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Old 05-03-2005, 03:03 PM
Raymond
 
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Default Three Questions About French & Australian Riesling

Hi
I'd like to know the following:
1) Applying the German ripeness standard on French and Australian
riesling, which level are grapes harvested? a) before Kabinett,
b) Kabinett, c) Spatlese, d) Auslese, e) other. Dessert wine not
considered)
2) Do French and Australian chaptalize or dose their wine to achieve that
bone-dry-high alcohol style?
3) Why is dry style more popular than the fruity version?

Regards
Ray




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Old 05-03-2005, 04:08 PM
Anders Tørneskog
 
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Default


"Raymond" skrev i melding
...
Hi
I'd like to know the following:
1) Applying the German ripeness standard on French and Australian
riesling, which level are grapes harvested? a) before Kabinett,
b) Kabinett, c) Spatlese, d) Auslese, e) other. Dessert wine not
considered)

Given that they use to be bone-dry and have about 13+%abv they probably are
harvested at about 100-110 degrees Oechsle, which is Auslese level. (24-25
Brix for you in the U.S.)
2) Do French and Australian chaptalize or dose their wine to achieve that
bone-dry-high alcohol style?

Probably not, i.e. I don't think they have to - it is not all that high.
3) Why is dry style more popular than the fruity version?

Fashion - a high sugar consumption is today seen as a characteristic of
uneducated people and who wants to be stigmatized like that?
:-) Anders


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Old 05-03-2005, 05:33 PM
AyTee
 
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Default

In Alsace (the only place in France allowed to grow Riesling)
chaptalization is strictly forbidden on AOC wines.


Yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it isn't practiced.

I might add that with the appearance of reverse osmosis machines by
the thousands in France and elsewhere in Europe, chaptalization may
have become an obsolete enrichemnt scheme, way too expensive compared
to renting an osmosis truck for the day...


Can that be true? Sugar more expensive than RO? I have no particular
objection to RO, but it is my understanding that it is an expensive
process.

Andy

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Old 05-03-2005, 09:12 PM
Martin Field
 
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Default


"Raymond" wrote in message
...
Hi
I'd like to know the following:
1) Applying the German ripeness standard on French and
Australian
riesling, which level are grapes harvested? a) before
Kabinett,
b) Kabinett, c) Spatlese, d) Auslese, e) other. Dessert
wine not
considered)
2) Do French and Australian chaptalize or dose their wine
to achieve that
bone-dry-high alcohol style?

snip

Chaptalisation is forbidden in Australia. See
http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/food...m#_FSCchapter4
for premitted additives to Australian wine.
Cheers!
Martin


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Old 06-03-2005, 12:17 AM
Rob
 
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Default

"Raymond" wrote in message ...
2) Do French and Australian chaptalize or dose their wine to achieve that
bone-dry-high alcohol style?


Chaptalization is not allowed in Australia


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Old 06-03-2005, 02:04 AM
AyTee
 
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Default


Mike Tommasi wrote:
On 5 Mar 2005 09:33:32 -0800, "AyTee" wrote:

I might add that with the appearance of reverse osmosis machines by
the thousands in France and elsewhere in Europe, chaptalization may
have become an obsolete enrichemnt scheme, way too expensive

compared
to renting an osmosis truck for the day...


Can that be true? Sugar more expensive than RO? I have no particular
objection to RO, but it is my understanding that it is an expensive
process.


Apparently not, otherwise you would not have over 600 of these things
in France's top two wine areas.


I understand reverse osmosis is used more than most winemakers are
willing to admit, and that it is usually used to remove volatile
acidity, or to decrease alcohol concentration to below 14 percent for
tax purposes. In America, that is -- Europe may be different. Can it
also be used to increase alcohol?

Andy

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Old 06-03-2005, 07:04 AM
Michael Pronay
 
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Default

"AyTee" wrote:

I understand reverse osmosis is used more than most winemakers
are willing to admit, and that it is usually used to remove
volatile acidity, or to decrease alcohol concentration to below
14 percent for tax purposes. In America, that is -- Europe may
be different.


It is.

Can it also be used to increase alcohol?


Yes. Reverse osmosis ("le concentrateur") removes water either
from the must (legal there, where chaptalisation is permitted) or
from wine (illegal).

Either process increases the alcohol content of the finished
product.

M.
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Old 06-03-2005, 07:50 AM
Michael Pronay
 
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Default

"AyTee" wrote:

I understand reverse osmosis is used more than most winemakers
are willing to admit, and that it is usually used to remove
volatile acidity, or to decrease alcohol concentration to below
14 percent for tax purposes. In America, that is -- Europe may
be different.


It is.

Can it also be used to increase alcohol?


Yes. Reverse osmosis ("le concentrateur") removes water either
from the must (legal where chaptalisation is permitted) or from
wine (illegal).

Either process increases the alcohol content of the finished
product.

M.
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Old 06-03-2005, 09:59 AM
Ian Hoare
 
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Default

Salut/Hi Andy,

le/on 5 Mar 2005 18:04:18 -0800, tu disais/you said:-


Mike Tommasi wrote:
On 5 Mar 2005 09:33:32 -0800, "AyTee" wrote:


Can that be true? Sugar more expensive than RO? I have no particular
objection to RO, but it is my understanding that it is an expensive
process.


Apparently not, otherwise you would not have over 600 of these things
in France's top two wine areas.


I don't know whether 600 machines in the thousands of estates counts as a
significant but I do know that their usage is "tolerated" not encouraged.
However, in a year where rain during harvest has diluted the crop, and where
otherwise chaptalisation would have to be practiced to increase the alcohol
level, I can understand the temptation.

I understand reverse osmosis is used more than most winemakers are
willing to admit,


Grinm. All sorts of things are done mucxh more than most winemakers are
willing to admit!!!

and that it is usually used to remove volatile acidity, or to decrease alcohol concentration to below 14 percent for
tax purposes. In America, that is --


Really? This is an entirely different usage from that practiced here, and
I'm not clear how this can be done. Sounds like a question for Mark!!!

Trying to keep technicalities to a minimum, reverse osmosis is like
operating a filter. You take a semi permeable membrane, which lets small
molecules through but not larger ones, and force the liquid being treated
through it. It's most common usage is for desalination, where it allows H2O
through but not Na+ and Cl-. I would be utterly astonished if a "normal"
semi permeable membrane could allow volatile acidity (acetic acid CH3C00H)
and alcohol (ethanol, C2H5OH) through _without_ letting through the water in
much larger quantities. I have given the chemical formulae, because in
general the more complex the structure (and the higher the atomic weight of
the elements composing the molecule) the larger it is, and the more
difficult it will be to pass them through the pores of the filter. Now it's
obvious that these two chemicals with two carbon atoms each will be bigger
than water with only one oxygen atom. So forgive me if I am doubtful about
whether you're right.

Europe may be different. Can it also be used to increase alcohol?


Indeed it can, or rather, it can be used to _remove water_, which is
slightly different in essence, and why it could be considered a "better"
solution to difficult years than chaptalisation.

Think about it. Adding sugar does nothing but adding alcohol. It can easily
throw the wine out of balance as it won't increase any of the components of
flavour.

Removing part of the water simply makes a more concentrated wine, almost as
if the vines had received less water in the run up to harvest. Before
everyone (and Mike T especially) jumps on me for this, I hasten to add that
it's not going to give results that are always better. BUT, as I said at the
beginning, in years where the harvest has been diluted by rain during
picking, it could very well play a part. I'm thinking of the notorious '64
vintage in Bordeaux. This was a year where some Chateaux were able to
complete their pickings in dry conditions and made magnificent wines. Others
were caught by the rain, the must was diluted and the wines were not so
good. Some tried to over-chaptalise their way out of it, and gave "hot"
wines. Others simply had dilute wines. If they had had R.O, it is very
probable that they would have been able to make a better tasting wine.

Note that I'm not expressing an opinion as to whether it's a "good thing" or
not, I'm simply trying to explain how R.O. works and therefore what it can
and can't do.

--
All the Best
Ian Hoare
http://www.souvigne.com
mailbox full to avoid spam. try me at website
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Old 06-03-2005, 03:51 PM
Michael Pronay
 
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Default

Ian Hoare wrote:

and that it [sc. reverse osmosis] is usually used to remove
volatile acidity, or to decrease alcohol concentration to below
14 percent for tax purposes. In America, that is --


Really? This is an entirely different usage from that practiced
here, and I'm not clear how this can be done. Sounds like a
question for Mark!!!


I guess you're on right side, Ian. I have never ever heard of VA
being removed by inverse osmosis. Diminishing alcohol levels (up to
14.2% it's table wine, over 14.2 it's liquor with higher tax),
however, is not done by reverse osmosis but by a technique called
"spinning cones" which includes ultra-fast centrifugating of the
wine.

There was quite a good article in the Wine Spectator archive, but I
don't use their archives anymore since they ask $$$ for it.

M.


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Old 06-03-2005, 03:56 PM
Michael Pronay
 
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Default

Ian Hoare wrote:

Note that I'm not expressing an opinion as to whether it's a
"good thing" or not, I'm simply trying to explain how R.O. works
and therefore what it can and can't do.


Personally, I find the technique of "saignée" (which, of course,
changes the solid to liquid ratio in the must) with subsequent
addition of beet sugar to increase alcohol levels not particularly
more "natural" than removing water from the must.

More traditional? Yes. More natural? No.

M.
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Old 06-03-2005, 04:46 PM
Bi!!
 
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Default


Ian Hoare wrote:
Salut/Hi Andy,

le/on 5 Mar 2005 18:04:18 -0800, tu disais/you said:-


Mike Tommasi wrote:
On 5 Mar 2005 09:33:32 -0800, "AyTee" wrote:


Can that be true? Sugar more expensive than RO? I have no

particular
objection to RO, but it is my understanding that it is an

expensive
process.


Apparently not, otherwise you would not have over 600 of these

things
in France's top two wine areas.


I don't know whether 600 machines in the thousands of estates counts

as a
significant but I do know that their usage is "tolerated" not

encouraged.
However, in a year where rain during harvest has diluted the crop,

and where
otherwise chaptalisation would have to be practiced to increase the

alcohol
level, I can understand the temptation.

I understand reverse osmosis is used more than most winemakers are
willing to admit,


Ian,
During my visit to Bordeaux last year, virtually every Chateau that
we visited, Margaux, Mouton, both Pichons, Lynch Bages, Cos d'Estornel,
Pavie, Mondotte, etc. were quite vocal about the use of RO,
concentrators, rotogravure (sp), micro-oxygenation, and all sorts of
techniques to get more concentration, higher alcohol and softer tannins
from their wines. Basically they shrugged (the French shrug) and said
"it is what the market wants so that is what we give". Given all of
the agricultral regulations they felt that technology gave them the
tools that they needed to compete. They also felt that the higher
alcohol levels gave a richer mouthfeel and a bigger flavor to the
wines. While all declined comment on pricing they all recognized that
in order to compete in a world market that things had to change and
most conversations started and ended with the French shrug. For the
uninitiated the French shrug is a body movement where the shoulders
move upwards towards the ears while the head moves down into the
shoulders. This is accompanied by a palms up gesture, a slight rolling
of the eyes to the side and a slight exhale through pursed lips
prducing a soft "puh" sound. I found it to be fairly universal in
France and is used to start and end many conversations...:-) "puh"

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Old 06-03-2005, 09:58 PM
Mark Lipton
 
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Default

Ian Hoare wrote:

and that it is usually used to remove volatile acidity, or to decrease alcohol concentration to below 14 percent for
tax purposes. In America, that is --



Really? This is an entirely different usage from that practiced here, and
I'm not clear how this can be done. Sounds like a question for Mark!!!


Err... It is?? I'd imagine that Andy is thinking of another type of
concentrator, the name of which escapes me, that works by evaporation.
Since VA is by its nature volatile, you are essentially distilling it
out of solution, though by all rights you'd also lose alcohol.


Trying to keep technicalities to a minimum, reverse osmosis is like
operating a filter. You take a semi permeable membrane, which lets small
molecules through but not larger ones, and force the liquid being treated
through it. It's most common usage is for desalination, where it allows H2O
through but not Na+ and Cl-. I would be utterly astonished if a "normal"
semi permeable membrane could allow volatile acidity (acetic acid CH3C00H)
and alcohol (ethanol, C2H5OH) through _without_ letting through the water in
much larger quantities. I have given the chemical formulae, because in
general the more complex the structure (and the higher the atomic weight of
the elements composing the molecule) the larger it is, and the more
difficult it will be to pass them through the pores of the filter. Now it's
obvious that these two chemicals with two carbon atoms each will be bigger
than water with only one oxygen atom. So forgive me if I am doubtful about
whether you're right.


RO is basically dialysis run under pressure, so it uses exclusion based
on molecular size primarily, as you've so ably described.

Mark Lipton
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Old 06-03-2005, 10:46 PM
Martin Field
 
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Default


"Mike Tommasi" wrote in message
...
On Sun, 6 Mar 2005 08:12:43 +1100, "Martin Field"
wrote:


2) Do French and Australian chaptalize or dose their
wine
to achieve that
bone-dry-high alcohol style?

snip

Chaptalisation is forbidden in Australia. See
http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/food...m#_FSCchapter4
for premitted additives to Australian wine.



Ooops, sorry Martin. Now chips, are they OK?



Mike Tommasi, Six Fours, France
email link http://www.tommasi.org/mymail


Hi Mike - Oak chips are used - usually in high volume el
cheapo reds. Isinglass - (boiled down sturgeon bladders
from memory) is also used in fining wine. So imagine, in one
bottle you can have fish and chips and a sprinkling of
vinegar (in wine jargon - volatile acidity measured as
acetic acid).

Cheers!
Martin

PS - I prefer my reds unfiltered unfined and
unsophisticated.


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Old 06-03-2005, 11:10 PM
AyTee
 
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Thanks, Ian, for your thorough response. Look here for an explanation
of how RO is used to remove VA. (Even more interesting, how it was used
in Australia to remove smoke taint from wine made from grapes that were
exposed to wild fires.) For the moment, I too am not judging the ethics
of using RO.

http://www.winenet.com.au/articles/W..._DWollan03.pdf

Andy "Keeping an Open Mind" Thomas



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