jamie goode's wine blog: Wine faults in Denmark

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wine faults in Denmark

I'm currently enduring that special part of hell also known as Gatwick South Terminal, en route to Billund in Denmark, where tomorrow I'll be presenting a paper on wine faults at the XXth Entretiens Scientifiques Lallemand. I've never been to Denmark before, and seeing as I'm coming back tomorrow evening, I doubt I'll see much of it. Apparently, Legoland is in Billund.

Most of my talk will be based on the last three years' data from the International Wine Challenge. These data have been collected by Sam Harrop MW (pictured), who is a co-author on this paper, and they're really exciting. The strength of this data set is that it's large (c. 15 000 wines opened, 10 000 separate wines entered); it's a 'real world' analysis of faults; some reasonably smart palates have been involved in getting the data; and there are multiple years' worth of data to look at. The weakness is that it's sensory analysis and not chemical, and also that faults such as reduction and brettanomyces may well be under-reported, as well as the possibility of false positives.

One of the exciting things about the paper is that it will contain a regional breakdown. Some countries are over-delivering oxidized wines, bretty wines, and wines with reduction defects.

There's a limit to what I can say about the data here, because they aren't mine to share. But I can say (and these are provisional figures from an ongoing analysis, so please don't quote them elsewhere) that cork taint is hovering around 3% all three years. Screwcap reduction is around 2.5%, but going down. With 2008, it seems that winemaking faults are overtaking closure faults as the chief cause of problems. Around 7% of wines entered into the challenge show some sort of fault, which isn't really good enough.

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At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anna said...

Very interesting and i was wondering if this data will be made available for the big public anytime soon. BTW it's a pity you won't see Denmark much, it is really pretty and lots of fun, good food and friendly people!

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised to read that winemaking faults are topping the 2008 list.
I thought that more widespread knowledge of the science of grape growing and winemaking, along with greater technological control of the vinification process, should be reducing the incidence of faulty wines.


At 1:32 PM, Blogger Tobias said...

Have fun. Hopefully you could catch a chance to taste where the young wine region Denmark is at. It would be very interesting to see you write a few words about Rondo wine..

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Genevieve said...

Jamie, if you have a minute, can you let us know will become available? Sounds really interesting.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

I'll let you known when the data are being made public - there are currently a few possibilities being discussed.

At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Patrick said...

I'm glad reduction faults are going down... A freind of mine has been introducing new ferment aid nutrients to NZ and Australia to inhibit reduction from the fermentation. Just imagine pure fruit...


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