Smoke taint 2020...

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Roy Piper
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#301 Post by Roy Piper » September 26th, 2020, 11:37 am

Al Osterheld wrote:
September 26th, 2020, 10:54 am
FWIW, I think the taint would be more of a taste and retronasal thing at this point than a smell. Enzymes in your saliva can break down the glycosides and free some of the volatile phenolic compounds. Some of them also break down as the wine ferments although I think the amount depends on the pH.

In 2008, I think most of the smoke tainted wine that was sold had been treated to reduce the level of the taint, then it came back as more of the glycosides broke down. I don't think the wineries understood it could come back.

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Yes and yes. Pinot wineries took one for the team in 2008. In 2017, Cab producers did. This year pretty much all of NorCal is in the same boat.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#302 Post by John Morris » September 26th, 2020, 1:12 pm

The Wine Institute is playing down the problem, though they concede it's a potential issue in Napa and Sonoma.

I'm not sure how much consolation serious wine lovers till take from this part:
Cities such as Paso Robles, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Lodi and Fresno appear to be positioned in better shape from waging wildfires in addition to Central Valley, the Sierra Foothills and Butte County, Horiuchi added.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#303 Post by Eric Lundblad » September 26th, 2020, 10:15 pm

GregP wrote:
September 25th, 2020, 6:39 pm
Even I, ever skeptical and sarcastic one, underestimated the spin already taking place.

RE: "The industry no longer calls it smoke taint as some palates such as my own prefer and seek out the ash taste in wine, so it can be a positive," says Sally Murdoch, communications manager for the Oregon Wine Board. "We now refer to it as smoke-impacted grapes or smoke-affected grapes."

Once a new moniker has been advanced you simply know what's coming. Not picking on OR, a hack in CA said pretty much same thing yesterday (see my post above). Have no idea how these people got and hold their jobs. Neither represents honest and ethical wineries/winemakers, IMO.
Ever since putting wine in Whiskey Barrels became a thing, maybe wine made with 'smoke enhanced grapes' isn't so far down the road? Hopefully not tho.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#304 Post by Wes Barton » September 27th, 2020, 1:28 am

Eric Lundblad wrote:
September 26th, 2020, 10:15 pm
GregP wrote:
September 25th, 2020, 6:39 pm
Even I, ever skeptical and sarcastic one, underestimated the spin already taking place.

RE: "The industry no longer calls it smoke taint as some palates such as my own prefer and seek out the ash taste in wine, so it can be a positive," says Sally Murdoch, communications manager for the Oregon Wine Board. "We now refer to it as smoke-impacted grapes or smoke-affected grapes."

Once a new moniker has been advanced you simply know what's coming. Not picking on OR, a hack in CA said pretty much same thing yesterday (see my post above). Have no idea how these people got and hold their jobs. Neither represents honest and ethical wineries/winemakers, IMO.
Ever since putting wine in Whiskey Barrels became a thing, maybe wine made with 'smoke enhanced grapes' isn't so far down the road? Hopefully not tho.
Do you like wine? Do you like Scotch? How about a smoky peated Pinot Noir?
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#305 Post by timmy roos » September 27th, 2020, 9:10 am

Does the tainted wine placed in barrels effect the barrels downstream? I’m thinking of market for neutral barrels and other uses besides flower pots
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#306 Post by Tom Chen » September 30th, 2020, 10:04 am

Sad to report that Shafer just announced no 2020 vintage.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#307 Post by PeterH » September 30th, 2020, 10:15 am

I got an e-mail today from a Willamette Valley winery saying that some of their grapes tested positive for smoke taint.
They said that the non-tainted grapes were in excellent condition.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#308 Post by Juliec » September 30th, 2020, 10:24 am

The good thing is that most of Wb’s have fully stocked cellars and can continue to support our favorite CA and OR (and WA and other states =) to help them through the gap - with their 2017-2019 sales. Definitely different if wines didn’t take so long to create.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#309 Post by larry schaffer » September 30th, 2020, 12:40 pm

Such tragic news all around - and I have to believe others will announce that they will not harvest as well.

We have been fortunate down here in SB County - and many of our grapes are headed up north to regions that have been adversely affected.

Cheers.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#310 Post by Karl F » September 30th, 2020, 3:52 pm

Is there a thread that talks about all the fire impact on the different wineries?
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#311 Post by Brian Tuite » September 30th, 2020, 4:05 pm

Karl F wrote:
September 30th, 2020, 3:52 pm
Is there a thread that talks about all the fire impact on the different wineries?
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=173530
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#312 Post by Jeff_M. » October 8th, 2020, 1:21 pm

Question for any ITB, have you gotten lab test results back on your grapes yet? Curious to see how the August fires may have impacted this year's harvest. Please note, I am not trolling or trying to stir anything up. I am legitimately asking how things look. We want you all to succeed so we can enjoy the wine.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#313 Post by larry schaffer » October 8th, 2020, 1:33 pm

Jeff_M. wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 1:21 pm
Question for any ITB, have you gotten lab test results back on your grapes yet? Curious to see how the August fires may have impacted this year's harvest. Please note, I am not trolling or trying to stir anything up. I am legitimately asking how things look. We want you all to succeed so we can enjoy the wine.
It'll be interesting if any winemaker does jump on here to say that they have. We all assume that there have been plenty of positives, but there are also 'levels' that some may feel are 'still okay' to work with.

I know of a few producers down here that have done micro ferments with grapes from Napa/Sonoma and have had 'issues'. I also know of one winery down here who has rejected fruit from a specific vineyard down here that had a grass fire right next to their block of grapes in August - and the smoke remained around the block for awhile . . .

Cheers.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#314 Post by timmy roos » October 8th, 2020, 3:33 pm

We have not received test results back yet. I am a grower not winemaker. Submitted around sept 2
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#315 Post by Drew Goin » October 8th, 2020, 3:37 pm

Can smoke-tainted grapes be used in a distilled spirit - like brandy?

I read an article asserting so. However, the growers could never reclaim costs of farming in fine wine regions (presumably), and demand for grapes used in spirits surely wouldn't cover the volume of affected produce...?

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#316 Post by Merrill Lindquist » October 8th, 2020, 4:00 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 1:33 pm
Jeff_M. wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 1:21 pm
Question for any ITB, have you gotten lab test results back on your grapes yet? Curious to see how the August fires may have impacted this year's harvest. Please note, I am not trolling or trying to stir anything up. I am legitimately asking how things look. We want you all to succeed so we can enjoy the wine.
It'll be interesting if any winemaker does jump on here to say that they have. We all assume that there have been plenty of positives, but there are also 'levels' that some may feel are 'still okay' to work with.

I know of a few producers down here that have done micro ferments with grapes from Napa/Sonoma and have had 'issues'. I also know of one winery down here who has rejected fruit from a specific vineyard down here that had a grass fire right next to their block of grapes in August - and the smoke remained around the block for awhile . . .

Cheers.
I am in. Total disclosure coming, but the labs are backed up and don't expect to see it tomorrow. One curious thing is that I have HEARD that ETS gave a winery a lab report that showed any taint was within acceptable results, but the winery said it was not within their acceptable results. A lot of fun going on....
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#317 Post by Wes Barton » October 8th, 2020, 5:17 pm

Drew Goin wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 3:37 pm
Can smoke-tainted grapes be used in a distilled spirit - like brandy?

I read an article asserting so. However, the growers could never reclaim costs of farming in fine wine regions (presumably), and demand for grapes used in spirits surely wouldn't cover the volume of affected produce...?
Where's our resident chemist? I'm sure you could distill it down to ethanol (aka vodka). Good for getting a penny on the dollars. The question is if you could distill out all the various smoke compounds and retain aromatics for a special brandy. Not sure, but a distiller should know.

A problem related to that i our alcohol laws. It's different permitting. I remember Leal was doing spirits. They had to have a separate facility to make, pour and sell it. Not legal to do any of those three things in the winery. (At least that was my understanding.)
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#318 Post by Greg Malcolm » October 8th, 2020, 8:01 pm

PeterH wrote:
September 30th, 2020, 10:15 am
I got an e-mail today from a Willamette Valley winery saying that some of their grapes tested positive for smoke taint.
They said that the non-tainted grapes were in excellent condition.
I just received an e-mail from Lemelson Vineyards, in the Willamette Valley saying that they would not be releasing any Pinot Noir from the 2020 vintage, due to smoke.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#319 Post by Alan Rath » October 8th, 2020, 8:49 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 5:17 pm
Drew Goin wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 3:37 pm
Can smoke-tainted grapes be used in a distilled spirit - like brandy?

I read an article asserting so. However, the growers could never reclaim costs of farming in fine wine regions (presumably), and demand for grapes used in spirits surely wouldn't cover the volume of affected produce...?
Where's our resident chemist? I'm sure you could distill it down to ethanol (aka vodka). Good for getting a penny on the dollars. The question is if you could distill out all the various smoke compounds and retain aromatics for a special brandy. Not sure, but a distiller should know.

A problem related to that i our alcohol laws. It's different permitting. I remember Leal was doing spirits. They had to have a separate facility to make, pour and sell it. Not legal to do any of those three things in the winery. (At least that was my understanding.)
The last time I did a distillation was in O-chem lab decades ago lol. But thinking about it from the perspective of how peated whiskey is made, the smoke notes are in the mash even before fermentation, so obviously survive the distillation process. Whiskey presumably has much higher concentration of smoke aroma compounds than most smoke tainted wine, so maybe distillation would pass enough less that it would be tolerable in a brandy. But that’s complete speculation.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#320 Post by Brian Tuite » October 9th, 2020, 5:49 am

Drew Goin wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 3:37 pm
Can smoke-tainted grapes be used in a distilled spirit - like brandy?

I read an article asserting so. However, the growers could never reclaim costs of farming in fine wine regions (presumably), and demand for grapes used in spirits surely wouldn't cover the volume of affected produce...?
They can still be used to make wine and will. I was talking to a Vineyard Manager last Friday asking him how bad it was and he say they picked 400 tons of Cab in Napa the prior day. That was the 800 AQI day in St Helena. He said they have buyers. 😮 It can be spun out but obviously will not produce as good of a wine.

On the flip side you can expect a number of small growers to go belly up as this loss is not sustainable.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#321 Post by Andrew Demaree » October 9th, 2020, 2:39 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
October 9th, 2020, 5:49 am
On the flip side you can expect a number of small growers to go belly up as this loss is not sustainable.
I’m sure you’re right, but it still pains me to read this. Small growers and small wineries are really the only ones that hold any interest for me. The personal connection and gratification of supporting a small business is a big draw.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#322 Post by Merrill Lindquist » October 9th, 2020, 3:50 pm

I would not expect the real pinch to be felt until 2022, when the 2020 vintage will be released. If a small winery does not have the wine to sell, that's when the financial trouble begins.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#323 Post by ChrisJames » October 9th, 2020, 4:27 pm

Greg Malcolm wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 8:01 pm
PeterH wrote:
September 30th, 2020, 10:15 am
I got an e-mail today from a Willamette Valley winery saying that some of their grapes tested positive for smoke taint.
They said that the non-tainted grapes were in excellent condition.
I just received an e-mail from Lemelson Vineyards, in the Willamette Valley saying that they would not be releasing any Pinot Noir from the 2020 vintage, due to smoke.
I'm not familiar with this producer, but I just looked them up and they make wine from Yamhill-Carlton, Dundee, and Chehalem AVAs. No Pinot Noir at all? [shock.gif]

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#324 Post by Brian Tuite » October 9th, 2020, 6:09 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
October 9th, 2020, 3:50 pm
I would not expect the real pinch to be felt until 2022, when the 2020 vintage will be released. If a small winery does not have the wine to sell, that's when the financial trouble begins.
I’m referring more to a grower who relies on the fruit sales in order to make ends meet. Big mortgage on the property, no crop insurance, clients won’t take fruit unless it tests out, test results still not back, fruit overripe.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#325 Post by Merrill Lindquist » October 9th, 2020, 6:21 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
October 9th, 2020, 6:09 pm
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
October 9th, 2020, 3:50 pm
I would not expect the real pinch to be felt until 2022, when the 2020 vintage will be released. If a small winery does not have the wine to sell, that's when the financial trouble begins.
I’m referring more to a grower who relies on the fruit sales in order to make ends meet. Big mortgage on the property, no crop insurance, clients won’t take fruit unless it tests out, test results still not back, fruit overripe.
You are correct. You mentioned growers, then Andy mentioned both growers and small wineries. The pinch will be felt immediately for growers; it will be 2 years for small wineries.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#326 Post by J a y H a c k » October 10th, 2020, 7:10 am

Andrew Demaree wrote:
October 9th, 2020, 2:39 pm
Brian Tuite wrote:
October 9th, 2020, 5:49 am
On the flip side you can expect a number of small growers to go belly up as this loss is not sustainable.
I’m sure you’re right, but it still pains me to read this. Small growers and small wineries are really the only ones that hold any interest for me. The personal connection and gratification of supporting a small business is a big draw.
Agreed.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#327 Post by Patrick T a y l o r » October 10th, 2020, 7:22 am

O'Shaughnessy is not releasing a 2020 vintage. But at least the winery was saved, twice. Hope the worst of it is over.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#328 Post by MatthewT » October 10th, 2020, 8:40 am

Di Costanzo:

Our 2020 vintage wasn't what we had hoped. It is too soon to know the full story. but we can say that we won't be making very much wine this year, due to smoke damage. It's a hard loss, but we have the great fortune to look at what we have now (a healthy family, and 2018 and 2019 wines that are the best we've ever made) and the strength to look to the future (because there's always another vintage. 2021, you're on in five.)

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#329 Post by Casey Hartlip » October 15th, 2020, 5:38 pm

I'm still waiting to hear from clients to get some direction. So far I've heard that wineries are waiting for the wines to be fully fermented and will then send off for labs.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#330 Post by Merrill Lindquist » October 15th, 2020, 5:50 pm

Yep.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#331 Post by Jim Anderson » October 16th, 2020, 9:41 am

Casey Hartlip wrote:
October 15th, 2020, 5:38 pm
I'm still waiting to hear from clients to get some direction. So far I've heard that wineries are waiting for the wines to be fully fermented and will then send off for labs.
The smoke taint testing issue, especially up in Oregon, would be easily compared to Covid testing. Not enough capacity, labs backed up, non-certified labs offering testing but usually with different and less reliable methodologies, etc. In general testing was not available in any sort of real world/real time manner as to be useful. Only left to plow ahead and do what one could and get testing later on if only to justify what you already know. Also, like Covid, the impacts are unpredictable.

We still have work to do and will produce some wine in 2020 but certainly not in the way we normally do. Was going to be a great vintage. Ripeness was nice and easy and the bio-chem make up of the grapes was superlative. It’s extremely disheartening.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#332 Post by Al Osterheld » October 16th, 2020, 11:06 am

Sorry to hear, definitely a big impact in a business like wine making (or growing). Hope most of you make it through okay and live to wine another day/year/decade.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#333 Post by timmy roos » October 16th, 2020, 1:39 pm

There is a lab in la that is promising 3 day results. We are still waiting results from our test I first days of September
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#334 Post by GregP » October 16th, 2020, 5:24 pm

I cancelled the 2 samples I submitted, one on Aug 25, and the second one on Sept 3. Why? The Aug. 25 one was promised to be back in 10 days. That date was then "updated" sans any notification, and next promised to me date was set as Sept. 10. The head cheese at ETS himself GUARANTEED the Sept. 10 return date to me in a phone call lasting 15 minutes or so, as well as an email.

That date, then, was also updated, sans any notification again (see the pattern developing?) and Sept. 11 was showing on our account. The date, as one would have guessed by now, was also missed. hus, my request that ETS discard both of our samples since "the check is in the mail" was simply not working for us timing wise.

Did I receive an apology of any sort? No, Sir. I received a brass balls email reply SHAMING ME (!!!) for discarding the samples, as the ETS head cheese put it, "(Aug. 25) is in the process right now". On Sept. 12. Never mind that this was after 3 different dates given to me were already missed and this beyond hutzpa reply to me didn't even mention when this new "in the process" BS is set to be delievred. No date, nada, simply SHAMING ME for their, hmmm, let's call it "miscommunication". Or, in Brooklyn parlance, utter BS and crap. They are basically charging money for thousands of samples that have absolutely no relevance by the time they are returned.

Hopefully, that moved at least 2 other samples for others closer to "in the process".

No test results for us, but the 2 micro ferments showed smoke taint. Nowhere near what I smelled in some others from other AVAs and vineyards, but more than enough to make the decision for us, ETS results or not.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#335 Post by Roy Piper » October 16th, 2020, 9:07 pm

timmy roos wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 9:10 am
Does the tainted wine placed in barrels effect the barrels downstream? I’m thinking of market for neutral barrels and other uses besides flower pots
No one knows but I will not be reusing any barrels in the future if any wine that touches them turn out tainted.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#336 Post by Fred Scherrer » October 17th, 2020, 5:59 pm

Roy Piper wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 9:07 pm
timmy roos wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 9:10 am
Does the tainted wine placed in barrels effect the barrels downstream? I’m thinking of market for neutral barrels and other uses besides flower pots
No one knows but I will not be reusing any barrels in the future if any wine that touches them turn out tainted.
After bottling one small lot of highly affected 2008 Pinot Noir (called 'Black Lightnin') and reading in some Aussie technical paper about the new wood adsorbing and bonding tightly to the smoke-derived volatile phenols around that time, I reused the newest ones for a successive vintage with no carryover whatsoever. It was just a few barrels so I didn't mind potentially leaning into the punch.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#337 Post by timmy roos » October 18th, 2020, 8:16 am

Thanks Fred
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#338 Post by Rohit B » October 18th, 2020, 12:09 pm

Greg Malcolm wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 8:01 pm
PeterH wrote:
September 30th, 2020, 10:15 am
I got an e-mail today from a Willamette Valley winery saying that some of their grapes tested positive for smoke taint.
They said that the non-tainted grapes were in excellent condition.
I just received an e-mail from Lemelson Vineyards, in the Willamette Valley saying that they would not be releasing any Pinot Noir from the 2020 vintage, due to smoke.
What a shame. Really enjoy Lemelson's PNs.
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Roy Piper
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#339 Post by Roy Piper » October 18th, 2020, 12:53 pm

Fred Scherrer wrote:
October 17th, 2020, 5:59 pm
Roy Piper wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 9:07 pm
timmy roos wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 9:10 am
Does the tainted wine placed in barrels effect the barrels downstream? I’m thinking of market for neutral barrels and other uses besides flower pots
No one knows but I will not be reusing any barrels in the future if any wine that touches them turn out tainted.
After bottling one small lot of highly affected 2008 Pinot Noir (called 'Black Lightnin') and reading in some Aussie technical paper about the new wood adsorbing and bonding tightly to the smoke-derived volatile phenols around that time, I reused the newest ones for a successive vintage with no carryover whatsoever. It was just a few barrels so I didn't mind potentially leaning into the punch.
That's good to know. Because some wineries are worrying that their wood TANKS might have absorbed taint, and even the concrete ones, especially if the fire got close.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#340 Post by Marc Hauser » October 18th, 2020, 1:03 pm

Fred Scherrer wrote:
October 17th, 2020, 5:59 pm
Roy Piper wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 9:07 pm
timmy roos wrote:
September 27th, 2020, 9:10 am
Does the tainted wine placed in barrels effect the barrels downstream? I’m thinking of market for neutral barrels and other uses besides flower pots
No one knows but I will not be reusing any barrels in the future if any wine that touches them turn out tainted.
After bottling one small lot of highly affected 2008 Pinot Noir (called 'Black Lightnin') and reading in some Aussie technical paper about the new wood adsorbing and bonding tightly to the smoke-derived volatile phenols around that time, I reused the newest ones for a successive vintage with no carryover whatsoever. It was just a few barrels so I didn't mind potentially leaning into the punch.
I remember this wine. It was quite tasty. It was definitely different, but still good juice.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#341 Post by Fred Scherrer » October 19th, 2020, 10:23 am

Roy Piper wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 12:53 pm
Fred Scherrer wrote:
October 17th, 2020, 5:59 pm
Roy Piper wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 9:07 pm


No one knows but I will not be reusing any barrels in the future if any wine that touches them turn out tainted.
After bottling one small lot of highly affected 2008 Pinot Noir (called 'Black Lightnin') and reading in some Aussie technical paper about the new wood adsorbing and bonding tightly to the smoke-derived volatile phenols around that time, I reused the newest ones for a successive vintage with no carryover whatsoever. It was just a few barrels so I didn't mind potentially leaning into the punch.
That's good to know. Because some wineries are worrying that their wood TANKS might have absorbed taint, and even the concrete ones, especially if the fire got close.
That may be an entirely different matter based on the concentration of smoke elements.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#342 Post by Fred Scherrer » October 19th, 2020, 10:26 am

Marc Hauser wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 1:03 pm
Fred Scherrer wrote:
October 17th, 2020, 5:59 pm
Roy Piper wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 9:07 pm


No one knows but I will not be reusing any barrels in the future if any wine that touches them turn out tainted.
After bottling one small lot of highly affected 2008 Pinot Noir (called 'Black Lightnin') and reading in some Aussie technical paper about the new wood adsorbing and bonding tightly to the smoke-derived volatile phenols around that time, I reused the newest ones for a successive vintage with no carryover whatsoever. It was just a few barrels so I didn't mind potentially leaning into the punch.
I remember this wine. It was quite tasty. It was definitely different, but still good juice.
Thanks Marc. That's the point in the end. It was priced accordingly and was marketed with transparency. It has actually improved over time, contrary to what is repeated in the media and here. I suspect the idea of smoke taint increasing/returning over time may be as a result of RO treatment rather than what I did (or didn't do).

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#343 Post by Wes Barton » October 19th, 2020, 2:11 pm

Fred Scherrer wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 10:26 am
Thanks Marc. That's the point in the end. It was priced accordingly and was marketed with transparency. It has actually improved over time, contrary to what is repeated in the media and here. I suspect the idea of smoke taint increasing/returning over time may be as a result of RO treatment rather than what I did (or didn't do).
Yes, narrow perspective. RO removes the free taint compounds. The bound ones free themselves later, but are finite in number. There's never going to be more than there is. So, once they've all unbound themselves, that's that. I suspect some may "integrate", drop out, break down or whatever over time, becoming less prominent. Other smoke compounds would've (hopefully) been deal killers from the start, like a nasty ashtray component - that's something that could become relatively more prominent in an aging wine.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#344 Post by larry schaffer » October 19th, 2020, 2:36 pm

It's difficult to say what happens over time since we really don't know what the starting figures are in most cases. I would think the Aussie's might have a better understanding since they seem to face this more often than we do? But just like everything else in wine, there are too many factors to create a 'linear' relationship.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#345 Post by Fred Scherrer » October 19th, 2020, 2:57 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 2:11 pm
Fred Scherrer wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 10:26 am
Thanks Marc. That's the point in the end. It was priced accordingly and was marketed with transparency. It has actually improved over time, contrary to what is repeated in the media and here. I suspect the idea of smoke taint increasing/returning over time may be as a result of RO treatment rather than what I did (or didn't do).
Yes, narrow perspective. RO removes the free taint compounds. The bound ones free themselves later, but are finite in number. There's never going to be more than there is. So, once they've all unbound themselves, that's that. I suspect some may "integrate", drop out, break down or whatever over time, becoming less prominent. Other smoke compounds would've (hopefully) been deal killers from the start, like a nasty ashtray component - that's something that could become relatively more prominent in an aging wine.
The wine Marc and I are talking about was never subject to RO. There was a substantial amount of new oak employed, the wine was left in barrel for well over 24 months and only 2 of 6 barrels were egg white fined. That's it as far as manipulation goes.

It's as though that initially heavily affected wine healed itself to a point of the smoke showing as a peaty, minor facet that many people really enjoyed and asked to be repeated. Over the years in bottle, this character has actually receded from a sensory standpoint.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#346 Post by Wes Barton » October 19th, 2020, 8:49 pm

Fred Scherrer wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 2:57 pm
Wes Barton wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 2:11 pm
Fred Scherrer wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 10:26 am
Thanks Marc. That's the point in the end. It was priced accordingly and was marketed with transparency. It has actually improved over time, contrary to what is repeated in the media and here. I suspect the idea of smoke taint increasing/returning over time may be as a result of RO treatment rather than what I did (or didn't do).
Yes, narrow perspective. RO removes the free taint compounds. The bound ones free themselves later, but are finite in number. There's never going to be more than there is. So, once they've all unbound themselves, that's that. I suspect some may "integrate", drop out, break down or whatever over time, becoming less prominent. Other smoke compounds would've (hopefully) been deal killers from the start, like a nasty ashtray component - that's something that could become relatively more prominent in an aging wine.
The wine Marc and I are talking about was never subject to RO. There was a substantial amount of new oak employed, the wine was left in barrel for well over 24 months and only 2 of 6 barrels were egg white fined. That's it as far as manipulation goes.

It's as though that initially heavily affected wine healed itself to a point of the smoke showing as a peaty, minor facet that many people really enjoyed and asked to be repeated. Over the years in bottle, this character has actually receded from a sensory standpoint.
Yeah, I got that. I was referring to the narrow perspective some got in '08 where they RO'd then bottled, and it "came back". Anyway, what you did sounds like the smart approach. Don't bottle before when there's still bound up taint compounds. The extra time in barrel seems to have allowed whatever from that environment to help resolve the issue. Pretty cool.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#347 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » October 19th, 2020, 10:43 pm

Greg Malcolm wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 8:01 pm
PeterH wrote:
September 30th, 2020, 10:15 am
I got an e-mail today from a Willamette Valley winery saying that some of their grapes tested positive for smoke taint.
They said that the non-tainted grapes were in excellent condition.
I just received an e-mail from Lemelson Vineyards, in the Willamette Valley saying that they would not be releasing any Pinot Noir from the 2020 vintage, due to smoke.
Without meaning any disrespect to any other wine producer, it’s Oct. of 2020.

If you already know that you are not producing Pinot Noir this year, it’s because you chose not to make Pinot Noir this year because of the distinct risk of smoke taint.

That maybe the smart call, but we won’t have any actual knowledge about the 2020 wines for quite a while.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#348 Post by larry schaffer » October 20th, 2020, 8:20 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 10:43 pm
Greg Malcolm wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 8:01 pm
PeterH wrote:
September 30th, 2020, 10:15 am
I got an e-mail today from a Willamette Valley winery saying that some of their grapes tested positive for smoke taint.
They said that the non-tainted grapes were in excellent condition.
I just received an e-mail from Lemelson Vineyards, in the Willamette Valley saying that they would not be releasing any Pinot Noir from the 2020 vintage, due to smoke.
Without meaning any disrespect to any other wine producer, it’s Oct. of 2020.

If you already know that you are not producing Pinot Noir this year, it’s because you chose not to make Pinot Noir this year because of the distinct risk of smoke taint.

That maybe the smart call, but we won’t have any actual knowledge about the 2020 wines for quite a while.
Great point - and unfortunately, there will be an air of 'concern' for the wines produced in any region that had smoke issues. I think you can agree with me is that the hope is that wineries are up front with customers in the long term and explain exactly what happened to their grapes and potential issues if they feel there might be.

Cheers.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#349 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » October 20th, 2020, 10:09 am

larry schaffer wrote:
October 20th, 2020, 8:20 am
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
October 19th, 2020, 10:43 pm
Greg Malcolm wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 8:01 pm


I just received an e-mail from Lemelson Vineyards, in the Willamette Valley saying that they would not be releasing any Pinot Noir from the 2020 vintage, due to smoke.
Without meaning any disrespect to any other wine producer, it’s Oct. of 2020.

If you already know that you are not producing Pinot Noir this year, it’s because you chose not to make Pinot Noir this year because of the distinct risk of smoke taint.

That maybe the smart call, but we won’t have any actual knowledge about the 2020 wines for quite a while.
Great point - and unfortunately, there will be an air of 'concern' for the wines produced in any region that had smoke issues. I think you can agree with me is that the hope is that wineries are up front with customers in the long term and explain exactly what happened to their grapes and potential issues if they feel there might be.

Cheers.
I do agree that transparency is mandatory. I didn’t spend 20 years building up our wines to throw my reputation in the drain over any vintage.

But I get to make wine just one time per year, and from very special sites. And so far, I would say that I am cautiously optimistic regarding the 2020 wines. We have quite a ways to go before I am going to make any predictions, but the raw materials in 2020 were as good as any vintage I have previously seen. And like Fred, I am not constrained by mandatory release dates, so we’ll hold these until we truly know what we have.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#350 Post by Jim Anderson » October 20th, 2020, 11:54 am

We have a range. Picked around 20 tons pre-smoky conditions. They’re fine. Picked some stuff early on in the smoke, maybe another 10 tons and those wines might be fine. Post 3-4 days of smoke it ranges from dicey but maybe will be okay to completely shot/smoky/bitter beyond belief. Used no wood at her than on one wine picked on 9/10. Not willing to risk tens of thousands of dollars of new barrels on stuff that is up in the air as to its outcome. Great raw material. I also believe that there is some relation with smoke taint and reduction. Insane levels of reduction on well-farmed/stress free vines that produced fruit with immaculate chemistry. No way this level of reduction would be possible in normal conditions.

We’ll bottle what we can and whatever we do will be tested prior to being bottled and nothing even vaguely unsound will see a bottle. Lot of effort went into what is largely going to be a lost cause. F 2020.
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