John Treder wrote:>> 3. We know that Gamay and Zinfandel can't age worth Jack$hit. And that Cabernet and Syrah and Nebbiolo can.
Which sort of argues why "field blend" Zins such as Geyserville or Coffaro's Block 4 age better than straight zins, right?
Craig Winchell wrote:Clark and I were classmates in many of our classes, having transferred in from parts east at the same time, he from MIT and me, in a roundabout way, from Haverford. Clark is Clark. He's a good winemaker, a good technologist and a good technician. He's a smart guy. However, in this I feel he has missed the mark. A proof is that there are white wines which are tasty at release, yet which can age well, and there are reds, presumably with phenolic material including anthocyanins which exhibit a marked antioxidant effect, which will not age as long, though tasty in their youth. I have often found acidity to be a good predictor of aging ability, all other things being equal. Certainly, tannins and other phenolics contribute, but are part of a spectrum of factors which contribute to aging. I tend to believe that chemical reactions other than oxidation are partially responsible for aging. If the wine is considered perfect at the commencement of the period, then the oxygen permeability of the closure will contribute to oxidative reactions which will change the wine, often for the worse. If the wine is not perfect to begin the period, then the oxidative reactions will certainly contribute to a change in the wine, for better or worse. But there are other concurrent reactions, due simply to proximity of different chemical moities and enough energy present to allow initiation of these reactions between them. Some of these are oxidative as well. The difference between redox reactions and others are in absorbing/contributing electron pairs, and such reactions need not require oxygen, which is what Clark means by "Oxygenation is not oxidation", I believe. And as far as Clark's penchant for going mystical a la Randall Graham, well, he's human, and follows success.
Craig Winchell wrote:He's made many contributions over the years, but there has also been a fair amount of shameless self-promotion. Why not? He deserves to benefit. I would typically classify his writings as the latter. Nothing like a writing gig or book to solidify one's credentials.
Steve Slatcher wrote:Craig Winchell wrote:He's made many contributions over the years, but there has also been a fair amount of shameless self-promotion. Why not? He deserves to benefit. I would typically classify his writings as the latter. Nothing like a writing gig or book to solidify one's credentials.
No reason not for him to self-promote, but many reasons not to spend money and time reading the self-promotion. However smart he is, and whether or not his methods work, I would not recommend the book (though I seem to be in a minority): http://www.winenous.co.uk/wp/archives/4581
TomHill wrote:As for "great visionaries like Rudolf Steiner".....hmmmm...that kind of caught my attention. If you wanted to use the sobriquet "self-promoter", then Steiner would be the one, IMHO.
Steve Slatcher wrote:TomHill wrote:As for "great visionaries like Rudolf Steiner".....hmmmm...that kind of caught my attention. If you wanted to use the sobriquet "self-promoter", then Steiner would be the one, IMHO.
It probably didn't come across clearly enough, but "great visionaries like Rudolf Steiner" was meant to be heavy with irony. Many people are probably thoroughly fed up of hearing me rail against Steiner and Biodynamics, but if you want to know what I think please feel free to light the blue touchpaper
But the one chapter, "Redox Redux, Measuring Wine's Oxygen Uptake Capacity", has really caused me
to think (rare occurence, there). It talks in detail about a wines "reductive strength"...the ability
to absorb oxygen over the wines lifetime. Implicit in this "reductive strength" is the ability of a
wine to age over its lifetime. Greater "reductive strength"...the longer the wine will last.
He describes VernSingleton early-on work to measure a wines "specific oxygen uptake rate", using
the Warburg apparatus. VernonSingleton is probably the world's expert on wine phenolics. Way back
in the late '70's, I requested an appointment w/ Vern there at UCDavis for some discussions on
wine phenolics. Me...just a no-body wine geek (interesting how some things never change)...and Vern,
a busy/high-level enologist. The man was absolutely charming and chatted w/ me for almost 2 hrs,
patiently explaining stuff that I'm sure was pretty fundamental. Vern retired in 1991 and I believe
he's still alive.
Anyway, after decades of work on measuring the "reductive strength" in wine, Vern abandoned the work
because he couldn't inspire anyone to take advantage of his ideas. The Warburg apparatus that Clark came
upon in the early '80's at Davis raises the wines pH to a high level (the oxygen reaction rate at typical
wine pHs is terribly slow) and, using a manometer & stopwatch, measures the rate of oxygen uptake.
He further describes the work of Jean Ribereau-Gayon in Bdx in the early '30's to use the Warburg
apparatus to measure a wine's "total oxygen uptake potential"..which I gather is a measure of a wines
ability to age a long time....sort of the fragility of a wine to aging.
TomHill wrote: He then describes Ducournau's discovery that oxygenated wines,
at first increase in reductive strength. As in MOx, I presume Clark's talking. He then admonishes us that
"oxygenation is not oxidation". Not sure I grasp that concept.
Clark Smith wrote:In Micro-oxygenation, which occurs post fermentation, usually on big reds, we introduce oxygen at a rate lower than the wine’s capacity to consume it. This is to put 100% of the reaction into polymerization, particularly with the goal to incorporate anthocyanins into polymeric pigments, where they are more stable and also act as “bookends” on polymerization, thus minimizing chain length.
Ben Rotter wrote:I have yet to receive my ordered book (the next consignment from the publisher seems delayed), so I can't comment on the book or its content at this point, but I found this an interesting thread. I also appreciate Clark chiming in. Although it might be said he has a vested interest in doing so, not every author would (or does) respond to such a thread.
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