The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.
no avatar
User

Tim York

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

3937

Joined

Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm

Location

near Lisieux, France

WTN: Is this "ox.." "prem.." or normal? An Alsace Riesling.

by Tim York » Wed May 01, 2013 6:17 am

I have read the discussion on premox in Chablis with interest. Victor’s contribution was particularly interesting when he said that aromas of polish were a sign of particularly damaging oxidisation; this is what I got with this bottle.

I have read elsewhere that Alsatian wines seem to be almost as infected by premox as white Burgundies. Previous bottles of this wine were good but 12 years may be pushing for a Riesling from a modest lieu-dit. The cork was leaky with mould on top but the level was still quite good; however, this probably did not help.

So is what I got premox or just normal oxidisation from age?

Alsace Riesling Pfoeller 2001 – Meyer-Fonné, Katzenthal, Alsace – Alc. 13%
This is my TN from almost exactly two years ago -
C: Deep yellow/gold
N: Well developed and fragrant with notes of white fruit and flowers, a slight dab of petrol and a slightly candied burnished note which made me expect a sweeter wine than turned out to be the case.
P: Medium-full in body with good “gras”, mouth-fill, structure and aromatic expression showing minerals, slightly saline backbone and lively acidity which balanced well the RS (I guess 5-7g/l) perceptible towards the clean finish. A very good Riesling; 16/20++.


The only thing that was similar about last night’s bottle was the colour but all the attractive Riesling features had disappeared. Instead the dominant aroma was one of furniture polish. It was not unpleasant but it was not what I want in Alsace Riesling. Germaine disliked it intensely and didn’t finish her first glass. For me, it was drinkable with an overall effect which was quite rich, burnished and slightly sweet with good acidity, if somewhat monochrome. It didn’t work with sea bass but it was much better with cheese and, surprisingly, with rhubarb tart where the sugar in the recipe made the wine seem more lively.
Tim York
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

22420

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm

Location

Connecticut

Re: WTN: Is this "ox.." "prem.." or normal? An Alsace Riesling.

by David M. Bueker » Wed May 01, 2013 9:20 am

While I have seen some oxidized Alsatians, I have not had enough outside of the '96 vintage to reach any thought that it is anything like what is happening with Burgundy. I have seen more problematic reports on Loire Chenin.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
User

Victorwine

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

1674

Joined

Thu May 18, 2006 10:51 pm

Re: WTN: Is this "ox.." "prem.." or normal? An Alsace Riesling.

by Victorwine » Wed May 01, 2013 10:01 am

Hi Tim,
I’m not so sure that researchers have figured out the exact mechanism behind the ATA’s (Atypical Aging aromas and flavors) formation. They have identified some of these aromas but that’s about it. I’m sure they conducted numerous alcoholic fermentations under various conditions, stored wines under various enclosures and conditions, and discovered certain factors might contribute (irrigation, nitrogen and YAN (Yeast Available Nitrogen) concentration, sluggish/ “length” of alcoholic fermentation, temperature, etc.). ATA’s would be any “unwanted”, “undesirable”, “negative” or just “unexpected” flavor or aroma which arose from “premature aging” or a “normal/healthy aging”. (But unlike just “premature oxidation” (alone), I would think the formation and presence of ATA’s would much more quickly “kill” the wine). It is unfortunate wines today seem to age “prematurely”, but in the past before we knew any of this, we just thought of it as “bottle variation”. Tim would you consider “Sherry-like” to be a “normal oxidized wine”?

Salute
no avatar
User

Tim York

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

3937

Joined

Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm

Location

near Lisieux, France

Re: WTN: Is this "ox.." "prem.." or normal? An Alsace Riesling.

by Tim York » Wed May 01, 2013 12:55 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:While I have seen some oxidized Alsatians, I have not had enough outside of the '96 vintage to reach any thought that it is anything like what is happening with Burgundy. I have seen more problematic reports on Loire Chenin.


I tend to regard wax-like flavours as a normal part of the Loire Chenin profile. I mainly associate sherry type oxidised Chenin with Savennières and I don't recall having had one from Vouvray or Montlouis. Additionally old style Savennières producers used to consider oxidative touches as desirable rather in the same way as in old style Jura Chardonnay and Savagnin. However, in the Jura, the voile (flor) technique is used deliberately in some wines to produce an oxidative result and that may have encouraged local tolerance of oxidative hints in "normal" wines; no such excuse applies at Savennières.

Victorwine wrote: Tim would you consider “Sherry-like” to be a “normal oxidized wine”?


"Sherry-like" is one of the most obvious traits of oxidization IMO, both "prem..." and "normal". In determining which (an inexact judgement), I consider the age or the bottle and whether other bottles of the same wine are similar or not. In about 2008, a bottle of Chablis Fourchaume 1996 from Boudin was dark brown and smelled like "off" sherry; another about a year ago was much less dark and combined freshness and complexity - a real delight. I consider the first an obvious case of premox. The line between nutty complexity and sherry-like oxidation is blurred and near the borderline some no doubt call the former as oxidization.

There are all sorts of theories around that bottles appearing oxidized on first opening are not really so. This was a remark from another site where I made the same post -

"And that's if it is oxidised at all. I've got some Cour-Cheverny which tastes initially like your description, but on vigorous airing (shaking in a decanter 4 hours before serving) sorts itself out nicely. You didn't by any chance keep back the half-bottle your other half didn't drink, did you? It maybe worth trying if you have any more bottles."

Unfortunately for experiments, this was my last bottle.

Going one step further, I have even read an "expert", Clive Coates?, suggesting that premox is a passing phase in a bottle of white Burg and that all would come right with more time. There is a similar belief held by local vignerons that certain wine types, e.g. white Hermitage and CndP, mature in a saw edge fashion into and out of oxidative phases. This is ,of course, unprovable :? because offending bottles usually go down the sink and cannot be tried again down the road.
Tim York
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

22420

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm

Location

Connecticut

Re: WTN: Is this "ox.." "prem.." or normal? An Alsace Riesling.

by David M. Bueker » Wed May 01, 2013 2:53 pm

There have been more than a few comments in the wi e web regarding 2002 Huets advancing g faster than they should. I am going to open one this weekend to see how my stash is faring.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
no avatar
User

Fredrik L

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

489

Joined

Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:54 pm

Re: WTN: Is this "ox.." "prem.." or normal? An Alsace Riesling.

by Fredrik L » Wed May 01, 2013 5:48 pm

Tim York wrote:Previous bottles of this wine were good but 12 years may be pushing for a Riesling from a modest lieu-dit.


Why the "may"? :shock:

Greetings from Sweden / Fredrik L
no avatar
User

Andrew Bair

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

929

Joined

Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:16 pm

Location

Massachusetts

Re: WTN: Is this "ox.." "prem.." or normal? An Alsace Riesling.

by Andrew Bair » Wed May 01, 2013 10:53 pm

Fredrik L wrote:
Tim York wrote:Previous bottles of this wine were good but 12 years may be pushing for a Riesling from a modest lieu-dit.


Why the "may"? :shock:

Greetings from Sweden / Fredrik L


I would tend to agree given the producer/site. Meyer-Fonne is usually decent for the price, which is on the lower end for Alsace, but I would most likely have consumed this one by now.
no avatar
User

Tim York

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

3937

Joined

Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm

Location

near Lisieux, France

Re: WTN: Is this "ox.." "prem.." or normal? An Alsace Riesling.

by Tim York » Thu May 02, 2013 5:57 am

Andrew Bair wrote:
Fredrik L wrote:
Tim York wrote:Previous bottles of this wine were good but 12 years may be pushing for a Riesling from a modest lieu-dit.


Why the "may"? :shock:

Greetings from Sweden / Fredrik L


I would tend to agree given the producer/site. Meyer-Fonne is usually decent for the price, which is on the lower end for Alsace, but I would most likely have consumed this one by now.


Andrew, I think that you underestimate Meyer-Fonné. It's true that their prices are more reasonable than the likes of Z-H, Weinbach, Deiss... but I've always been impressed by their quality until this bottle. FWIW the estate is rated ** (max 3) in the RVF annual guide and *** (max 5) in the Bettane/Desseauve guide; these are high ratings and there are not many others in France.

That said, I'll do a search in my cellar for other bottles from M-F and mark out those of, say, 9 years+ for drinking soon.
Tim York
User avatar
User

Bob Parsons Alberta

Rank

aka Doris

Posts

9627

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: WTN: Is this "ox.." "prem.." or normal? An Alsace Riesling.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu May 02, 2013 12:53 pm

Interesting thoughts on Alsace here, an area I have neglected of late. Still have great memories of my visits there in late 90s.
no avatar
User

Oliver McCrum

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

997

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:08 am

Location

Oakland, CA; Cigliè, Piedmont

Re: WTN: Is this "ox.." "prem.." or normal? An Alsace Riesling.

by Oliver McCrum » Thu May 02, 2013 1:52 pm

Random oxidation is always a possibility with cork-finished wines, and the fact that the cork didn't look great suggests that that might be what's going on in this case. The taste and smell of aldehydes is pretty distinctive.
Oliver
Oliver McCrum Wines
User avatar
User

Victorwine

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

1674

Joined

Thu May 18, 2006 10:51 pm

Re: WTN: Is this "ox.." "prem.." or normal? An Alsace Riesling.

by Victorwine » Fri May 03, 2013 8:27 am

Everything that we smell in a glass of wine is an ester, ether and/or aldehyde. Some aldehydes have very pleasant aromas others smell of “death”.

Salute

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot] and 4 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign