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Monday night wine madness

Last time I had a bottle of Meursault it was in a restaurant and they decanted it.

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/cairanne-blanc-domaine-de-loratoire-saint-martin-2017

Opened this yesterday and in my opinion it was premox’d (and not White Burgundy!). This wine continues to cause me issues. I have 4 left and I expect 1 or 2 to be like this.

I think the cork surely has to be the cause.
See staining/seeping all the way under 18.11 and through the circled ‘A’ along with another seep below about 2/3rds through.

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Looks like @inbar and @leah has the same issue with this wine…

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Ah right, I’d not got through the weekend drinking thread yet.
Snap @Inbar & @Leah :slightly_frowning_face:
My 2016’s I was 2 out of 6 oxidised
2017’s I’m 1 out 2

Maybe I should just send them all back for a refund. I won’t buy this producer again until corks are changed which is a shame as they are great wines when not spoiled.

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Would it be to do with the frequency at which cork bark is stripped from trees? When I started learning about with I think it was a minimum of 12 years, now the gap is much shorter

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Yes they are directly related. Once the bark has reached sufficient thickness to produce corks it is stripped. Thats happening more quickly as you say because cork trees are growing faster. Some producers no longer want cork from western Atlantic cork forests as there is more rainfall and trees grow faster there with less dense bark and they now specify cork from the eastern Mediterranean such as Catalonia or even Sardignia.

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Recalling my dendrochronology lectures from many years ago… cork density will be primarily affected by climate. It appears that the main driver of inter-annual variability is rainfall and ground water availability, rather than temperature during the growing season. I think fire frequency may also play a part, as this is a pyrophytic ecosystem (i.e., one where fire is an important ecological driver)

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Thank you very much for posting this. I was postulating my theory with more intuition than science.

Your paper says

The tree ring indices correlated positively with September temperature ( r = 0.48, P < 0.05) and very strongly with precipitation totals from previous October until current February ( r = 0.82, P < 0.001) showing that the water stored in the soil during the autumn and winter months prior to the growing season has a primordial effect on the growth of the given season.

I am not sure if that means increased temperature leads to increased growth. What would be your interpretation?

But cork bark is being harvested years earlier than previously. What could explain that? I am not sure what global warming has done to rainfall other than it being more erratic. I would assume there is less rather than more rainfal in Portugal than previously but I could be wrong, which would suggest cork trees should be growing more slowly. Glad that a move to drier forests such as Catalonia is validated by your paper.

I would welcome your thoughts on this.

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I’m having bad flashbacks to my university exams!

(my defence here is that I did my dendrochronology on pine trees up mountains, rather than oak forests, which work differently).

But basically, wetter winters lead to more cork growth the following summer, as do warmer Septembers, to a lesser extent. Older trees grow cork less quickly than younger trees. Cork growth is slower in the year or two after harvesting cork.

More growth = lower densities = more porosity, generally. This is particularly the case with the older trees, which show denser, less porous, corks.

With regards harvesting frequency and age - my suspicion/prejudice is that this may well be less to do with climatic or biophysical factors that affect cork growth, but more to do with the management and extraction regimes. I.e. it is a human, not botanical or climactic, driver.

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But if you are into that kind of thing, dendrochronology is a fascinating world. I do recall reading something about why Stradivarius violins are so good - one theory is that they are made from wood derived from trees with particular densities, due to a series of odd winters and summers in the area where they were growing, which affects their resonance.

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Amazing what you can learn on a wine forum.

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Yeah, that Stradivarius was nowt without them trees :smiley:

This is so interesting! Thank you for sharing the info :+1:

My other half is currently immersed in Roland Ennos’s book on the subject of wood (you probably know it) - it’s been one of his favourite reads this year so far!

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