Acid and aging

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TinahKing
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Acid and aging

#1 Post by TinahKing » August 25th, 2020, 4:54 pm

So I opened a 2014 biggio hamina Pinot Nior and although it’s quite pleasant, the acid is pretty forward.

Does acid tone down with aging?

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John Morris
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Re: Acid and aging

#2 Post by John Morris » August 25th, 2020, 5:16 pm

Technically, no. But some wines that taste very acidic at first develop more fruit with (a) age or (b) air/decanting. Some can become almost unrecognizable— smooth and lush.

Other wines are simply too tart.

Hard to know which is the case here without knowing the wine and how it’s developed in other vintages.
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Re: Acid and aging

#3 Post by Ian S » August 25th, 2020, 5:27 pm

Your perception of acidity can change as tannins fall out of suspension which soften the wine, and esters are formed as it ages, despite the fact that the pH level never really changes. Also, bacteria can convert malic acid into lactic acid, further softening wine, but this changes the pH.
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Re: Acid and aging

#4 Post by J. Rock » August 25th, 2020, 5:32 pm

I believe that while the total amount of acidity remains constant, the acids can change as they combine with the alcohol to create esters, and your perception of the acidity may also change (likely you'll perceive the wine to be less acidic to a point).
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Re: Acid and aging

#5 Post by GregP » August 25th, 2020, 5:37 pm

Ian S wrote:
August 25th, 2020, 5:27 pm
Also, bacteria can convert malic acid into lactic acid, further softening wine, but this changes the pH.
In bottled wine?
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Uhhhh..

#6 Post by TomHill » August 25th, 2020, 5:42 pm

Ian S wrote:
August 25th, 2020, 5:27 pm
Also, bacteria can convert malic acid into lactic acid, further softening wine, but this changes the pH.
Uhhhh, Ian... you don't want a M-L fermentation going on in a btls wine. It releases CO2 and almost always pretty much guts the way... at least for the next yr or two.
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Re: Acid and aging

#7 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 25th, 2020, 5:57 pm

M-L in bottle creates an unstable situation of a sparkling wine in a regular wine bottle. Bad news.
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Re: Acid and aging

#8 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 » August 25th, 2020, 6:02 pm

John Morris wrote:
August 25th, 2020, 5:16 pm
Technically, no. But some wines that taste very acidic at first develop more fruit with (a) age or (b) air/decanting. Some can become almost unrecognizable— smooth and lush.

Other wines are simply too tart.

Hard to know which is the case here without knowing the wine and how it’s developed in other vintages.
Good point on knowing and tracking the bottle.

Back to OP...

I've been drinking BH wines for a few years now, some older, some younger. Oldest is an 07, still have 10s and 12s laying around for context. I would say its a Berserker Day darling for me. They generally do have that "thonk" factor up front, especially when young, and more of a style thing is my opinion. Some breathing and they are delightful. Some age and they are delightful. Also, my palate enjoys that "thonk" factor so drinking them young gives me something. Lighter in body wines is where that really stands out. BH is not a heavy wine IMO. All said, breathing and time soothes some of that from what I have experienced. And while definitely not flat, I really don't look at the acid as being exceptionally forward. And Pinot Noir is [generally] an acidic and food friendly grape/varietal/wine to begin with.

My 2 cents.
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Re: Acid and aging

#9 Post by Ian S » August 25th, 2020, 6:11 pm

I didn't say it was a good thing!
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Re: Acid and aging

#10 Post by Peter Rosback » August 25th, 2020, 6:13 pm

Generally, I've thought acid allows one to age wine, tannins force you to.

I'd bet on Todd's wine to get better over time.

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Re: Acid and aging

#11 Post by Robert Sand » August 26th, 2020, 2:14 am

TinahKing wrote:
August 25th, 2020, 4:54 pm
So I opened a 2014 biggio hamina Pinot Nior and although it’s quite pleasant, the acid is pretty forward.

Does acid tone down with aging?
No, acid never disappears in the bottle.
On the contrary: the final state of each and every wine is vinegar, sometimes after 2-5 years, sometimes after 200-300 years.
The fruit disappears, the acidity stays.

What can happen is the convertation of malic acidity (sharper tasting) into lactic acidity (softer) - but for that certain bacteria are necessary (lactobacillus) - and that usually happens in barrels/tanks after alcoholic fermentation.

In bottle with maturity when the fruit unfolds the acidity is often less noticable (until the fruit fades - and acidity moves into the foreground again).

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Hmmm...

#12 Post by TomHill » August 26th, 2020, 9:27 am

Robert Sand wrote:
August 26th, 2020, 2:14 am


No, acid never disappears in the bottle.
On the contrary: the final state of each and every wine is vinegar, sometimes after 2-5 years, sometimes after 200-300 years.
The fruit disappears, the acidity stays.

What can happen is the convertation of malic acidity (sharper tasting) into lactic acidity (softer) - but for that certain bacteria are necessary (lactobacillus) - and that usually happens in barrels/tanks after alcoholic fermentation.

In bottle with maturity when the fruit unfolds the acidity is often less noticable (until the fruit fades - and acidity moves into the foreground again).
Hmmm.... I'm not sure this is exactly correct, Robert. I've had lots of dead & gone wines, but I don't recall any that have turned to vinegar/acetic acid/ethyl acetate.
To get vinegar, you have to have the presence of acetobacter. I don't think that's something that heavily present in the air or bottled wine. The most common wines in which I find acetic acid/EA are wines that went into the btl w/ acetobacter present. It's not that easy to make vinegar to my experience.
But maybe I haven't waited long enough. Not had any 200-300 yr old wines, so I could be wrong.
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Re: Acid and aging

#13 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 26th, 2020, 9:30 am

Perhaps he didn't mean it in a completely literal sense Tom...
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Re: Acid and aging

#14 Post by TomHill » August 26th, 2020, 9:52 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
August 26th, 2020, 9:30 am
Perhaps he didn't mean it in a completely literal sense Tom...
That could very well be, David.
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Re: Acid and aging

#15 Post by TinahKing » August 26th, 2020, 10:24 am

Update: letting it sit overnight in the fridge then come up to drinking temperature yielded a better balanced wine, where the acid and tannins complement each other instead of the acid being a little overwhelming.

Yes, I did let it sit open for an hour or so before I poured a glass and let the glass sit for probably another 30 minutes last night. I’ll probably decant the next bottle 2 hours before drinking it next time.

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Re: Hmmm...

#16 Post by Otto Forsberg » August 26th, 2020, 12:26 pm

TomHill wrote:
August 26th, 2020, 9:27 am
Hmmm.... I'm not sure this is exactly correct, Robert. I've had lots of dead & gone wines, but I don't recall any that have turned to vinegar/acetic acid/ethyl acetate.
To get vinegar, you have to have the presence of acetobacter. I don't think that's something that heavily present in the air or bottled wine. The most common wines in which I find acetic acid/EA are wines that went into the btl w/ acetobacter present. It's not that easy to make vinegar to my experience.
But maybe I haven't waited long enough. Not had any 200-300 yr old wines, so I could be wrong.
Tom
I'm glad at least somebody wrote this. I was about to write the exact same thing. [snort.gif]

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Re: Acid and aging

#17 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » August 26th, 2020, 1:24 pm

TinahKing wrote:
August 26th, 2020, 10:24 am
Update: letting it sit overnight in the fridge then come up to drinking temperature yielded a better balanced wine, where the acid and tannins complement each other instead of the acid being a little overwhelming.

Yes, I did let it sit open for an hour or so before I poured a glass and let the glass sit for probably another 30 minutes last night. I’ll probably decant the next bottle 2 hours before drinking it next time.
That should do the trick. Todd and I have a lot of similarities in how we produce wines, and I really like our 2014 wines more on day 2 and 3 right now.

As you get tannin polymerization with further aging, the texture should bump up a notch or two and help to fold the acidity in. But Todd also uses a lot of stems and that really slows the aging process considerably.

To my knowledge, he also only bottles wines that are completely finished with the malo-lactic conversion.
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Re: Acid and aging

#18 Post by Todd Hamina » August 26th, 2020, 10:03 pm

Hey. I'm in the middle of a bike race, but let me say this: tannins lift the perceived acidity. My 14's have a pH of 3.65 -3.8 but it doesn't taste flabby does it?

You are doing the right thing by giving it air.

Maybe invite Charlie Fu to come over and double decant it?


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Re: Acid and aging

#19 Post by Sh@n A » August 26th, 2020, 10:12 pm

/ @ g r @ \

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Re: Hmmm...

#20 Post by John Morris » August 27th, 2020, 8:12 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
August 26th, 2020, 12:26 pm
TomHill wrote:
August 26th, 2020, 9:27 am
Hmmm.... I'm not sure this is exactly correct, Robert. I've had lots of dead & gone wines, but I don't recall any that have turned to vinegar/acetic acid/ethyl acetate.
To get vinegar, you have to have the presence of acetobacter. I don't think that's something that heavily present in the air or bottled wine. The most common wines in which I find acetic acid/EA are wines that went into the btl w/ acetobacter present. It's not that easy to make vinegar to my experience.
But maybe I haven't waited long enough. Not had any 200-300 yr old wines, so I could be wrong.
Tom
I'm glad at least somebody wrote this. I was about to write the exact same thing. [snort.gif]
I've made my own vinegar for 30+ years, and I've found that a lot of Old World wines turn on their own (Rhones are particularly good at this). You'll get some acetic acid aromas in a week or two at room temperature, though it can take a month or two for the bacteria to finish their jobs.

In my early vinegar-making days, I tried to make some with California chardonnay. It just wouldn't turn. I assumed it was a probably sulfur or excessively clean winemaking.
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Re: Acid and aging

#21 Post by Eric Lundblad » August 27th, 2020, 10:31 pm

My random thoughts:

The final state of any wine is oxidized...which is why Madeira is playing the right game and we're all the fools :).

If you want to make your own vinegar, you generally need to lower the alcohol down to a level that the acetobacter can survive...most home vinegar makers I know (home vinegar can be quite good and worth persuing!) dilute the wine before inoculating.

Imo, wines/Pinots with both a good level of acid and tannins will live a long long time, and can take a long time to resolve so they're enjoyable 'soon' after pop and pour. This is the main source of burgundy's longevity. Also, tannins that are neither bitter (short) or astringent (long) can be difficult to distinguish from acidity, esp in wines that have a good amount of both. Sounds like the BH Pinot is in this camp (as many/most of my wines can be as well). My suggestion, which works well for me, is to open the pinot an hour or two+ hours ahead of time, pull the cork, pour some wine into a 2 cup pyrex glass measuring cup and pour it back in the bottle. The pouring lip of the pyrex fits perfectly into the top of the bottle, with no spilling! It'll give the wine enough air + enough time to start opening up. Pinot isn't cab...it needs some/a bit of air and more time to open up. I adapted this tip from Méo Camuzet (the pyrex part is mine).

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Re: Acid and aging

#22 Post by Cindy N » August 29th, 2020, 10:52 pm

Eric Lundblad wrote:
August 27th, 2020, 10:31 pm
My random thoughts:

The final state of any wine is oxidized...which is why Madeira is playing the right game and we're all the fools :).

If you want to make your own vinegar, you generally need to lower the alcohol down to a level that the acetobacter can survive...most home vinegar makers I know (home vinegar can be quite good and worth persuing!) dilute the wine before inoculating.

Imo, wines/Pinots with both a good level of acid and tannins will live a long long time, and can take a long time to resolve so they're enjoyable 'soon' after pop and pour. This is the main source of burgundy's longevity. Also, tannins that are neither bitter (short) or astringent (long) can be difficult to distinguish from acidity, esp in wines that have a good amount of both. Sounds like the BH Pinot is in this camp (as many/most of my wines can be as well). My suggestion, which works well for me, is to open the pinot an hour or two+ hours ahead of time, pull the cork, pour some wine into a 2 cup pyrex glass measuring cup and pour it back in the bottle. The pouring lip of the pyrex fits perfectly into the top of the bottle, with no spilling! It'll give the wine enough air + enough time to start opening up. Pinot isn't cab...it needs some/a bit of air and more time to open up. I adapted this tip from Méo Camuzet (the pyrex part is mine).

Woo Hoo!
Funny that you mentioned the pyrex tip! I did this the other night on a 2018 Keller RR after double decanting. The wine still had tension, but was a huge improvement from when I first opened the bottle. I will be adapting this method more often.
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Re: Hmmm...

#23 Post by Oliver McCrum » August 30th, 2020, 5:52 pm

John Morris wrote:
August 27th, 2020, 8:12 am
Otto Forsberg wrote:
August 26th, 2020, 12:26 pm
TomHill wrote:
August 26th, 2020, 9:27 am
Hmmm.... I'm not sure this is exactly correct, Robert. I've had lots of dead & gone wines, but I don't recall any that have turned to vinegar/acetic acid/ethyl acetate.
To get vinegar, you have to have the presence of acetobacter. I don't think that's something that heavily present in the air or bottled wine. The most common wines in which I find acetic acid/EA are wines that went into the btl w/ acetobacter present. It's not that easy to make vinegar to my experience.
But maybe I haven't waited long enough. Not had any 200-300 yr old wines, so I could be wrong.
Tom
I'm glad at least somebody wrote this. I was about to write the exact same thing. [snort.gif]
I've made my own vinegar for 30+ years, and I've found that a lot of Old World wines turn on their own (Rhones are particularly good at this). You'll get some acetic acid aromas in a week or two at room temperature, though it can take a month or two for the bacteria to finish their jobs.

In my early vinegar-making days, I tried to make some with California chardonnay. It just wouldn't turn. I assumed it was a probably sulfur or excessively clean winemaking.
I remove SO2 by adding a little hydrogen peroxide to the wine before adding it to the barrel.
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Re: Acid and aging

#24 Post by John Morris » August 30th, 2020, 7:37 pm

To be clear, you're talking about your vinegar-making technique, not your winemaking technique. neener
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Re: Acid and aging

#25 Post by Oliver McCrum » August 31st, 2020, 8:54 am

I love SO2 in wine, I have the t-shirt to prove it. But I don't make wine, I just sell it.
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Re: Acid and aging

#26 Post by GregT » September 1st, 2020, 12:01 am

But that's . . . unnatural.
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