Wine Talk

Snooth User: JonDerry

Funk

Posted by JonDerry, Mar 23, 2016.

Apart from lack of hygiene in the winery, what part of the winemaking process allows for a funky nose?

 

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Replies

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 23, 2016.

Define 'funky'.

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Reply by JonDerry, Mar 23, 2016.

So I think it's a clean winemaking v.s. more traditional methods that I'm after. What traditional methods lend themselves to funk? Native yeasts? Warm (non temp controlled) fermentations? Old barrels?

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Reply by outthere, Mar 23, 2016.

Sulphur

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Reply by GregT, Mar 25, 2016.

And Brett. And bacteria.

"Native yeast" is more or less meaningless since nobody knows what those yeasts are.

Old barrels may be contaminated with god knows what.

Fermentation temps affect the aromatics but they don't by themselves impart a "funky" quality.

But Brett sure does. I was tasting some American Tempranillo today and out of a few dozen, one of them had a funkiness. I asked the producer whether he intentionally let his wine become bretty. He smiled and said that he did indeed. Years ago, a lot of Bordeaux, most of the N. Rhone, much of the S. Rhone, most of Tuscany and a lot of Spain produced funky wines.

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Reply by outthere, Mar 25, 2016.

High fermentation temps will extract stuff. Early on color, later on tannins. Bad funk comes mostly from poor sanitation but I have heard of brand new barrels being infected.

Recently I was in a conversation with a winemaker and a cooper where the talk centered around new barrels and whether to clean them before use. Hot water cleaning masks the ability of the oak to do it's job so barrels are filled without any cleaning. One time they ad a barrel of wine infected with Pediococcus which is a bacteria that imparts buttery flavors and unwanted viscosity. They were able to nail it down to the barrel since it was the only infected batch. Not in the topping wine or anywhere else in the winery. So you can have a clean winery and still have bacterial issues.

You know how you get rid of brett in a winery?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You burn it down.

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 25, 2016.

Wouldn't call 'native' yeasts meaningless, Greg. They do work, even if variously, and have been known to work well, even if not according to industrial production line specs. Then there's all the sourdoughs that gave the name to the '49ers football team and then later some good bread out of SanFran. ;-)

I had a Furore white from Marisa Cuomo tonight that I may post on later (too tired after a long week and a big meal; going to bed now), but for the purposes of this discussion it had a hint of Brett which I assume was intentional. It interacted very interestingly with 3 different fish dishes.

 

 

Or you can burn the insides of the barrels, OT...

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Reply by outthere, Mar 25, 2016.

Never seen a winery re-toast barrels every year. Sounds expensive. Brett is not only in barrels but on equipment, in drains, carried by people... Once the winery is infected it requires a huge undertaking to rid itself of the taint. Otherwise it's using ozone on everything, being overly anal about every aspect of cleanliness. All it takes is for one intern, on one day, to skip a step or not fully carry out a cleaning process and hundreds of gallons of wine could be ruined. Instead of wasting time hoping you burn it out just sell the barrel and buy a new one.

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Reply by EMark, Mar 25, 2016.

The story of the single barrel infection is very interesting.  Often, when a taster is surprised that a wine with which he is very familiar does not meet expectations, he will attribute this discontinuity to "bottle variation."  The single barrel infection is an easily understood explanation of one way that bottle variation can occur.  I have to believe that there are almost innumerable other ways.

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Reply by JonDerry, Mar 25, 2016.

That brings about another question, and part of the process I'm unfamiliar with. Do all barrels typically get blended together to make one wine? That would seem typical. Though I suppose it's possible smaller wineries fill bottles one barrel at a time, or larger wineries may blend various barrels together, hedging against the possibility that one barrel is off...but then they could just taste the wine out of barrel beforehand and rule that out. 

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 25, 2016.

JD, all sorts of variations here, including whether different varietals go into the blend, length of aging in barrels, how barrel ullage leads to topping up from other barrels, specific winemaker preference in assembling the batch for bottling, etc., etc. Not by any means any hard and fast rule.

Mark, then there's the cork and potential ingress of microbes through contamination of a single bottle, etc. Especially as wines age, the old saw about there being no great wines but only great bottles rings truer and truer.

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Reply by outthere, Mar 25, 2016.

Generally the wine is racked from the barrels to a tank then pumped from the tank to the bottling line. The same wine could be put to 4, 6, 10 different barrels from different coopers with differing levels of toast. The ending wine is what is important. Flaws will be found long before barrels are blended as samples are analyzed at every topping session. Getting bottle variation due to different barrels is not likely due to the migration to stainless steel before bottling.

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Reply by EMark, Mar 25, 2016.

Hmm.  Interesting.

My education continues.

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Reply by JonDerry, Mar 25, 2016.

Makes sense. Otherwise, if barrel variation is in play, it's really not the "same wine"

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 26, 2016.

And through the entire process, OT, which may or may not be exactly the same as in Sonoma, some winemakers may, as Greg mentions, want to keep Brett in the mix. There's no way the winemakers didn't know what was going on with the '89 and '90 Beaucastels that I had a lot of and every one had some level of Brett--fascinating flavor profiles. Wonder how the winemakers at Chateau Musar view the subject.

Now we're retreading material from a thread of two years ago: A purposely 'bretted' wine?

Unlike Zuf I don't think it's necessarily great to just regurgitate the same stuff over and over again, when it's already there to read and learn from--as long as we can easily find the earlier discussions. Wish Snooth's mgmnt had taken up my WineWiki suggestion back when they had the capabilities to implement it.

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Reply by outthere, Mar 27, 2016.

And through the entire process, OT, which may or may not be exactly the same as in Sonoma, some winemakers may, as Greg mentions, want to keep Brett in the mix. 

Yeah, some of those same people don't use deodorant either. Doesn't make it right.;-)

 

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Reply by napagirl68, Mar 28, 2016.

This is a very good conversation.  I have had fantastic wine from a certain winery i used to frequent, that begun to have occasional brett fault.  I kinda backed off, and then tried it again.  Was pleasantly surprised with the product, and was informed by winemaker that "filters" had been installed, and other "cleaning" done.  Not sure what this means exactly, as I am no expert in the process.

I agree with OT 100% on his comment below.   I hate brett.  I think i am a super taster of brett as I am with TCA.  If I even whiff it on a pinot, it's a non-starter.

"And through the entire process, OT, which may or may not be exactly the same as in Sonoma, some winemakers may, as Greg mentions, want to keep Brett in the mix. 

Yeah, some of those same people don't use deodorant either. Doesn't make it right.;-)"

 

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Reply by napagirl68, Mar 28, 2016.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS4rvpSJprA

LOL!

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 28, 2016.

Well, OT and NG, far and away the greater proportion of human population on this earth does not use commercial deodorants. I always thought the fixation on them quaint. Staying clean seems to do the job.

(Now let's see the reaction to this post...)

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Reply by JonDerry, Mar 28, 2016.

I've always thought that there is no perfect deodorant, and there are quite a few that are worse than wearing nothing at all, which my wife can attest.

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Reply by GregT, Mar 29, 2016.

Wouldn't call 'native' yeasts meaningless, Greg. They do work, even if variously, and have been known to work well, even if not according to industrial production line specs.

I'm not saying that the yeasts are meaningless D. Just that the term is because we can't be sure what we're fermenting with unless we plate it of somehow identify it. There are all kinds of yeasts around and what we think is "native" may just be something you brought in from your neighbor's winery.

i make bread every week and haven't bought yeast in many years - the flour always seems to bubble when I want it to. But I don't know what I have. That's a whole topic of many pages - the work of the yeast and bacteria together is what gives you the flavors in bread and wine, but you can trade yeasts with people all over the world. If you find one you like, you can keep it going. That's what bakers did for centuries, as did wine makers. The yeasts that people use for wine making are only those that have proven themselves. At one time they were "native" to somewhere.

But it's far more complicated than that. The yeast that starts fermentation is not likely to be the one that finishes the fermentation. And the various yeasts that work on a grape to transform it into wine also work with various bacteria and they're also affected by temperatures and time and the presence of other yeasts and whatever other factors.

I'm in favor of leaving things alone as much as possible. But we should be aware that wine making is kind of complicated and not as binary as "native" vs "industrial".

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