Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

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john stimson
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#51 Post by john stimson » November 3rd, 2019, 4:51 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 7:54 am
Robert Grenley wrote:
November 2nd, 2019, 11:55 pm
Kris Patten wrote:
November 2nd, 2019, 7:14 pm
Outside of trophy Red Burgs, aged whites deliver higher highs than aged reds for me, so I will continue a careful hunt for aged White Burg glory!
In which case are you:
1. Buying wines from 1993 and prior?
2. Buying wines and drinking them before they reach 5-6 years of age?
3. Buying wines and aging as you did in the “old days”, as in 10 years or more, and accepting that a certain percentage will be advanced or dead?
4. Buying wines (and overpaying) from producers you feel have a lower incidence (Raveneau, ?older Coche, pre-?2002 Leflaive, ?any others)?
5. Buying wines from producers bottling under DIAMs?

Not being sarcastic...just wondering what a careful hunt means for you, since I stopped buying years ago in frustration, and I miss it.
But I do not find there are even barely equivalent alternatives, nor do I think WB’s consumed before their 5th birthday are worth their hefty price tags, nor do I relish simply carrying on as if all was well and pouring a number of expensive wines down the drain.
A little bit of all above, and probably less risk averse than those that bought heavy in the mid-90s - 00s and really got hammered by POX. Don't get me wrong, I have poured Monty's, Chevy's, Ramonet's, Leflaive's and others down the drain, absolutely infuriating.

My strategy is vintage (so far 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017 in recent years), producer, closure, quality level mostly 1er), vineyard. Buy more 1er and GC Chablis than in the past too, but it doesn't hit highs that Puligny, Chassagne and Meursault do for my palate.

Then as I said, with the above, I am up for some risk at my age, but think I have limited what I can short of not buying at all. Raveneau, Coche and Leflaive all fall out of my price range for 99.9% of wines.

My biggest fear is will they age the same as they did in past and deliver same highs with new closures and techniques? Odd thought.
Unfortunately, the best strategy, and the most cynical, is to have good friends who are still willing to take the risk. My friends have all wised up, and we are running out of bottles left over from the era when we were unknowingly playing roulette.

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#52 Post by Kris Patten » November 3rd, 2019, 5:32 pm

Helps your odds for sure John.

Now we all know where we stand and the risk, I can't imagine going thru 1996 to 2006-ish in buying mode. For as many things I regret missing: 1982, 1989, 1990 BDX, Truchot reds, etc....glad i was too young to be buying heavy those White Burg years so I got singed vs. burned.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#53 Post by Robert Grenley » November 4th, 2019, 9:06 am

As one of John’s wised-up friends, there is not a single producer I can find and afford (which means no Raveneau, and I am not even sure Coche under the son will be the same as it was...not unscathed but at least a lower incidence) whom I trust. I think I trust those wines under DIAM, based on what I have been hearing, to not get premoxed and stay pristine, but I am not sure whether they will age over time as in the old days. And although pristine is better than dead, there would be little difference between drinking a three year old wine (which for me is it worth the tariff) and a 15 year old wine that tastes like it did at three years of age...I mean, what would be the point? So I guess I need to hear that the wines under DIAM develop over time as they used to in the days before premox set in.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#54 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » November 5th, 2019, 8:15 am

Mel Knox wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 6:14 pm
Wes makes some good points. Technical corks May be part of the solution but corks weren’t the cause of the problem.

I still appreciate well matured white Burgundy but I am nervous about the whole situation
Mel, it depends on defining "problem". To me the "problem" is the group of random wines that are spoiled, in any given group. There is no "problem" imo, with the bottles that are fine. So, what , other than the corks, accounts for the "problem"? The same wine, same bottle, etc. under a different cork (all corks are "different") is glorious. So, it's not the winemaking.

And, the assumption that the whole WB industry is at fault for those [minority of bottles] which are bad, IMO, has thwarted a solution. The artisanal winemakers are relegated to feeling responsible to solve the problem, when they haven't created it, other than to stick a too-rigid cork in a particular bottle. So.....no one is responsible for rectifying the problem. If Diam works, (and there are compromises, for sure) , it might shed light on the culprit: the over baked corks that act like dried out sponges trying to make a seal.

The cork industry, it seems to me, has wholly escaped blame and any effort to acknowledge the problem or figure out its cause, when it is the most logical culprit. That work is doomed by the time the finished cork leaves Portugal.

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#55 Post by Mel Knox » November 5th, 2019, 9:14 am

Beaunehead:
You are aptly named.
The cork industry is not perfect but I don't think they are to blame here.
Are we to say that those producers who have escaped this issue have selected better corks than those who have made mistakes?? That Americans get better corks than Burgundians??
I still think the causes of the problems are:
1/higher must weights and lower acid levels of grapes being harvested now
2/new presses, which yield fewer solids/less lees/less glutathione in the wine
3/less SO2 being used
4/less reductive winemaking
Think of a wheel supported by spokes. You remove or weaken a few spokes and you are asking for trouble.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#56 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » November 5th, 2019, 12:37 pm

Melprenox,

You are aptly named.

Then how do you explain the multitude of good bottles that are fine? Just lucky?

No one is "selecting" corks. They are punched and then baked in a kiln to kill bacteria. Because they are natural things, they are very variable. The same heat in a kiln can render one as rigid as a pencil and another a moist sponge. Luck of the draw within any given kiln batch or whatever batch you want. Same luck of the draw applies where the corks are too dry to hold the SO2 in, etc. Doomed.

None of the stuff you list dooms the good bottles. So, the changes aren't the issue.

"Asking for trouble" is a silly argument. The bad ones receive it.....because of the one CLEAR variable: the rigidity of the corks.

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#57 Post by alan weinberg » November 5th, 2019, 1:10 pm

Mel Knox wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 9:14 am
Beaunehead:
You are aptly named.
The cork industry is not perfect but I don't think they are to blame here.
Are we to say that those producers who have escaped this issue have selected better corks than those who have made mistakes?? That Americans get better corks than Burgundians??
I still think the causes of the problems are:
1/higher must weights and lower acid levels of grapes being harvested now
2/new presses, which yield fewer solids/less lees/less glutathione in the wine
3/less SO2 being used
4/less reductive winemaking
Think of a wheel supported by spokes. You remove or weaken a few spokes and you are asking for trouble.
those are factors that the imperfect corks catalyse, or allow, if you will, premox to occur. If not, explain why Burgundy wines under Diam or screwcap don’t premox.

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#58 Post by John Danza » November 5th, 2019, 2:43 pm

I don't bite on the corks being the sole, or primary, reason for the issue (and there is an issue Stuart). How does that explain that there's a clear and definite timeline when this started, being the 1996 vintage. What, the cork producers just happen to start stripping the bark off of a batch of bad trees?

While there may be cork involvement, something happened with the winemaking too that caused this. That's the only plausible explanation of why everything before a certain vintage was generally ok, and everything after a certain vintage was Russian roulette.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#59 Post by Mel Knox » November 5th, 2019, 9:56 pm

Do we really know that people using Diam don’t suffer from premox? This technology was introduced around 2005 and has been only widely adopted since 2010.

Screw caps? I have not seen too much of this for whites from the Cote d Or.

We ve seen premox hit certain domaines more than others... did they piss off their cork supplier??
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#60 Post by Robert Grenley » November 5th, 2019, 10:18 pm

I am just wondering...has anyone here had a premoxed bottle under DIAM?
(Of course, wines that are at least 7 years of age are of the most interest, as we would expect bottles fated to turn to do so by then...but any premoxed bottles under DIAM experiences out there?)
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#61 Post by Mel Knox » November 5th, 2019, 10:27 pm

Wineries were slow to adopt Diam because its predecessor was a disaster.
Winemakers — the French don’t have a word for this— have been trying to solve this problem for some time... more sulfite more reductivity etc so we ll never know the cause by just looking at the corks.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#62 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » November 6th, 2019, 6:30 am

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=154281&start=100

a more complete discussion a year ago....

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#63 Post by Howard Cooper » November 6th, 2019, 7:42 am

Robert Grenley wrote:
October 31st, 2019, 1:43 am
Some have switched to other varietals, but at least for me there is no good substitute that even comes close. And in my case I just buy lesser WB’s and drink them early...which is a real compromise...but I am considering going the DIAM route.
This.

There are other good white wines in the world but the only one IMHO that can compete with white Burgundy in quality are German Rieslings and Champagne and they are an entirely different animals from WB. As Robert said, I buy lesser WBs and, with only a few exceptions, drink them relatively early. It isn't perfect, but the wines are still the best still dry whites in the world.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#64 Post by Howard Cooper » November 6th, 2019, 7:49 am

Robert Grenley wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 9:06 am
As one of John’s wised-up friends, there is not a single producer I can find and afford (which means no Raveneau, and I am not even sure Coche under the son will be the same as it was...not unscathed but at least a lower incidence) whom I trust. I think I trust those wines under DIAM,
If you look at Don Cornwell's annual tasting, as well as my own anecdotal experience, probably the producer that best meets your criteria is Bouchard (and as I understand it Bouchard currently uses DIAM). I am not sure there is a better buy in upper end white Burgundy than Bouchard Meursault Perrieres.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#65 Post by Mel Knox » November 6th, 2019, 9:56 am

viewtopic.php?t=126557

Here is a thread started by Howard Cooper with some additions by Don 'It's either premoxed or fake' Cornwell....

My point here would be that either the good guys are genius at finding good corks or something else is going on.

Roger Boulton, the eminent UC Davis professor, was asked about premox. His answer was good, that anybody looking for one cause alone would be usually wrong, that there are alot of variables involved.

I think the Burgundians are well on their way to solving the problem. It's just that I am not buying green bananas any more.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#66 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » November 6th, 2019, 11:01 am

I think we've heard that before, Mel.....for about 20+ years now....

Boulton's view on the "one cause alone" issue is the biggest reason nobody has solved the problem, IMO. People have chosen to overcomplicate the issue. When certain bottles are "premoxed" and others not....what is/are the variables? Simple question.

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#67 Post by Mel Knox » November 6th, 2019, 11:15 am

People like Dubourdieu, Lavigne and Boulton have said there is more than one cause...But what can they know?? They are part of Deep Enology. They've gotten these silly PhDs from institutions that are part of the Deep Enology State, which supported by Big Cork. Don't these people remind you of those striped pants State Department folks who have actually learned the languages of the countries they live in and have studied their regions ....what can they possibly know??
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#68 Post by John Danza » November 6th, 2019, 12:35 pm

The only way for any problem to be solved is to first identify the cause of the problem. Since the Burgundians haven't done that, or haven't admitted to doing that, I think any comment of "Eureka, we solved the problem" should be viewed with skepticism.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#69 Post by John Bashford » November 7th, 2019, 4:05 am

In Oz my favourite producers ( Leeuwin, Mt Mary ) have used Stelvin or Diam for more than 12 years. These wines mature consistently and beautifully without random oxidation or premature extinction. The barrier to their use in the US and France is, I believe, aesthetic and not evidence based. I've yet to have a premoxed or overly reduced Bouchard, Jadot or Fevre under Diam. I've never tasted 'glue' or any of the other complaints that some have noted. I will pay good money for properly sealed Grand Crus but will no longer gamble a dollar on 20th Century cork closures !

My experience is that premoxed wine from Burgundy is evident at delivery - its only the rate of decay that varies. I agree that there are many factors that make a fragile wine but it is the bottling line that determines their survival. A consistent and adequate closure would certainly go a long way to providing a base from which to solve the problems that determine their survival and gracious maturation.

I have drunk White Burgundy since the late 70s and can never accept that oxidation in a 20 year old White Burg from a half reasonable year is in any way acceptable. Good vintages of Leflaive from the 80s are still beautiful even at village level unlike the rubbish sold in the late 2000s under the Domaine label.

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#70 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » November 7th, 2019, 8:19 am

Does anyone know when kiln drying of wine corks began with regularity in Portugal?

Mel? You seem to have lots of contacts in the Deep Enology State. This should be easy to find out.

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#71 Post by Stuart Roberts » November 7th, 2019, 8:31 am

John Bashford wrote:
October 30th, 2019, 11:24 pm
What is also clear to me is that there is 'premox' and there's 'advanced oxidation' and they look different, smell different, taste different and are different, probably from day 1. What you describe sounds like premox with the dreaded sherry and dead apple taste. Advanced wines still show their origin unless completely gone and can give some pleasure but premox is premox.
True, that.

Question - does premox usually or always show (if that is its destiny for that bottle) within the first 7-8 years of life or can true premox suddenly develop even at age 10+?

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#72 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » November 7th, 2019, 8:59 am

Apparently, the early '90s was a popular time for new methods of ridding corks of taint in the drying process. I wish I were retired, so I could look into this in more detail. But, a half hour google search provided some interesting history....in Portugal, just around the time the premox started....say with the '95?? vintage in WB.


https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 015-9669-6

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 8513001351

https://books.google.com/books?id=KoKdD ... ne&f=false see footnotes 84-87 re: changes made in Portugal in the early ‘90s.
https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... ork_planks
https://www.epo.org/learning-events/eur ... ature.html

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#73 Post by Michael S. Monie » November 7th, 2019, 9:51 am

Why white varieties, eg.Chenin Blanc, and not reds?
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#74 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » November 7th, 2019, 12:05 pm

Stuart - I'm not sure anyone can give you a definitive answer, but in my experience there are related flaws that present in different ways. One is the wine oxidising very quickly (and usually faster than the first 7 years) and the other is the wine aging more rapidly than it should / other bottles, in which case it tastes advanced aged 7 and can then be "suddenly" fully oxidised age 10.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#75 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » November 7th, 2019, 12:10 pm

Rauno, The "flaw" i'm interested in is the "premox". I make no claim what it really is; it might not be just "premature oxidation". In fact, it might be unrelated.

The problem is distinct, though. And, random.

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#76 Post by Mel Knox » November 7th, 2019, 12:46 pm

Diam and other technical corks are doing well here.
We have skipped over screw caps and gone straight to cans.

My question would be: if the cork is the issue why is this confined to France?? Do they get the crummy corks?? Do we get the good ones?? The people here who make white wines that age well are not seeing any issues here.

One other question is the bore entry of bottles. When wineries used standard bottles, there was no problem. If the bore entry of the bottle--perhaps for a custom bottle-- is wrong then the cork will never seat properly.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#77 Post by Howard Cooper » November 7th, 2019, 12:58 pm

Mel Knox wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 9:56 am
viewtopic.php?t=126557

Here is a thread started by Howard Cooper with some additions by Don 'It's either premoxed or fake' Cornwell....

My point here would be that either the good guys are genius at finding good corks or something else is going on.

Roger Boulton, the eminent UC Davis professor, was asked about premox. His answer was good, that anybody looking for one cause alone would be usually wrong, that there are alot of variables involved.

I think the Burgundians are well on their way to solving the problem. It's just that I am not buying green bananas any more.
You might look at posts 49, 50 and 51 of the thread you referenced. Also, there is a good discussion of this issue in the interview that Levi Dalton did with David Ramey on I'll Drink to That.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#78 Post by Wes Barton » November 7th, 2019, 1:49 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 12:58 pm
Mel Knox wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 9:56 am
viewtopic.php?t=126557

Here is a thread started by Howard Cooper with some additions by Don 'It's either premoxed or fake' Cornwell....

My point here would be that either the good guys are genius at finding good corks or something else is going on.

Roger Boulton, the eminent UC Davis professor, was asked about premox. His answer was good, that anybody looking for one cause alone would be usually wrong, that there are alot of variables involved.

I think the Burgundians are well on their way to solving the problem. It's just that I am not buying green bananas any more.
You might look at posts 49, 50 and 51 of the thread you referenced. Also, there is a good discussion of this issue in the interview that Levi Dalton did with David Ramey on I'll Drink to That.
Post 54, by Don Cornwell:
From a premox-avoiding perspective, there's some very useful information here.

First, by pressing the grapes at pressures equivalent of the old Vaselin press, Pierre Yves is extracting more phenols, which are the primary oxidation buffer. Some of you may remember that about five years ago the preliminary report of the BIVB was that the light pressing and using only free run juice had contributed to lowering phenol levels and contributed to premox. A lot of producers objected and the BIVB thereafter said nothing publicly about premox.

The fact that Pierre Yves principally uses 350 liter casks means that the juice/wood ratio is higher. With 70% of the wood not being new, and given that new oak has the highest oxygen ingress rate, the PYCM juice is getting exposed to a lot less oxygen in the barrel. It sounds as though the wines which are in traditional 228 liter barrels get moved to 350 liter barrels (presumably not new) after 12 months. Many of the producers on the very low premox incidence (e.g. Raveneau, Roulot and formerly Leflaive) take the wine out of barrel after a year and the wine spends its remaining months in stainless steel or other non-wood storage. Pierre-Yves solution of moving the the wine into 350 liter casks sounds like a hybrid that still reduces the oxidation potential for the juice.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#79 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » November 7th, 2019, 1:50 pm

Mel Knox wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 12:46 pm
D

One other question is the bore entry of bottles. When wineries used standard bottles, there was no problem. If the bore entry of the bottle--perhaps for a custom bottle-- is wrong then the cork will never seat properly.
Doesn't that issue also get back to the "too rigid" cork, Mel?

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#80 Post by John Danza » November 7th, 2019, 3:00 pm

Mel Knox wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 12:46 pm
My question would be: if the cork is the issue why is this confined to France?? Do they get the crummy corks?? Do we get the good ones?? The people here who make white wines that age well are not seeing any issues here.
I've had plenty of premox'ed Kistler chards, but not from any other Cali producer.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#81 Post by John Davis » November 7th, 2019, 3:40 pm

Also don’t buy many WBs anymore, either. Still drink Chards just not a lot from Burgundy. We do order it occasionally in restaurants (assuming reasonable prices when and if you can find them) and if they are premoxed it isn’t my loss.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#82 Post by Maxwell A. » November 7th, 2019, 6:37 pm

The last 1-2 years I've had a few Fevre Grand Cru 2011s that were in pristine condition.
Also, I plan on opening a Fevre Clos, Preuses, and Vaudesir, all 2011s, side by side in the not too distant future. I'll report back then.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#83 Post by John Bashford » November 7th, 2019, 9:12 pm

Stuart Roberts wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 8:31 am
John Bashford wrote:
October 30th, 2019, 11:24 pm
What is also clear to me is that there is 'premox' and there's 'advanced oxidation' and they look different, smell different, taste different and are different, probably from day 1. What you describe sounds like premox with the dreaded sherry and dead apple taste. Advanced wines still show their origin unless completely gone and can give some pleasure but premox is premox.
True, that.

Question - does premox usually or always show (if that is its destiny for that bottle) within the first 7-8 years of life or can true premox suddenly develop even at age 10+?
Stuart I think true premox does show early in most cases with a disappointing flattening of the wine, touch of the dreaded dead apple and butterscotch yet still drinkable. You know where it’s headed when you taste that. Of course cork failure with classical advanced aging can occur anytime. While there is clearly overlap I think it is a different animal best seen in vertical tastings when a number of bottles are opened. This occurs in white wine and probably but less frequently reds of all origins.

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#84 Post by Robert Grenley » November 7th, 2019, 11:25 pm

Maxwell A. wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 6:37 pm
The last 1-2 years I've had a few Fevre Grand Cru 2011s that were in pristine condition.
Also, I plan on opening a Fevre Clos, Preuses, and Vaudesir, all 2011s, side by side in the not too distant future. I'll report back then.
All under DIAM.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#85 Post by Mel Knox » November 10th, 2019, 6:21 am

Stuart
As your first date said to you, never too rigid!!
I remember when Sonoma Cutrer decided to use extra wide corks... people pulled muscles trying to get the cork out... that was 1982 or so.

If the bottle changes and the cork remains the same... whose fault is it??

In any event this is something I know you will check out.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#86 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » November 10th, 2019, 9:04 am

Check out what?

Have you ever spoken to anyone in the cork industry about this issue?

Corks are supposed to make the good fit/be flexible....the bottles can't....

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#87 Post by Carl I Steefel » November 10th, 2019, 1:18 pm

alan weinberg wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 1:10 pm
Mel Knox wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 9:14 am
Beaunehead:
You are aptly named.
The cork industry is not perfect but I don't think they are to blame here.
Are we to say that those producers who have escaped this issue have selected better corks than those who have made mistakes?? That Americans get better corks than Burgundians??
I still think the causes of the problems are:
1/higher must weights and lower acid levels of grapes being harvested now
2/new presses, which yield fewer solids/less lees/less glutathione in the wine
3/less SO2 being used
4/less reductive winemaking
Think of a wheel supported by spokes. You remove or weaken a few spokes and you are asking for trouble.
those are factors that the imperfect corks catalyse, or allow, if you will, premox to occur. If not, explain why Burgundy wines under Diam or screwcap don’t premox.
Yes, the fact that Diam corks cure the problem in most cases is proof that the corks are the primary culprit here. That said, other factors would be expected to affect the results, e.g., how much sulfur is added, the elevage of the wine and how that affects the chemistry and/or oxidation state before bottling, etc.

Corks affect the wine because they determine the oxygen flux into the bottle. If one uses a boatload of sulfur, than for a given oxygen flux rate, the wine will last longer. And conversely, less sulfur means the wine is vulnerable earlier for whatever flux rate of oxygen the cork is allowing. If one reduces the flux rate of oxygen with a Diam cork, however, then how much sulfur is used doesn't matter as much.

Laundry lists of factors, even if they can potentially contribute at some minor level, do not help here, since it simply allows the producers to dodge the issue. In the old days, they blamed on the shippers (even if that clearly can contribute in some cases).

Anyway, at least Fevre recognized the problem and acted to rectify it with the use of Diam (I think Premier Cru saw Diam in 2008, Grand Cru in 2010).

Beyond that, it does seem risky to try for a 15 year old white Burg, unless it turns out the Diams are reliable over the long term (we need to test them on > 8 year time frames). Otherwise, I love white Burg at 8-10 years or so, so I am happy to drink them before full maturity. Of course, there are some exceptions where one wishes one had kept the bottle longer--recently had a 2007 Dauvissat Clos, which was perhaps 10% on its way to maturity. Beautiful, powerful, authoritative wine that was giving hints (that 10%) of where it was headed. I will resample in 4-5 years...

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#88 Post by Mel Knox » November 11th, 2019, 1:40 am

At Uvaggio we started to use Diam on the 2004s and switched to other brands a few years ago for cost reasons.
Most folks in the Côte d’Or started to use them in the early part of this decade.
But what else have they done? More SO2?

More reductive winemaking? More glutathione??

So many things changed in the late 90s:
Less sulfite, less reductive winemaking...new presses.
I remember one guy telling that because he went biodynamic he could bottle with fifteen parts free....wonder how that turned out and did he blame his cork supplier
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#89 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » November 11th, 2019, 6:09 am

That's why they've never figured anything out, Mel. "So many things changed"......but there were plenty of good bottles that "ignored" all those changes. So, focus on the "premox" issue: why there are bad bottles within any given group...not the vulnerabilities of all of them. The culprit will never be determined that way. Focus on the "problem": the bad bottles and what makes them different from the good bottles. Don't indict the wines...as it explains nothing. We've seen that theory flounder over the last 20 years....

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#90 Post by Mel Knox » November 11th, 2019, 6:14 am

Usually the first bad bottle is the canary in the mine.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#91 Post by John Morris » November 11th, 2019, 7:33 am

Carl I Steefel wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 1:18 pm
alan weinberg wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 1:10 pm
Mel Knox wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 9:14 am
Beaunehead:
You are aptly named.
The cork industry is not perfect but I don't think they are to blame here.
Are we to say that those producers who have escaped this issue have selected better corks than those who have made mistakes?? That Americans get better corks than Burgundians??
I still think the causes of the problems are:
1/higher must weights and lower acid levels of grapes being harvested now
2/new presses, which yield fewer solids/less lees/less glutathione in the wine
3/less SO2 being used
4/less reductive winemaking
Think of a wheel supported by spokes. You remove or weaken a few spokes and you are asking for trouble.
those are factors that the imperfect corks catalyse, or allow, if you will, premox to occur. If not, explain why Burgundy wines under Diam or screwcap don’t premox.
Yes, the fact that Diam corks cure the problem in most cases is proof that the corks are the primary culprit here.
That doesn't follow. It just means that natural corks are a necessary condition for premox. It doesn't seem that they were a sufficient condition (i.e., the cause on their own), because premox is a relatively new phenomenon. As Mel's post suggests, there are a number of contributing factors, no one alone being sufficient to cause premox in most cases.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#92 Post by John Morris » November 11th, 2019, 7:35 am

Mel Knox wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 12:46 pm
My question would be: if the cork is the issue why is this confined to France?? Do they get the crummy corks?? Do we get the good ones?? The people here who make white wines that age well are not seeing any issues here.
It isn't confined to France. People have posted many times about premox in other areas, usually with wines made with little or no sulfur. Which just reinforces your point.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#93 Post by Carl I Steefel » November 11th, 2019, 10:30 am

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 6:09 am
That's why they've never figured anything out, Mel. "So many things changed"......but there were plenty of good bottles that "ignored" all those changes. So, focus on the "premox" issue: why there are bad bottles within any given group...not the vulnerabilities of all of them. The culprit will never be determined that way. Focus on the "problem": the bad bottles and what makes them different from the good bottles. Don't indict the wines...as it explains nothing. We've seen that theory flounder over the last 20 years....
To me, the variability within a single batch or case of wine is another indicator of the role of the corks. If it was the batonnage or the storage conditions, then all would be similarly affected. The only true stochastic variable is the closure...

That said, since the phenomenon reflects a dynamic set of processes, it cannot by definition be due to only one cause. So the reduction potential of the wine before closure (batonnage, time in the porous barrel, sulfur) all come into play here. But to simply postpone action because of the laundry list of possible effects ignores a demonstrated way to deal with the problem, namely to switch to the Diam (or similar) closures. The hypothesis is that the wine goes bad when the total reductive capacity of the wine is exceeded. This explains why the wine is good, not ready, not ready, not ready, then gone gone gone in 6 months. Integrate the oxygen flux (mol/m^2/s) over the cross sectional area of the closure (pi*r^2), and the wine goes when that integrated flux >= the reductive capacity (which may vary from producer to producer). If this was not the case, then the Diam would not solve the problem, as it apparently does...

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#94 Post by Wes Barton » November 11th, 2019, 11:46 am

But, does the Diam "solve" the problem, or just greatly diminish the failure rate of highly vulnerable risky wines?

Don't know how reliable this is, but I've heard specifics about how producers have actually solved the problem without compromising wine quality or style. They do a few more steps than you guys are mentioning. One factor: think the better presses being able to gently extract desired skin compounds. Think those compounds wanting to oxidize, like orange wines. Yes, reductive winemaking can protect the wine through bottling. Does a better closure with reasonably predictable low oxygen ingress really prevent premox or delay and diminish when it's likely to occur?

Let's throw out a hypothetical. Say with the variability of natural cork, a given wine would have a 30% failure rate at 7 years. With Diam it would have a 1% failure rate at 7 years. Great! That sounds like it's back to an acceptable risk, right? But, what if that pushes the issue out and you have a 30% failure rate at 25 years? What if peak maturity for that wine is around 30-35 years? Was that a solution or a time bomb? If you had confidence in the better closure and bought big to drink at maturity..?
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#95 Post by Josh Grossman » November 11th, 2019, 11:50 am

John Danza wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 3:00 pm
Mel Knox wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 12:46 pm
My question would be: if the cork is the issue why is this confined to France?? Do they get the crummy corks?? Do we get the good ones?? The people here who make white wines that age well are not seeing any issues here.
I've had plenty of premox'ed Kistler chards, but not from any other Cali producer.
The last two Chards I opened were premoxed, one from France, one from Cali:
2014 Olivier Merlin Pouilly-Fuissé Sur la Roche
2014 Argot Chardonnay Simpatico Ranch

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#96 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » November 11th, 2019, 12:02 pm

Need to define the problem first and foremost.

What is "premox"? I say it is the universe of bad bottles randomly mixed in with wines that are fine in any given group.

All these other factors are for vulnerablity. But, vulnerable wines are not "premoxed" wines if they are fine.

Unless one focuses on what the problem is....no one will be able to even speculate "the" cause. And, it seems, no one has come up with a cause, as they focus on the wines' vulnerabilities, lumping the good and bad as the "premox" problem.

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#97 Post by Carl I Steefel » November 11th, 2019, 2:04 pm

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 12:02 pm
Need to define the problem first and foremost.

What is "premox"? I say it is the universe of bad bottles randomly mixed in with wines that are fine in any given group.

All these other factors are for vulnerablity. But, vulnerable wines are not "premoxed" wines if they are fine.

Unless one focuses on what the problem is....no one will be able to even speculate "the" cause. And, it seems, no one has come up with a cause, as they focus on the wines' vulnerabilities, lumping the good and bad as the "premox" problem.
Disagree!!

Turns it back into this or that consumer having "bad luck". This goes against the observations of the last 10 years. I just poured 5 2007 Fevre Clos down the drain this weekend. That is not "...bad bottles randomly mixed..."

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#98 Post by Jerry Hey » November 11th, 2019, 2:25 pm

"If" premox is solely due to a cork issue, then why aren't red wines affected at that same rate, or even at all??

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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#99 Post by Michael S. Monie » November 11th, 2019, 2:35 pm

Jerry Hey wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 2:25 pm
"If" premox is solely due to a cork issue, then why aren't red wines affected at that same rate, or even at all??
I asked the same on post #73 but apparently no one thinks it's relevant.
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Re: Has Premox Affected Your Appreciation Of Maturity?

#100 Post by Wes Barton » November 11th, 2019, 2:54 pm

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 12:02 pm
Need to define the problem first and foremost.

What is "premox"? I say it is the universe of bad bottles randomly mixed in with wines that are fine in any given group.

All these other factors are for vulnerablity. But, vulnerable wines are not "premoxed" wines if they are fine.

Unless one focuses on what the problem is....no one will be able to even speculate "the" cause. And, it seems, no one has come up with a cause, as they focus on the wines' vulnerabilities, lumping the good and bad as the "premox" problem.
Wines with the potential for premox to occur are different than wines lacking that potential.
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