The 2016 oxidation experiment

Once a year I pull samples of all my whites, fill a glass with each and let the wine oxidize while taking a picture from time to time, sniffing and sipping. This year Basil (Wines Under the BonnetToasted) was around visiting and helped me (thanks mate!). The glasses almost didn’t fit in the photo box, I have to find a better solution next year. I’ve increased the contrast in the picture quite a bit to make the differences more visible. So here is what happened during those 30h (13 wines from left to right, oxidation happening from top to bottom):

What I noticed in general this year was that the wines were pretty stable in general. Nothing like coffee brown after a day. The left three glasses are Müller-Thurgau behaving like expected. No wine gets better after having been in a glass for a day and a night but besides having lost some aroma & tasting a bit pale they were doing fine. The third one has been fermented on the skins (for Drei Freunde) and really stood out. It has a healthier color as you can see and it was still full of flavors and complexity.

The next five glasses also pretty much did what I expected them to do. They lost. Glass four and five are Bacchus without and with skin contact, the next three are none skin-contact Silvaners. All turned a bit brown, none of them were very enjoyable in the end. The surprise winner is also Silvaner. The fifth glass from the right didn’t change in color at all and remained enormously enjoyable to drink. If I hadn’t had it tested in the lab two weeks ago I would have thought it got SO2 somehow. Difference to the other Silvaners: 1 vs. 2 days maceration, fermented in steel vs. old oak 11.5% vs. 13% alcohol.

The rest is skin fermented Silvaner as well, the row end with the new vintage of Heimat Silvaner which is as you can see more orangy than it was last year. All did really well. You can see the color changing but compared to the Silvaner / Bacchus glasses left it remains a lively color without the grey-brown shades.

Conclusion: this year skin-contact clearly wins with only the Bacchus version being a bit behind (but more color- than taste-wise). Straight-forward Müller-Thurgau still does way better than similarly made SIlvaner or Bacchus. And there is a new mystery wine breaking all the rules 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *