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Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:01 pm

Dissolved CO2 in Austrian & Other White Wines??

by TomHill » Mon May 21, 2018 12:08 pm

One of the things I've observed in some Austrian, some Calif, some Italian, and other white wines is a noticeable presence of dissolved CO2.
Supposedly it is to give the wine a "liveliness" on the palate that it might not otherwise have.

It often has a telltale sign:
1. The screwtop "pops" a bit when you open it.
2. When you pour the wines into your glass, you see this cloud of tiny/tiny bubbles (unlike a sparkling wine where the bubbles
continue to stream upward) that rapidly dissipate, agglomerating into larger bubbles that form on the surface against the edge of the glass.
Oftentimes, these swirling cloud patterns can be somewhat mesmerizing to watch.

It's a winemaking technique that is achieved in two ways:
1. Addition of CO2 directly to the wine just afore bottling to "refresh" the wine, or
2. Treating the wine in such a way to retain the dissolved CO2 left over from fermentation, presumable by
keeping it under pressure in a tank.

Is one way preferred/better than the other for retaining dissolved CO2?? Obviously, we know which technique
is more "natural", that CO2 from retained fermentation is somehow "better" than added CO2.

I find, in many cases, that this dissolved CO2 gives the wine an ersatz acidity. That once the CO2 leaves the wine rapidly on the palate,
that "acidity" is no longer there and the wine finishes short. Leaving behind a somewhat vapid wine. I'm just not finding a lot of these
wines I care much for on the palate.
Anyone else noticing this to be an increasing trend in whites??

At a tasting of Austrian wines on Saturday, we had a low-end ($32, compared to their usual $80) Veyder-Malberg Gruner Liebedich '16,
apparently one of the "cult" wines from Austria. It, to me, clearly had dissolved CO2, something nobody else was picking up on until
I pointed it out. The aromas on this wine were perfectly fine. But on the palate, it seemed rather shallow & vapid and didn't have much
in the way of a finish. Even at $20/btl, I would not buy that wine, even if it is a "cult" wine.

I pointed out that using dissolved CO2 in whites, either added at bottling, or retrained from fermentation, is a technique that seems to be
coming more common in white wines. One of the attendees and a wine authority from NYC, immediately jumped on my claim and that
it is forbidden to add CO2 at bottling, but it was allowed to retain dissolved CO2 from fermentation, a so-called "tank" wine. She did
acknowledge that there was definitely dissolved CO2 in the wine, but that it didn't detract from the wines quality, to her palate.
Does anyone know if, in Austria, they are allowed to add CO2 at bottling to "freshen" the wine, or that it is absolutely forbidden??
That only "tank" wines are allowed. I've not been able to find anything on the Net specifically addressing this issue vis a vis dissolved CO2.

And, no, David...this is not a [stirthepothal.gif] or a troll, just sorta curious.
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David M. Bueker


Riesling Guru




Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm



Re: Dissolved CO2 in Austrian & Other White Wines??

by David M. Bueker » Mon May 21, 2018 12:25 pm

Reductive winemaking...been around longer than you.
Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.
- Justice Hugo Black

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