Question about sweet tobacco/cigar box notes in Bordeaux

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Wes Barton
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Re: Question about sweet tobacco/cigar box notes in Bordeaux

#51 Post by Wes Barton » June 29th, 2020, 11:11 pm

Rory K. wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 6:01 pm
Perhaps I'm misinterpreting the aroma, but I frequently find a lovely sweet tobacco note in red wines outside of Bordeaux too, like in Brunello, and some Chianti. In my case it is not, to address Mel's point above, a euphemism for leafy/stemmy, but very much like a sweet pipe or rolling tobacco. Usually reminds me of the golden Virginia tobacco I used to roll in college, the smell of it before it was smoked of course, not the ashtray!
Definitely. I've gotten it in CA Sangios, too.
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Wes Barton
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Re: Question about sweet tobacco/cigar box notes in Bordeaux

#52 Post by Wes Barton » June 29th, 2020, 11:31 pm

Mel Knox wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 6:29 pm
One word of caution: when you generalize about winemaking and winemakers, you're invariably wrong. There are so many different choices to make, people are going to make different ones and get different results, esp with different grapes! Who knew?
Absolutely. And you can figure out what practices make a great wine from one site, try to replicate that, and fail miserably. There are so many variables. We've seen big failures, where a practice fine tuned for one set of conditions is blindly mimicked elsewhere and doesn't work so well. We've seen failures where people try treating one grape variety like another <ahem> <California Sangiovese> <cough> <cough>. We also see fine tuning, like where producers treat adjacent rows of different Pinot clones very differently.
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Otto Forsberg
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Re: Question about sweet tobacco/cigar box notes in Bordeaux

#53 Post by Otto Forsberg » June 30th, 2020, 12:10 am

Wes Barton wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 3:57 pm
But, considering all the complaints about "toasty oak", there's a reason we don't see much lighter than "medium plus". Oak is harsh and green without enough toast.
I'm guessing you mean that you don't see. I've had several wines made in virtually untoasted and very lightly toasted barrels. Oak is definitely harsh without toast, but it's not green. It can be very woody, though.

Oak can be green if it isn't seasoned properly, but those green notes aren't methoxypyrazines. Those are lactones and terpenes that can give piney and dill notes to wine. Very different from pyrazines.
Mel Knox wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 6:29 pm
Most of my barrel research stuff is at the office, but I don't recall pyrazines as being a compound in oak.
This was my understanding as well.

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