all Madeira goes though this process of artificial heating.

Also just found a webpage saying that the temps used in estufagem are likely to caramellise sugars - seemingly also implying that the traditional ageing process does not do this.


Well, yeah, that's what cooking does to sugar. That's been my point all along about the smell of cooked wine.

Victor, the original estufa process was inside buildings with glass roofs...rooves? ;) to direct and concentrate the sun on the wines.
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Re: 'Cooked' Wine

by Oliver McCrum » Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:52 pm

Steve Slatcher wrote:
Oliver McCrum wrote:I'm being a bit pedantic, but I understand that the best Madeira is not aged in 'estufagem.'

It isn't. Estufagem is meant to imitate the more traditional method of aging for many years in a loft (heated by the sub-tropical sun, and definitely not a cool cellar). IIRC estufagem involves higher temperatures, and certainly shorter times, but the traditional treatment would still be "cooking" by most people's definition.

Note also that caramel is actually added to some of the less expensive wines, for colouring and sweetness. That is not just for the very cheap end of the market - it varies from shipper to shipper. Don't think it happens at the top end - Colheita and Garrafeira for example.

Fino sherry is an interesting one. I agree that it is not (or shouldn't be!) oxidised, but it is still distinctively sherry-flavoured in a sense that I associate with oxidation in other wines. I haven''t yet managed to get that one straight in my own head - might just be a learning issue for me.


Good point, Steve.

Fino is still distinctly aldehydic, but the aldehydes don't seem to come with the other aromas that we associate with oxidation; I've no idea why.
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