So today out on my sales route I got into an interesting conversation with someone freshly back from Burgundy and I thought his take away from the producers he had talked to were interesting.
According to the producers he had talked to, the longer the finish the less premox chance there was as the shorter the finish was, the higher rate of premox there was going to be. Meaning if the wine was rich and fat up front with little finish the wine was going to premox vs. a long finish with even with rich fruit up front meant the wine would not premox…
Also, the overwhelming belief on premox is that neoprene (the chemical coating of corks) as well as battonage are the 2 main reasons for Premox.
Did they know of any tests or basis for their belief about the coating and lees stirring being the cause?
I’ve posted this elsewhere, but seems appropriate here:
Fevre, a poster child for premox, has switched to Diam corks in a staged way…1er cru wines got Diam5 corks starting with the 2007 vintage (Grand Cru stayed with natural cork). Starting with the 2010 vintage, the grand cru wines got the Diam10 corks.
Background: Diam is an agglomerated cork (ground up cork pieces and put back together into a cork, using a Humpty Dumpty technique). Diam treats the cork particles to remove ‘all’ (99.9%) cork taint (TCA). The cork particles are put back together in a way that all Diam corks have a highly uniform Oxygen transmission rate (much more uniform than natural corks are).
It occurred to me that the 07s and 08s with Diam vs with natural corks provided an interesting test. I compared the premox reports of the two groups (Diam vs nat corks, I used cellartracker and the oxidised burg wiki as my data sources). I found that the nat corks (Grand Cru) wines had first premox reports at about the 5 year mark, and the rate accelerated at the 6 year mark. I’ve yet to find a premox report for a Diam closed Fevre.
It’s still early yet, and the 1er cru wines had ~2/3s of the number of reports as the grand cru wines…so this is preliminary. But it’s very interesting I think…and points to the closures being a significant part of the puzzle.
To answer your first 2 questions no.
I think their responses are mostly anecdotal especially the finish vs. no finish in the wines.
I think their idea was that stirring, while creating fatness also oxidized the wines, but again anecdotal.
I’m guessing this is a situation where someone has noticed something from a small sample size, based on imperfect personal sensory experience, talked to others about it and hey presto: confirmation bias = this is true…
There are many examples of wines that lacked a short finish young and became victims of premox, and it also beggars belief that out of a case of say '96 Ramonet Ruchottes there were three bottles with a long finish that “survived” and nine with a short finish.
Why not experiment with screw caps?
I’ve never heard of neoprene coating of wine corks; is this common? In Burgundy?
I thought the debate was paraffin vs silicone (or paraffin alone vs paraffin/silicone combined).