Your RedOx Redux chapter on reductive strength & Vern’s Warburg apparatus was one of the most eye-opening chapters in the book.
I’ve read it 4 times now and still trying to fully understand it.
As I understand it, the Warburg thing can actually measure a wine’s total oxygen uptake capacity over its lifetime. That seems, on the surface, to be
a measurement that any winemaker would be dying to have. Yet I gather that is something that has been hugely ignored by the winemaking community??
Has there been scant interest in this measurement by winemakers??
So…a few questions:
You state that 90% of a wine’s reductive strength can be lost to field oxidation, leaving the grapes to hang longer on the vine. Three weeks longer
costs you a decade of cellaring longevity (not exactly sure where those numbers come from?). That seems pretty significant to me.
What if your grapes are sitting out there at 20Brix and you’d like to get it up to 22-23 or so. You don’t like the flavors yet. The weather is not cooperating.
Does this mean that you have to rob the resulting wine of its longevity by leaving the grapes to hang so you can get riper flavors you seek?? What’s
a winemaker to do in this case?
It’s been often stated by the wine geeks that these wines that are being made from overripe grapes w/ longer hang times, giving higher alcohols
(we’re talking PasoRobles here I think), don’t age well and fall apart at any early age. Does the Warburg measurement confirm this claim; that high alcohol
wines will not age?? What about a wine that was made from very ripe grapes but has been RO’d to knock the alcohol back? Does Warburg confirm that
it has a better potential to age longer because of the lower alcohol??
It sounds like this Warburg measurement is not an easy thing to carry out in a winery. Does anbody, like Leo’s Oenoligix, offer up the service of providing these
If you are a winemaker, would the Warburg measurement be something of use, as good as your own palate and yrs of experience, to making your estimate
of longevity for that wine? Would it be something PaulDraper would find of use for MonteBello?? Would it tell Paul something about this yr’s MB that his
palate may have missed?? Or is the Warburg something that’s never going to supplant Paul’s palate?
You have two wines with the same Warburg measurement in the btl. Ignoring any variations in cork leakage/etc; there is still no way to guess which one
is going to be the “better” (whatever that may mean") ten yrs down the road. Is there??
Probably have more ??, but will stop there.