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Old 22-11-2003, 06:05 PM
Eric lee
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

I have recently open a bottle of Spanish un-oak Tampranillo.
It smell like rotten egg. But slowly fade off with time in the glass. I
smell the cork but it smell fine. It's the first time I've tried un-oak
Tampranillo, just wondering is it normal or the wine is corked.

Question, How corked wine smell and when the wine is corked, does the cork
itself smell bad too?
I've drunk many wine and I've never encounter faulty one before.



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Old 22-11-2003, 10:03 PM
Ian Hoare
 
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Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

Salut/Hi Eric lee,

le/on Sun, 23 Nov 2003 02:05:23 +0800, tu disais/you said:-

I have recently open a bottle of Spanish un-oak Tampranillo.
It smell like rotten egg.


H2S, often caused by sulphur dropping onto the bottom of a barrel, when the
sulphur "candle" is burnt in it to sterilise it. However as your Tempranillo
isn't oaked that sounds improbable.

But slowly fade off with time in the glass.


This is called "blowing off" and quite often happens with some minor faults.

I smell the cork but it smell fine.


Doesn't prove anything at all and in general doesn't give much information
even if the wine were corked.

It's the first time I've tried un-oak Tampranillo, just wondering is it normal or the wine is corked.


No it's not normal and from your description the wine is _definitely_ not
corked.

Question, How corked wine smell and when the wine is corked, does the cork
itself smell bad too?


People describe a corked wine smell in many ways, but most often have the
words "wet" & "mouldy" associated. So "Wet dog" "wet cardboard" "mouldy
cardboard" are all used fairly frequently. A very slightly corked wine may
not have much corked smell (at first certainly) but the smell does NOT go
away, it gets worse and that's the MOST distinctive characteristic of a
corked wine.

I've drunk many wine and I've never encounter faulty one before.


Well, you've been pretty lucky, or else you're one of the people like me who
are very insensitive to TCA. However, MY perception of a slightly corked
wine is that it "isn't showing well", and that's happened to me quite a few
times.

--
All the Best
Ian Hoare

Sometimes oi just sits and thinks
Sometimes oi just sits.
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Old 22-11-2003, 11:51 PM
Mark Willstatter
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

"Eric lee" wrote in message ...
I have recently open a bottle of Spanish un-oak Tampranillo.
It smell like rotten egg. But slowly fade off with time in the glass. I
smell the cork but it smell fine. It's the first time I've tried un-oak
Tampranillo, just wondering is it normal or the wine is corked.

Question, How corked wine smell and when the wine is corked, does the cork
itself smell bad too?
I've drunk many wine and I've never encounter faulty one before.


Eric, "rotten egg" odors are an indication of the presence of hydrogen
sulfide, a "reductive" wine fault that can result from - among other
things - malnourished yeast during fermentation or improper handling
of the wine when it is on the lees (dead yeast cells). As you
observed, the smell of hydrogen sulfide often "blows off" with
exposure to air, at least in relatively minor cases. A subtly corked
bottle, on the other hand, might be detectable only to those familiar
with a given wine as an absence of fruit. Aromas in more extreme
examples of corkiness are most often described along the lines of
"musty" and/or "damp cardboard". People vary widely in their ability
to detect TCA, the chemical responsible for corked bottles but just
about everyone can smell hydrogen sulfide. A corked bottle tends to
get worse, not better, with air. The rotten egg odors you noticed
cannot be called "normal" but your bottle was not likely corked, both
because the smell is wrong and because it declined with time - unless
you were unfortunate enough to find a bottle that was corked in
*addition* to having a hydrogen sulfide problem!

- Mark W.
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Old 23-11-2003, 05:30 PM
Steve Slatcher
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

On Sat, 22 Nov 2003 23:03:28 +0100, Ian Hoare
wrote:

Salut/Hi Eric lee,

le/on Sun, 23 Nov 2003 02:05:23 +0800, tu disais/you said:-

I have recently open a bottle of Spanish un-oak Tampranillo.
It smell like rotten egg.


H2S, often caused by sulphur dropping onto the bottom of a barrel, when the
sulphur "candle" is burnt in it to sterilise it. However as your Tempranillo
isn't oaked that sounds improbable.


You're right that it's Hydrogen Sulphide, but that would not be caused
by a sulphur candle in the barrel; that would give Sulphur Dioxide
taint.

The combination of nitrogen deficiency in the must, use of sulphur
dioxide before fermentation, and certain types of yeast give H2S
taint.

Can be removed by putting a copper coin in the glass.

--
Steve Slatcher
http://pobox.com/~steve.slatcher
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Old 23-11-2003, 05:35 PM
Mike Tommasi
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

On Sun, 23 Nov 2003 17:30:48 +0000, Steve Slatcher
wrote:
The combination of nitrogen deficiency in the must, use of sulphur
dioxide before fermentation, and certain types of yeast give H2S
taint.


Why is nitrogen needed in the must? Is it dissolved in the must? And
how does its deficiency yield H2S?

Mike


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Old 23-11-2003, 08:51 PM
Steve Slatcher
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

On Sun, 23 Nov 2003 18:35:16 +0100, Mike Tommasi
wrote:

On Sun, 23 Nov 2003 17:30:48 +0000, Steve Slatcher
wrote:
The combination of nitrogen deficiency in the must, use of sulphur
dioxide before fermentation, and certain types of yeast give H2S
taint.


Why is nitrogen needed in the must? Is it dissolved in the must? And
how does its deficiency yield H2S?


The deficiency is apparently related to certain soils and grape
varieties, and one solution is to treat with diammonium phoshate, so I
presume the nitrogen is chemically bound rather than dissolved.

Beyond that, I do not know. My source of information is The Oxford
Companion to Wine, which says quite a bit more about the issue, but
does not directly answer your questions. If you are really keen to
find out, this article has a couple of references to scientific
journals. Let me know if you want the references.

--
Steve Slatcher
http://pobox.com/~steve.slatcher
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Old 23-11-2003, 09:26 PM
Ian Hoare
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

Salut/Hi Steve Slatcher,

le/on Sun, 23 Nov 2003 17:30:48 +0000, tu disais/you said:-

On Sat, 22 Nov 2003 23:03:28 +0100, Ian Hoare
wrote:

Salut/Hi Eric lee,

le/on Sun, 23 Nov 2003 02:05:23 +0800, tu disais/you said:-

I have recently open a bottle of Spanish un-oak Tampranillo.
It smell like rotten egg.


H2S, often caused by sulphur dropping onto the bottom of a barrel, when the
sulphur "candle" is burnt in it to sterilise it. However as your Tempranillo
isn't oaked that sounds improbable.


You're right that it's Hydrogen Sulphide, but that would not be caused
by a sulphur candle in the barrel; that would give Sulphur Dioxide
taint.


With respect, I think you ought to read what I said. I _was_ aware that
burning sulphur gives sulphur dioxide, and that in fact this is what is
intended - to sterilise the barrel. You were probably not aware that
sometimes, drops of molten sulphur heated by the combustion of the "candle",
can dribble off the bottom and fall to the bottom of the barrel, where the
flames go out. This _unconverted_ sulphur can - I repeat - give H2S
contamination.
--
All the Best
Ian Hoare

Sometimes oi just sits and thinks
Sometimes oi just sits.
  #8 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 24-11-2003, 04:44 AM
Eric lee
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

Thanks guys for your help,

After all, that bottle is bad and I'm quite disappointed as wanted to try a
young Tampranillo which show varietals characteristic after reading
recommendation in wine book by Jancis Robinson. It took me a hard time
looking for minimum oak influence copies. As it's cheap and not a mainstream
style. Not many merchant willing to carry I guess...

However, I still haven't give up yet, That bottle is a Vina Allbali
Tampranillo 2002 from Valdepena, Spain. Not even a Crianza class so I guess
it's not wooded at most old wood.

Should I go back and get another bottle or another vintage of the same wine,
If not any suggestion? How about Corona by Torres, but it's still age for 6
months in wood which is good enough to be crianza although it's not labelled
so. Would I able to taste the fruit unadulterated?

"Mark Willstatter" wrote in message
om...
"Eric lee" wrote in message

...
I have recently open a bottle of Spanish un-oak Tampranillo.
It smell like rotten egg. But slowly fade off with time in the glass. I
smell the cork but it smell fine. It's the first time I've tried un-oak
Tampranillo, just wondering is it normal or the wine is corked.

Question, How corked wine smell and when the wine is corked, does the

cork
itself smell bad too?
I've drunk many wine and I've never encounter faulty one before.


Eric, "rotten egg" odors are an indication of the presence of hydrogen
sulfide, a "reductive" wine fault that can result from - among other
things - malnourished yeast during fermentation or improper handling
of the wine when it is on the lees (dead yeast cells). As you
observed, the smell of hydrogen sulfide often "blows off" with
exposure to air, at least in relatively minor cases. A subtly corked
bottle, on the other hand, might be detectable only to those familiar
with a given wine as an absence of fruit. Aromas in more extreme
examples of corkiness are most often described along the lines of
"musty" and/or "damp cardboard". People vary widely in their ability
to detect TCA, the chemical responsible for corked bottles but just
about everyone can smell hydrogen sulfide. A corked bottle tends to
get worse, not better, with air. The rotten egg odors you noticed
cannot be called "normal" but your bottle was not likely corked, both
because the smell is wrong and because it declined with time - unless
you were unfortunate enough to find a bottle that was corked in
*addition* to having a hydrogen sulfide problem!

- Mark W.



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Old 24-11-2003, 03:12 PM
Eric lee
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

Have found a solution, I have decant it and the sulphur smell has gone, and
the fruit come through. The wine is powerful enough to last through the
aeration process.

"Eric lee" wrote in message
...
Thanks guys for your help,

After all, that bottle is bad and I'm quite disappointed as wanted to try

a
young Tampranillo which show varietals characteristic after reading
recommendation in wine book by Jancis Robinson. It took me a hard time
looking for minimum oak influence copies. As it's cheap and not a

mainstream
style. Not many merchant willing to carry I guess...

However, I still haven't give up yet, That bottle is a Vina Allbali
Tampranillo 2002 from Valdepena, Spain. Not even a Crianza class so I

guess
it's not wooded at most old wood.

Should I go back and get another bottle or another vintage of the same

wine,
If not any suggestion? How about Corona by Torres, but it's still age for

6
months in wood which is good enough to be crianza although it's not

labelled
so. Would I able to taste the fruit unadulterated?

"Mark Willstatter" wrote in message
om...
"Eric lee" wrote in message

...
I have recently open a bottle of Spanish un-oak Tampranillo.
It smell like rotten egg. But slowly fade off with time in the glass.

I
smell the cork but it smell fine. It's the first time I've tried

un-oak
Tampranillo, just wondering is it normal or the wine is corked.

Question, How corked wine smell and when the wine is corked, does the

cork
itself smell bad too?
I've drunk many wine and I've never encounter faulty one before.


Eric, "rotten egg" odors are an indication of the presence of hydrogen
sulfide, a "reductive" wine fault that can result from - among other
things - malnourished yeast during fermentation or improper handling
of the wine when it is on the lees (dead yeast cells). As you
observed, the smell of hydrogen sulfide often "blows off" with
exposure to air, at least in relatively minor cases. A subtly corked
bottle, on the other hand, might be detectable only to those familiar
with a given wine as an absence of fruit. Aromas in more extreme
examples of corkiness are most often described along the lines of
"musty" and/or "damp cardboard". People vary widely in their ability
to detect TCA, the chemical responsible for corked bottles but just
about everyone can smell hydrogen sulfide. A corked bottle tends to
get worse, not better, with air. The rotten egg odors you noticed
cannot be called "normal" but your bottle was not likely corked, both
because the smell is wrong and because it declined with time - unless
you were unfortunate enough to find a bottle that was corked in
*addition* to having a hydrogen sulfide problem!

- Mark W.





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Old 24-11-2003, 03:15 PM
Mark Lipton
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?



Mike Tommasi wrote:

On Sun, 23 Nov 2003 17:30:48 +0000, Steve Slatcher
wrote:
The combination of nitrogen deficiency in the must, use of sulphur
dioxide before fermentation, and certain types of yeast give H2S
taint.


Why is nitrogen needed in the must? Is it dissolved in the must? And
how does its deficiency yield H2S?


Mike,
I suspect that the role of nitrogen in the must is as a nutrient for
the yeast. A low level of nitrogen would lead to early death of the
yeast, which seems to be one of the primary causes of H2S.

Mark Lipton



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Old 24-11-2003, 07:03 PM
Steve Slatcher
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

On Sun, 23 Nov 2003 22:26:21 +0100, Ian Hoare
wrote:

Salut/Hi Steve Slatcher,

le/on Sun, 23 Nov 2003 17:30:48 +0000, tu disais/you said:-

On Sat, 22 Nov 2003 23:03:28 +0100, Ian Hoare
wrote:

Salut/Hi Eric lee,

le/on Sun, 23 Nov 2003 02:05:23 +0800, tu disais/you said:-

I have recently open a bottle of Spanish un-oak Tampranillo.
It smell like rotten egg.

H2S, often caused by sulphur dropping onto the bottom of a barrel, when the
sulphur "candle" is burnt in it to sterilise it. However as your Tempranillo
isn't oaked that sounds improbable.


You're right that it's Hydrogen Sulphide, but that would not be caused
by a sulphur candle in the barrel; that would give Sulphur Dioxide
taint.


With respect, I think you ought to read what I said.


OK. Guilty as charged. Though for some reason it weas only on the
2nd re-reading I saw what you were saying - dispite the fact it was
clearly there in black and white.

--
Steve Slatcher
http://pobox.com/~steve.slatcher
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Old 24-11-2003, 10:19 PM
Mark Willstatter
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

Mark Lipton wrote in message ...
Mike Tommasi wrote:

On Sun, 23 Nov 2003 17:30:48 +0000, Steve Slatcher
wrote:
The combination of nitrogen deficiency in the must, use of sulphur
dioxide before fermentation, and certain types of yeast give H2S
taint.


Why is nitrogen needed in the must? Is it dissolved in the must? And
how does its deficiency yield H2S?


Mike,
I suspect that the role of nitrogen in the must is as a nutrient for
the yeast. A low level of nitrogen would lead to early death of the
yeast, which seems to be one of the primary causes of H2S.

Mark Lipton


Mark, that's right - yeast need a long list of nutrients but the most
important ones are oxygen and nitrogen. The need for oxygen is one of
the reasons the cap is "punched down" in making reds, although that
task is often accomplished these days by pumping the wine over the
cap, sometimes even after being aerated. Nitrogen is also often added
(usually in the form of diammonium phosphate, as has already been
noted), sometimes after lab analysis for nitrogen in the must (there's
a technical name for the test that would mean something to you but
escapes *me*), sometimes routinely, especially for varieties that are
known for producing low-nitrogen musts, like Zinfandel and Syrah.

- Mark W.
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Old 24-11-2003, 10:44 PM
Vino
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

On 24 Nov 2003 14:19:19 -0800, (Mark Willstatter)
wrote:

Mark Lipton wrote in message ...
Mike Tommasi wrote:

On Sun, 23 Nov 2003 17:30:48 +0000, Steve Slatcher
wrote:
The combination of nitrogen deficiency in the must, use of sulphur
dioxide before fermentation, and certain types of yeast give H2S
taint.

Why is nitrogen needed in the must? Is it dissolved in the must? And
how does its deficiency yield H2S?


Mike,
I suspect that the role of nitrogen in the must is as a nutrient for
the yeast. A low level of nitrogen would lead to early death of the
yeast, which seems to be one of the primary causes of H2S.

Mark Lipton


Mark, that's right - yeast need a long list of nutrients but the most
important ones are oxygen and nitrogen. The need for oxygen is one of
the reasons the cap is "punched down" in making reds, although that
task is often accomplished these days by pumping the wine over the
cap, sometimes even after being aerated. Nitrogen is also often added
(usually in the form of diammonium phosphate, as has already been
noted), sometimes after lab analysis for nitrogen in the must (there's
a technical name for the test that would mean something to you but
escapes *me*), sometimes routinely, especially for varieties that are
known for producing low-nitrogen musts, like Zinfandel and Syrah.

- Mark W.


It has always been my understanding that yeast did not NEED oxygen as
a nutrient, although for reproductive reasons it would prefer its
presence. It has also been my understanding that if oxygen were
present in sufficient amounts, no alcohol would be produced, only
water and CO2.

I have also never heard that "punching down" the cap while making reds
was for any other purpose than increasing the contact between the
liquid and the skins, thus facilitating the extraction of various
substances from the skins.

Vino
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Old 25-11-2003, 01:01 AM
Ian Hoare
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

Salut/Hi Steve Slatcher,

le/on Mon, 24 Nov 2003 19:03:42 +0000, tu disais/you said:-


OK. Guilty as charged. Though for some reason it weas only on the
2nd re-reading I saw what you were saying - dispite the fact it was
clearly there in black and white.


It's amazing how often on these NGs one reacts to what one THINKS one reads
and not what is actually written. ;-))) That's the main reason I use an
offline Newsreader. It enables me to re-read my replies and make sure that
I'm - more or less - answering the message!

--
All the Best
Ian Hoare

Sometimes oi just sits and thinks
Sometimes oi just sits.
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Old 25-11-2003, 06:58 AM
Mike Tommasi
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to confirm the wine is corked?

On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 22:44:55 GMT, Vino wrote:



I have also never heard that "punching down" the cap while making reds
was for any other purpose than increasing the contact between the
liquid and the skins, thus facilitating the extraction of various
substances from the skins.



Alright, thanks for the info about nitrogen, although nobody I know
ever has the need to add diammonium phosphate.

Now here is another question for the chem wizes, what about the smell
of reduced wine, typical of certain varieties when the must spends too
much time in the barrel or the bottle. Mourvedre tends to reduction,
syrah does not. Smells faintly like rotten eggs, but not quite, more
like burnt rubber. The yeast are the beasties doing this reduction.
What is the reaction going on? Which molecule is responsible for the
smell?

I ask because this smell is more and more present. Try opening 10
bottles of Domaine Tempier, at least 3 have this smell and require a
few hours decanting before it goes away.

It seems to be more present because the new generation of oenologists
has been taught that air is some kind of ghastly monster to be avoided
at all cost: none is allowed in at any stage of winemaking...
everything is done in perfectly anerobic conditions.

Mike


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