After the thread about yeasts and hearing Ian Brand mention that it takes 1.5 years after bottling for his wines to get back to what they were like in barrel before, I’m wondering what you’re experience is regarding the phases and amount of time it takes the wine to “recover” from the bottling process. I find that my wines take at least a year before the aromatics, fruit, textures of the wine come back around. Lots of wineries release wines a month or two after bottling, and I’m assuming it’s not taking their wine a year to come around. I find that at the six week period the wine will show pretty well for a few weeks, and then goes into a deep slumber for another 8-10 months.
I wonder how much of this has to do with S02 additions at botting? I also don’t filter at all and am wondering if that makes a big difference? How much S02 do you guys add to the tank at bottling? I gas everything with argon, but use a six spout filler to bottle, and wonder if this is a factor- compared to the fillers on a mono block or moble botling line. I know there are a ton of variables here, but what do you guys think? What is your impression/experience?
Yes, you did…bottle shock…and yeah it pisses me off. Or annoys me anyways.
My experience is similar to yours, that the wine will have a happy period in its first year in bottle, but that it’s a temporary thing. Like the false spring we had a few weeks ago. Seems like my wines need a bit more than a year after bottling to really recover. But still getting a handle on the timing of that.
Seems plausible that sulfur before bottling could contribute. There’s that video with Morgan Peterson talking to Michael Havens about micro oxing wines…can’t remember what thread/site it’s been on, but here it is:
Anyways, I can see their argument that micro oxing affects how quickly the wine shows well. So makes sense that this and how often and when you rack would affect your bottle shock. I don’t rack at all, so perhaps that’s why my wines take so long to come around?
While we’re at it…has anyone noticed their wines closing up when the temp drops 5 or more degrees. Seems like my recently, or relatively recently bottled wines would immediately close up every time we got a cold snap.
We like to keep our Zins in bottle for as long as possible before we sell them (which usually isn’t terribly long), but really, they seem pretty resilient. I see slight changes over time, but I guess since Zin isn’t very tannic, that may have something to do with it’s relative consistency.
My experience (now that I’m a RETIRED winemaker) is that my medium bodied reds take about 6 months so come back to about 75% and a year to fully return. The nose always seems like the last thing to return. I used to bottle with about 35 ppm free.
The ‘bottle shock’ phase, as I recognize it, starts about three days after bottling and continues for 2-3 months. I don’t associate this with a sulfur addition as I try to get my barrels up to level well before going to the bottling tank and only make small adjustments before going to bottle. It’s a bit like racking, in that the wine’ll taste great right after it comes out of tank and goes back to barrel, then sort of shut down and go through weird phases for a bit, even if I run it all gravity and gas (metaphor for the cosmos).As far as the 1.5 yrs after bottling goes, it has nothing to do with bottle shock, just with the style of wine and vineyards the wines come from… valley vineyards come into their own much more quickly, though they are never as interesting. Most of my valley wines start shining pretty bright 4-6 mos. after bottling, but they come out of the disjointed, shocky phase after 2 months, more or less. Five to six months if you sterile filter. I just bottled three small lots yesterday. Ugh!
How do yuou all store your wines during bottle aging?
In box? Labeled? In SS cages?
I like to hold part of my production 6-12 months before release but would like to find SS cages to reduce volume. Who sells these cages in the US?
We store our wines, upside down, in case boxes, unlabeled. We’ll spend the hot days in the later part of summer labeling and foil spinning- tunes cranked- air conditioned- good way to spend a hot day, unless it’s by/in the Salmon River with the kids in the afternoons.
Linda, do you guys add any S02 at bottling, or do you just have them where you want them and don’t add any in the bottling tank. I’ve always thought a little (10ppm) bump in the blending/bottling tank would provide additional protecting from any oxidation during the bottling process. Any comments?
I get my glass right here in Santa Rosa.
The first time you use the cages you need to get rid of the boxes. From then on, you use the boxes from the new bottles to store the bottles of wine that is ready for sale.
I’ll write John, thanks.
We used to bottle at 30ppm free, but now try to stay in the 25-28 range. We generally blend then go back down into bbl a month or two before bottling, so I try to get them up to about 30 then, so that when we go back up they are hopefully in the range we want. If not I usually only have to add 1-2ppm.