Barolo Sediment

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Message
Author
Ron Slye
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 610
Joined: May 4th, 2014, 2:11 pm
Location: Seattle

Barolo Sediment

#1 Post by Ron Slye » September 14th, 2019, 6:15 am

I know there is ample discussion on the board about the detrimental effect of sediment in Barolo. Most recommend standing a bottle up for anywhere from 1-4 weeks to let the fine particles fall to the bottom, then decanting.

My question is whether filtering the wine through a fine coffee filter can accomplish the same thing? In other words, rather than planning weeks in advance, can I pull out an old Barolo and filter it and avoid the bad effects of the sediment on the flavor of the wine?

AAgrawal
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1895
Joined: May 8th, 2010, 7:22 pm

Re: Barolo Sediment

#2 Post by AAgrawal » September 14th, 2019, 7:51 am

The short answer is no. I will usually stand up for > 1 month and decant and still lose 2 oz at the bottom. When I filter those 2 oz through a coffee filter, the sediment disappears but the wine has a notable bitter component from the tannins that remains compared to the rest of the bottle.
A s h i s h A g r a w a l

User avatar
Ian Sutton
Posts: 5279
Joined: March 6th, 2014, 2:19 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Re: Barolo Sediment

#3 Post by Ian Sutton » September 14th, 2019, 8:08 am

I'm in agreement with Ashish.

I'd probably accept it for a younger Barolo/Barbaresco, when less sediment has preciptated out. Not for an older one though.
Normal for Norfolk

Ron Slye
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 610
Joined: May 4th, 2014, 2:11 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Barolo Sediment

#4 Post by Ron Slye » September 14th, 2019, 10:50 am

Thanks Ashish (and Ian), that is exactly what I wanted to know.

User avatar
Jim Anderson
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 5451
Joined: October 20th, 2010, 1:18 pm
Location: Portland/Newberg, Oregon

Re: Barolo Sediment

#5 Post by Jim Anderson » September 14th, 2019, 10:55 am

I would agree here. I think that the coffee filter can be useful if you're nervous about decanting your nicely stood up bottle and at the last second having the collected sediment drop into the decanter thereby somewhat nullifying the effort you have gone through. That's about the only use though, keeping out the mass at the bottom of the bottle.
Co-owner, Patricia Green Cellars

R. Frankel
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1604
Joined: January 24th, 2014, 11:07 pm

Re: Barolo Sediment

#6 Post by R. Frankel » September 14th, 2019, 11:20 am

If you want to understand this better, examine the sediments next time you do this. You’ll see they’re really different from coffee grounds - not very solid at all. Some extremists even like tasting them. I’ve tried it - interesting but not as good as the wine IMHO.
Rich Frankel

User avatar
Sh@n A
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1023
Joined: July 9th, 2018, 8:21 am

Re: Barolo Sediment

#7 Post by Sh@n A » September 14th, 2019, 12:44 pm

I wondered this same thing as I felt a coffee filter seemed to pick up most sediment I could see on an old wine. However, there was a recent Loire Cab Franc that had visible dark swirls of sediment that the coffee filter would not filter out despite repeated passes. What I do now for old nebbiolo is to stand up the wine, pour it through a coffee filter, and pour out the last couple ounces through the filter into a different vessel... so the wine is not lost and can provide a first taste of the wine.
/ @ g r @ \

Nate Simon
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2369
Joined: September 17th, 2009, 8:41 pm

Re: Barolo Sediment

#8 Post by Nate Simon » September 14th, 2019, 1:10 pm

This is a subset of a recurring question, how long to stand a bottle for the sediment to settle adequately. I’ve never seen a shred of real science on the topic.
I find it really hard to believe that it will take more than a few hours for even fine sediment to fall the 10 or 11 inches (at most) to the bottom of a bottle. My personal observations substantiate this.

User avatar
Al Osterheld
Posts: 5466
Joined: March 15th, 2009, 5:47 am
Location: SF Bay

Re: Barolo Sediment

#9 Post by Al Osterheld » September 14th, 2019, 1:26 pm

The settling time depends on the size and density of the particles (this has been studied although not so much specifically for wine). For many wines, the sediment tends to form into fairly large chunks that settle quickly. Very old Nebbiolo (and sometimes Pinot) can have very fine sediment that takes quite a long time to settle. The other issue with Nebbiolo is that the sediment doesn't taste very good. Not sure why the sediment size and taste seems to depend on the variety, but in my experience it does.

-Al

Eric Lundblad
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 1711
Joined: January 28th, 2009, 2:36 pm

Re: Barolo Sediment

#10 Post by Eric Lundblad » September 14th, 2019, 2:11 pm

Ashish's comments are my experience as well. Barolo sediment seems to always be at least somewhat bitter, and sometimes incredibly bitter and nasty (in this case, ruining the bottle for me).

Also, all paper coffee filters add a paper taste...it's better than sediment in the wine, tho coffee filters will let a small bit of sediment through so you'll get both a bit of sediment + papery-ness. If you go this route, my/others experience is Filtropa filters add the least amt of taste. There are the metal ('gold'/etc) mesh coffee filters, but those let significantly more sediment through than paper filters do. One thing I've always wondered but can't verify either way: If you're opening a bottle that has TCA (corkiness) just below the perception limit...will the papery-ness of a coffee filter affect this? Before you roll your eyes at this: lactone, eugenol & guaiacols (all oak flavor compounds) can be below their individual sensory threshold, yet still be perceived in combination (where the combination is above the sensory threshold). Vanillin esp 'benefits' from this effect, and is why some wines appear to have so much vanilla (i.e it doesn't, but the vanilla is being boosted by other 'similar' compounds).
Ladd Cellars
Winemaker & Owner

john stimson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3257
Joined: January 24th, 2010, 8:11 pm
Location: seattle

Re: Barolo Sediment

#11 Post by john stimson » September 14th, 2019, 3:34 pm

Thinking ahead and standing these bottles up a month ahead of time is a real pain in the ass. Then, if the bottle is flawed, not having another properly prepared bottle that has stood for at least a few weeks can be a real problem.
So a strategy that I have developed is in the fall to stand up an array of eligible aged nebbiolos. They can stand all fall and winter and early spring, then be set down again. or you can rotate, so a bottle is only up for a couple of months, then set on it's side again. That way you are never caught short. and there is really no harm at all to have a bottle upright in a proper cellar fro quite a while.

Nate Simon
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2369
Joined: September 17th, 2009, 8:41 pm

Re: Barolo Sediment

#12 Post by Nate Simon » September 14th, 2019, 5:30 pm

john stimson wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 3:34 pm
Thinking ahead and standing these bottles up a month ahead of time is a real pain in the ass. Then, if the bottle is flawed, not having another properly prepared bottle that has stood for at least a few weeks can be a real problem.
So a strategy that I have developed is in the fall to stand up an array of eligible aged nebbiolos. They can stand all fall and winter and early spring, then be set down again. or you can rotate, so a bottle is only up for a couple of months, then set on it's side again. That way you are never caught short. and there is really no harm at all to have a bottle upright in a proper cellar fro quite a while.
John, this is exactly my strategy. I have an “on deck circle,” a wine box in a cool closet, where I place bottles which I plan to open soonish.
Not only does this allow sediment to settle without me worrying about it, but it has also served as a motivation for giving my collection some analysis and thought. In other words, it makes me think about what kind of wine I would like to open in the near future. Once I have a case or two selected, I can grab something almost blindly and be reasonable assured that is something that I want to drink right now.

User avatar
James Dennis
Posts: 508
Joined: November 13th, 2011, 10:15 am
Location: McLean, Va

Re: Barolo Sediment

#13 Post by James Dennis » September 14th, 2019, 5:45 pm

I agree on standing bottles up straight for as long as possible with aged Nebbiolo. I also tend to decant the bottle when opened and then pouring the wine back into the bottle after washing out the sediment. It does add an element of oxidation, but for me that is rarely a problem with Nebbiolo.

User avatar
Otto Forsberg
Posts: 822
Joined: December 28th, 2017, 4:26 am
Location: Finland

Re: Barolo Sediment

#14 Post by Otto Forsberg » September 14th, 2019, 6:31 pm

Nate Simon wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 1:10 pm
This is a subset of a recurring question, how long to stand a bottle for the sediment to settle adequately. I’ve never seen a shred of real science on the topic.
I find it really hard to believe that it will take more than a few hours for even fine sediment to fall the 10 or 11 inches (at most) to the bottom of a bottle. My personal observations substantiate this.
I'm with this camp. I arrange wine tastings every so often and had some tastings with quite old Nebbiolo. Some wines have been standing upright for a months, others only for just 24 hours right after I've moved the wines into the cellar. Since the people tasting the wines never hear how long the wines have been standing upright before the tasting, I've never heard of any complaints of unpleasant deposit or the resulting bitterness.

I do decant the bottles always prior to the tasting, but without any coffee filters or other external aids, save for a metal funnel.

Rob M
Posts: 51
Joined: September 12th, 2017, 12:10 pm

Re: Barolo Sediment

#15 Post by Rob M » September 14th, 2019, 7:18 pm

In my opinion there is no need to stand up the bottles. The far easier method is to buy a wine cradle and retrieve the bottle from the cellar in the cradle and decant with the bottle still in that position. I have never had an issue with sediment with this method.
Rob McLaughlin

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16714
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Barolo Sediment

#16 Post by John Morris » September 14th, 2019, 8:19 pm

AAgrawal wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 7:51 am
The short answer is no. I will usually stand up for > 1 month and decant and still lose 2 oz at the bottom. When I filter those 2 oz through a coffee filter, the sediment disappears but the wine has a notable bitter component from the tannins that remains compared to the rest of the bottle.
+1

I find coffee filters work for sediment from other grapes, like Cabernet and Syrah, to salvage the dregs, and the filtered wine isn't undrinkably bitter. But, as Al and others have said, Nebbiolo sediment is both unusually fine and unpleasantly bitter.
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

User avatar
Al Osterheld
Posts: 5466
Joined: March 15th, 2009, 5:47 am
Location: SF Bay

Re: Barolo Sediment

#17 Post by Al Osterheld » September 14th, 2019, 9:26 pm

FWIW, my experience is certainly not definitive but the old Barolo with problematic sediment that needed special attention were from the 1960s and 1970s, haven't had nearly the same level of issues with Barolo from the 1990s and 2000s. I'm not sure whether it's the age or whether it's from changes in winemaking. Also, I don't worry about oxidation, the very old Barolo wines seem to need it rather than suffering from it.

-Al

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16714
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Barolo Sediment

#18 Post by John Morris » September 14th, 2019, 9:34 pm

Al Osterheld wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 9:26 pm
FWIW, my experience is certainly not definitive but the old Barolo with problematic sediment that needed special attention were from the 1960s and 1970s, haven't had nearly the same level of issues with Barolo from the 1990s and 2000s. I'm not sure whether it's the age or whether it's from changes in winemaking. Also, I don't worry about oxidation, the very old Barolo wines seem to need it rather than suffering from it.

-Al
My experience is the same, and I have the same question.
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

Eric Lundblad
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 1711
Joined: January 28th, 2009, 2:36 pm

Re: Barolo Sediment

#19 Post by Eric Lundblad » September 14th, 2019, 10:52 pm

Rob M wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 7:18 pm
In my opinion there is no need to stand up the bottles. The far easier method is to buy a wine cradle and retrieve the bottle from the cellar in the cradle and decant with the bottle still in that position. I have never had an issue with sediment with this method.
I agree that this is an excellent method, with one caveat on navigating the horizontal transfer from the storage location to the cradle, and removing the horizontal cork...based on the times I've been around for this approach.

Al/John: You're implying that the Barolo 'wars' in the 90s/etc created more bottle sediment?
Ladd Cellars
Winemaker & Owner

User avatar
Ian Sutton
Posts: 5279
Joined: March 6th, 2014, 2:19 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Re: Barolo Sediment

#20 Post by Ian Sutton » September 15th, 2019, 3:35 am

Rob M wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 7:18 pm
In my opinion there is no need to stand up the bottles. The far easier method is to buy a wine cradle and retrieve the bottle from the cellar in the cradle and decant with the bottle still in that position. I have never had an issue with sediment with this method.
That may be true, but you're replacing an effective free solution with a solution that requires the purchase of an expensive wine cradle [scratch.gif]
Normal for Norfolk

User avatar
David Glasser
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6489
Joined: August 16th, 2009, 6:03 pm
Location: Maryland

Re: Barolo Sediment

#21 Post by David Glasser » September 15th, 2019, 4:58 am

Ian Sutton wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 3:35 am
Rob M wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 7:18 pm
In my opinion there is no need to stand up the bottles. The far easier method is to buy a wine cradle and retrieve the bottle from the cellar in the cradle and decant with the bottle still in that position. I have never had an issue with sediment with this method.
That may be true, but you're replacing an effective free solution with a solution that requires the purchase of an expensive wine cradle [scratch.gif]
$35-$60, and it allows you to open one without planning weeks in advance:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/471226701/ ... 6701&frs=1

https://www.etsy.com/listing/387090638/ ... 1-17&frs=1

https://www.etsy.com/listing/257336401/ ... 1-16&frs=1

Eric Lundblad
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 1711
Joined: January 28th, 2009, 2:36 pm

Re: Barolo Sediment

#22 Post by Eric Lundblad » September 15th, 2019, 6:34 am

Considering what a Durand costs, that's cheap!
Ladd Cellars
Winemaker & Owner

Laurent Gibet
Posts: 873
Joined: May 1st, 2010, 9:48 am

Re: Barolo Sediment

#23 Post by Laurent Gibet » September 15th, 2019, 7:06 am

I recently was disappointed by some Barolos, showing curiuos signs of evolution at these ages (soy sauce).
This is here for Bartolo Mascarello 2008 and 2004 :
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=159953&p=2711023&hi ... o#p2711023

Note : wines in magnum and maybe a problem of bottling ?!

In June, same problem with the Barolo Settimo Rocche dell'Annunziata 2009 and even the Barolo Settimo Rocche dell'Annunziata Riserva 2009 (but with much less impact), showing these strange signs of evolution.
This was not the case, for example for the fantastic bright and vivid Mascarello Monprivato 2009, very fresh (flowery, fruity, spicy).
Note that if all the tasters found the Rocche 2009 flawed (soy sauce), some tasters loved the Rocche Riserva 2009.

Can "sediments" be a clue for an explanation ?
www.invinoveritastoulouse.fr

Charles Weiss
Posts: 247
Joined: January 27th, 2011, 6:43 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Barolo Sediment

#24 Post by Charles Weiss » September 15th, 2019, 7:40 am

A few years ago I made a shelf like an angled library bookshelf to hold bottles at an angle such that the bottom of the cork is in contact with the wine and the sediment collects at the bottom of the bottle. Mine is a few feet long and can hold lots of bottles.

User avatar
Eric Egan
Posts: 550
Joined: July 17th, 2016, 6:23 am
Location: North-East England

Re: Barolo Sediment

#25 Post by Eric Egan » September 15th, 2019, 9:07 am

Charles Weiss wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 7:40 am
A few years ago I made a shelf like an angled library bookshelf to hold bottles at an angle such that the bottom of the cork is in contact with the wine and the sediment collects at the bottom of the bottle. Mine is a few feet long and can hold lots of bottles.
Sounds like a sensible idea. I actually store most of my old Barolo (as well as old Rioja) - at least what I think I might drink within the next five years or so - upright so I can open them on shorter notice. I've had bottles that have taken over 3 months to settle after shipping... just no point in taking any chances. Filtering the wine will remove some of the larger sediment but it will still taste pretty nasty.
Composer and Lecturer | UK

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16714
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Barolo Sediment

#26 Post by John Morris » September 15th, 2019, 9:12 am

Eric Lundblad wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 10:52 pm
Al/John: You're implying that the Barolo 'wars' in the 90s/etc created more bottle sediment?
No. What I was saying (and I think Al was) was that wines from the last 20-30 years aren't throwing much sediment. But they aren't old enough yet to know if they'll eventually show sediment like those from the 60s and 70s.

Given that these wines tended to spend more time in cask in the old days, you'd think there would be less sediment in wines from the 60s and 70s. But who knows.
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16714
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Barolo Sediment

#27 Post by John Morris » September 15th, 2019, 9:13 am

Eric Egan wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 9:07 am
Sounds like a sensible idea. I actually store most of my old Barolo (as well as old Rioja) - at least what I think I might drink within the next five years or so - upright so I can open them on shorter notice. I've had bottles that have taken over 3 months to settle after shipping... just no point in taking any chances. Filtering the wine will remove some of the larger sediment but it will still taste pretty nasty.
In my experience, old Rioja usually has little or no sediment, presumably because of the long aging in tanks. (Perhaps it's also due in part to tempranillo.) You can usually transport those and open them without fear of sediment.
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

Laurent Gibet
Posts: 873
Joined: May 1st, 2010, 9:48 am

Re: Barolo Sediment

#28 Post by Laurent Gibet » September 15th, 2019, 9:15 am

John Morris wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 9:13 am
Eric Egan wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 9:07 am
Sounds like a sensible idea. I actually store most of my old Barolo (as well as old Rioja) - at least what I think I might drink within the next five years or so - upright so I can open them on shorter notice. I've had bottles that have taken over 3 months to settle after shipping... just no point in taking any chances. Filtering the wine will remove some of the larger sediment but it will still taste pretty nasty.
In my experience, old Rioja usually has little or no sediment, presumably because of the long aging in tanks. (Perhaps it's also due in part to tempranillo.) You can usually transport those and open them without fear of sediment.
John


How did you read my wondering post ... ?
Did you have 2009 Settimo recently ?
www.invinoveritastoulouse.fr

User avatar
Claus Jeppesen
Posts: 1711
Joined: April 27th, 2010, 2:42 am

Re: Barolo Sediment

#29 Post by Claus Jeppesen » September 15th, 2019, 9:28 am

Claus

Riesling and Slate

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16714
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Barolo Sediment

#30 Post by John Morris » September 15th, 2019, 9:38 am

Laurent Gibet wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 9:15 am
John Morris wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 9:13 am
Eric Egan wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 9:07 am
Sounds like a sensible idea. I actually store most of my old Barolo (as well as old Rioja) - at least what I think I might drink within the next five years or so - upright so I can open them on shorter notice. I've had bottles that have taken over 3 months to settle after shipping... just no point in taking any chances. Filtering the wine will remove some of the larger sediment but it will still taste pretty nasty.
In my experience, old Rioja usually has little or no sediment, presumably because of the long aging in tanks. (Perhaps it's also due in part to tempranillo.) You can usually transport those and open them without fear of sediment.
John


How did you read my wondering post ... ?
Did you have 2009 Settimo recently ?
Great minds . . . . ? [wink.gif]

No, I haven't had any Settimos in a while. They're pretty low on the La Morra slope, where the vineyards generally don't produce vins de garde. Perhaps that was a bad combination with the warm vintage. (That's just speculation.) I never bought any 2009s and have never liked them much, so I don't know if others are going in this direction.
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

Laurent Gibet
Posts: 873
Joined: May 1st, 2010, 9:48 am

Re: Barolo Sediment

#31 Post by Laurent Gibet » September 15th, 2019, 9:54 am

Thank you, John

Burlotto, MT Mascarello, G. Mascarello ... produced great 2009 ...
Rocche is supposed to be a great terroir.

Cellatracker ratings however are good for Settimo 2009.
www.invinoveritastoulouse.fr

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16714
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Barolo Sediment

#32 Post by John Morris » September 15th, 2019, 10:29 am

Settimo's wines are not widely available in the US. Most of mine I've bought in London or Vancouver.
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

john stimson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3257
Joined: January 24th, 2010, 8:11 pm
Location: seattle

Re: Barolo Sediment

#33 Post by john stimson » September 15th, 2019, 10:32 am

Claus Jeppesen wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 9:28 am
https://vinous.com/multimedia/siphoning ... m-apr-2013
Again a link to this awesome video
?Rubber surgical tubing? makes me a little nervous.

Wes Barton
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3590
Joined: January 29th, 2009, 3:54 am

Re: Barolo Sediment

#34 Post by Wes Barton » September 15th, 2019, 11:17 am

john stimson wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 10:32 am
Claus Jeppesen wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 9:28 am
https://vinous.com/multimedia/siphoning ... m-apr-2013
Again a link to this awesome video
?Rubber surgical tubing? makes me a little nervous.
Yeah, he said plastic, but it sure looks like surgical tubing. One can easily buy food grade plastic tubing for this. Small scale (carboy) beer and wine making supply. Stainless tube with a sediment cap inside the bottle, tubing from there.
ITB - Useless lackey

"I've acquired enough wine to seduce an elephant." - Jennifer Robin

Wes Barton
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3590
Joined: January 29th, 2009, 3:54 am

Re: Barolo Sediment

#35 Post by Wes Barton » September 15th, 2019, 11:21 am

Al Osterheld wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 9:26 pm
FWIW, my experience is certainly not definitive but the old Barolo with problematic sediment that needed special attention were from the 1960s and 1970s, haven't had nearly the same level of issues with Barolo from the 1990s and 2000s. I'm not sure whether it's the age or whether it's from changes in winemaking. Also, I don't worry about oxidation, the very old Barolo wines seem to need it rather than suffering from it.

-Al
Being well aware of this bitter sediment issue, I very carefully decanted a '64 Bersano earlier this year before bringing it to a Berserker OL. The thing is, there was no fine sediment at all. Just dense crystalline chunks. The wine was good, but not mind blowing. A little tired and "past its prime". So, when I brought a bottle to our 4th of July party, I didn't bother to decant (shining a light through the bottle showed the same lack of free sediment). Pop-n-poured, it was lively and highly impressive.

Clearly an exception to the rule, but interesting. There seems to be something about Neb that usually prevents tannin chains from forming. Does tartaric acid play a role? (Short tannin chains are what we perceive as that particularly nasty bitterness.)
ITB - Useless lackey

"I've acquired enough wine to seduce an elephant." - Jennifer Robin

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16714
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Barolo Sediment

#36 Post by John Morris » September 15th, 2019, 11:27 am

Interesting. Thanks, Wes. I wonder if the wine was kept for a Rioja-like period in cask.
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

Wes Barton
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3590
Joined: January 29th, 2009, 3:54 am

Re: Barolo Sediment

#37 Post by Wes Barton » September 15th, 2019, 11:48 am

Laurent Gibet wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 7:06 am
I recently was disappointed by some Barolos, showing curiuos signs of evolution at these ages (soy sauce).
This is here for Bartolo Mascarello 2008 and 2004 :
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=159953&p=2711023&hi ... o#p2711023

Note : wines in magnum and maybe a problem of bottling ?!

In June, same problem with the Barolo Settimo Rocche dell'Annunziata 2009 and even the Barolo Settimo Rocche dell'Annunziata Riserva 2009 (but with much less impact), showing these strange signs of evolution.
This was not the case, for example for the fantastic bright and vivid Mascarello Monprivato 2009, very fresh (flowery, fruity, spicy).
Note that if all the tasters found the Rocche 2009 flawed (soy sauce), some tasters loved the Rocche Riserva 2009.

Can "sediments" be a clue for an explanation ?
My take on traditionalist vs modernist:

Traditionalist is rustic, no frills. Time has shown the great terroir and this grape stand up to this, overcome it, with decades of aging.

Modernist: Trying to "resolve" issues of tannin and acid by recklessly mimicking "modern" wines from elsewhere. Very trial and error. We're now seeing some of those wines they were mimicking, who were sort of doing the same thing, not age well. Some of these may be great, many clearly aren't.

Current: Some producers' test batches have blown away their excellent standard wine.
ITB - Useless lackey

"I've acquired enough wine to seduce an elephant." - Jennifer Robin

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16714
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Barolo Sediment

#38 Post by John Morris » September 15th, 2019, 12:01 pm

Except in this case, Settimo has been very traditional.
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

User avatar
Al Osterheld
Posts: 5466
Joined: March 15th, 2009, 5:47 am
Location: SF Bay

Re: Barolo Sediment

#39 Post by Al Osterheld » September 15th, 2019, 12:05 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 11:21 am
Al Osterheld wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 9:26 pm
FWIW, my experience is certainly not definitive but the old Barolo with problematic sediment that needed special attention were from the 1960s and 1970s, haven't had nearly the same level of issues with Barolo from the 1990s and 2000s. I'm not sure whether it's the age or whether it's from changes in winemaking. Also, I don't worry about oxidation, the very old Barolo wines seem to need it rather than suffering from it.

-Al
Being well aware of this bitter sediment issue, I very carefully decanted a '64 Bersano earlier this year before bringing it to a Berserker OL. The thing is, there was no fine sediment at all. Just dense crystalline chunks. The wine was good, but not mind blowing. A little tired and "past its prime". So, when I brought a bottle to our 4th of July party, I didn't bother to decant (shining a light through the bottle showed the same lack of free sediment). Pop-n-poured, it was lively and highly impressive.

Clearly an exception to the rule, but interesting. There seems to be something about Neb that usually prevents tannin chains from forming. Does tartaric acid play a role? (Short tannin chains are what we perceive as that particularly nasty bitterness.)
It's a mystery (to me, at least) why some wines develop the really fine sediment and some don't even if some varieties seem more prone to it. FWIW, old Burgudies can also have really fine sediment, although it generally does not have the bitter flavor issue.

-Al

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16714
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Barolo Sediment

#40 Post by John Morris » September 15th, 2019, 12:43 pm

That fine pinot sediment isn't as bad as nebbiolo, but I've had the misfortune to be served a number of old Burgundies that people have brought to dinners via the subway. Sadly, the wines were often bitter, though sometimes, if we nursed the bottle long enough, they clarified in the bottle or decanter and began to show their real selves. I've wanted to scream, "You idiot!"
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

User avatar
Keith Levenberg
Posts: 5415
Joined: June 6th, 2009, 3:11 pm
Location: Washington, D.C.

Re: Barolo Sediment

#41 Post by Keith Levenberg » September 15th, 2019, 5:25 pm

You don't have to keep a bottle upright to decant off its sediment. As soon as you start pouring the bottle, you've just put the thing on its side anyway, so what was the point of standing it up for a month? Just take the bottle from the cellar, decant slowly and carefully, and you'll get it off the sediment just as well as if it had been upright. If you want to be extra-precious about it, you can transfer it directly from side storage to a bottle cradle and uncork it there so it stays in a similar resting position the entire time, but it's not really necessary.

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16714
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Barolo Sediment

#42 Post by John Morris » September 15th, 2019, 7:06 pm

That doesn't work with Nebbiolo, Keith, and sometimes not with Pinot. They can have very fine, suspended sediment that takes a very long time to settle. It's completely different from cab or Syrah sediment.
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

User avatar
Keith Levenberg
Posts: 5415
Joined: June 6th, 2009, 3:11 pm
Location: Washington, D.C.

Re: Barolo Sediment

#43 Post by Keith Levenberg » September 15th, 2019, 7:39 pm

Works with any wine. The sediment is perfectly settled on the side of the bottle, which is the bottom of the bottle when the bottle is on its side, which is the position you're pouring from.

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16714
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham

Re: Barolo Sediment

#44 Post by John Morris » September 15th, 2019, 8:05 pm

How old a wine are you talking about?
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

“Only he who has walked through the deepest valley knows how other valleys of lesser depth are relatively more walk-throughable, valley-wise.” – @TheTweetOfGod

User avatar
Keith Levenberg
Posts: 5415
Joined: June 6th, 2009, 3:11 pm
Location: Washington, D.C.

Re: Barolo Sediment

#45 Post by Keith Levenberg » September 15th, 2019, 8:44 pm

Anywhere from zero to a hundred years old or so

john stimson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3257
Joined: January 24th, 2010, 8:11 pm
Location: seattle

Re: Barolo Sediment

#46 Post by john stimson » September 15th, 2019, 9:23 pm

The problem I have with this is when the sediment is on the entire side of the bottle, you are pouring the wine across it, so there's a long stretch of sediment that is exposed to flowing wine. For most wines this doesn't make much of a difference, as the sediments are coarser and tend to tack down. But wines with fine sediment are easily stirred up, and to me this is an inferior method. If the sediment is settled at the bottom, when you carefully decant, it is a long time before the wine from the bottom gets to the neck. If you are a careful decanter, you stop at that time.

User avatar
Keith Levenberg
Posts: 5415
Joined: June 6th, 2009, 3:11 pm
Location: Washington, D.C.

Re: Barolo Sediment

#47 Post by Keith Levenberg » September 15th, 2019, 10:01 pm

Doesn't matter how fine the sediment is, if gravity is capable of settling it on the bottom of the bottle, it's also capable of keeping it on the underside of the bottle when the bottle is in a sideways position being poured. By contrast, if you're worried about disturbing fine sediment, what do you think happens when a bottle with a heap of sediment around the punt is turned sideways for pouring? Sediment avalanche!

User avatar
David Glasser
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6489
Joined: August 16th, 2009, 6:03 pm
Location: Maryland

Re: Barolo Sediment

#48 Post by David Glasser » September 16th, 2019, 4:47 am

In my experience, when loose sediment is collected in the bottom of the bottle, the "avalanche" doesn’t reach the opening until all but the last few ounces are poured. When it’s layered along the side of the bottle, it will also stay put until the last few ounces as long as it hasn’t been disturbed by standing the bottle upright during the process of retrieving it from the cellar and opening it.

When you stand up an old Barolo, the sediment is disturbed and can take weeks to resettle. I’ve always wondered why.

Barolo isn’t noticeably thicker than other wines, so the liquid itself shouldn’t offer more resistance to settling. The sediment particles seem smaller than those in other varieties, so they shouldn’t offer a greater surface area to slow their descent. Are the particles flat rather than round, making them slower to settle? Could it be that the sediment's specific gravity is lower and closer to that of the wine than in other varieties?

James Billy
Posts: 939
Joined: November 10th, 2016, 6:53 pm

Re: Barolo Sediment

#49 Post by James Billy » September 16th, 2019, 4:57 am

Is fine sediment due to wines having less color pigmentation, (one of the building blocks of sediment?

Rob M
Posts: 51
Joined: September 12th, 2017, 12:10 pm

Re: Barolo Sediment

#50 Post by Rob M » September 16th, 2019, 5:51 am

Ian Sutton wrote:
September 15th, 2019, 3:35 am
Rob M wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 7:18 pm
In my opinion there is no need to stand up the bottles. The far easier method is to buy a wine cradle and retrieve the bottle from the cellar in the cradle and decant with the bottle still in that position. I have never had an issue with sediment with this method.
That may be true, but you're replacing an effective free solution with a solution that requires the purchase of an expensive wine cradle [scratch.gif]
As David points out wine cradles are cheap (I think I got mine for ~$40 on Amazon? Nothing fancy, but it works), which is what, maybe 1/4th or less of what a single bottle of typical aged Nebbiolo I'm opening costs? And it allows me to open any aged Nebbiolo I have in the cellar at a moment's notice without taking up any space. I'm living in a NY apartment where my onsite storage is a Eurocave, and I have either no space or very limited space within the fridge to stand up bottles, depending on how full it is. So for me at least there is no other option.
Rob McLaughlin

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”