Burgundy Aeration?

Folks

I have seen very mixed but not extensive comments on this, both here and at other forums. I would be grateful for a more fullsome and detailed discussion on this topic.

- why or why not?

- when and when not?

- For older vs younger wines?

- Better or worse for certain Burgundies (such as Grand Cru vs Premier Cru or Village; or appelations or communes)?

- Audouze only? How long?

- Decant - after Audouze?

- Double decant?

- Size and shape of decanter?

- How long?

- Other forms of aeration?

A worthy discussion

Julian
Original Post
Definitely not an authority on this subject but will offer some observations:

Someone I trust explicitly (Somm at Bern's) always decants older burgundy. He uses the wide base models and says they need the air. It does not matter if it is a village wine or a grand cru. The greatest burgundy I have tasted have been treated this way.
Like Longboarder, I'm not an authority, but have found what works for me.

Burgundy is one of my favourite types of wine so I want to get the most from them. I try to keep it simple: decant all of them and take my best guess how long to decanter each one. As with other wines there are two reasons to decant: sediment and to let them open up.

It is difficult to generalize on decanting time though because Burgundy is so variable, and optimal decanting time is dependent on several factors: age, vintage, terroir, producer, all of which influence the character. I prefer to err on the side of under rather than over decanting. Others may prefer the reverse.

Narrow based decanters work fine, are easy to clean, and you can fit lots on the table. More wine Big Grin

Friends and I enjoyed a bottle of 1949 Clos de Vougeot at a Burg dinner a few months ago. This was decanted for sediment then we enjoyed it right away. It was terrific right away and was good in the glass 1.5 hours later. By the end of the night it had faded and died. It was an exceptional experience. Decanting then drinking right away this one was definitely the right way to go imo. If we had waited once it was in the decanter, we would have missed out.

Cheers,
quote:
Originally posted by VinCentric:
Like Longboarder, I'm not an authority, but have found what works for me.

Burgundy is one of my favourite types of wine so I want to get the most from them. I try to keep it simple: decant all of them and take my best guess how long to decanter each one. As with other wines there are two reasons to decant: sediment and to let them open up.

It is difficult to generalize on decanting time though because Burgundy is so variable, and optimal decanting time is dependent on several factors: age, vintage, terroir, producer, all of which influence the character. I prefer to err on the side of under rather than over decanting. Others may prefer the reverse.

Narrow based decanters work fine, are easy to clean, and you can fit lots on the table. More wine Big Grin

Friends and I enjoyed a bottle of 1949 Clos de Vougeot at a Burg dinner a few months ago. This was decanted for sediment then we enjoyed it right away. It was terrific right away and was good in the glass 1.5 hours later. By the end of the night it had faded and died. It was an exceptional experience. Decanting then drinking right away this one was definitely the right way to go imo. If we had waited once it was in the decanter, we would have missed out.

Cheers,


1949 Clos de Vougeot! I am truly envious and congratulatory, VinC. Bow Did you post a TN, of this or the other Burgundies?

Also glad to know you are a fellow fine Burgundy fan! Winner

Time for a Burgundy offline, perhaps?

But I am getting off topic. Back to aeration.
I decant them all and taste right away. I've some old ones that faded quickly, and others that improved for hours. I'll make an educated guess. If I think they'll be ready to go, I'll serve with them with a main course. If I think they'll need time, I'll let them go for a leisurely cheese course.
Good thread, Julian. I've wondered the same thing, and have read so many differing opinions: decant older burgs but not young ones; decant young burgs but not old ones; never decant anything; always decant everything...

My non-scientific, purely subjective approach is to PnP a small taste, give it a good swirl, and see how it's drinking. Depending on how closed it is, I'll decant, use the Vinturi, or just pour away. Then I'll let it evolve in the glass.

On a related topic, if you don't finish a bottle in one night, do you have advice on how to store the remainder? If I've decanted it, I pour it back in the bottle, VacuVin it, and typically put it back in the wine fridge (upright, of course). Is that a reasonable approach?

Andrew
quote:
Originally posted by sunnylea57:
Good thread, Julian. I've wondered the same thing, and have read so many differing opinions: decant older burgs but not young ones; decant young burgs but not old ones; never decant anything; always decant everything...

My non-scientific, purely subjective approach is to PnP a small taste, give it a good swirl, and see how it's drinking. Depending on how closed it is, I'll decant, use the Vinturi, or just pour away. Then I'll let it evolve in the glass.

On a related topic, if you don't finish a bottle in one night, do you have advice on how to store the remainder? If I've decanted it, I pour it back in the bottle, VacuVin it, and typically put it back in the wine fridge (upright, of course). Is that a reasonable approach?

Andrew


Half bottles work great for a few days. Clear ones (Sauternes) make it easy to see. If I plan to drink half, I fill the half bottle right away - close to cork level. Otherwise, at the end of the evening. Simple, works. For the scientific, and longer term result - check Parcival's notes re: Coravin.
quote:
Originally posted by sunnylea57:
On a related topic, if you don't finish a bottle in one night, do you have advice on how to store the remainder? If I've decanted it, I pour it back in the bottle, VacuVin it, and typically put it back in the wine fridge (upright, of course). Is that a reasonable approach?

Andrew

Andrew, welcome to the Boards. Look forward to meeting up at an offline event and helping you get though that Burgundy stockpile! Smile

There are many threads on the subject of saving leftover wine but two of the better ones are
here and here.
quote:
Originally posted by sunnylea57:
Good thread, Julian. I've wondered the same thing, and have read so many differing opinions: decant older burgs but not young ones; decant young burgs but not old ones; never decant anything; always decant everything...

My non-scientific, purely subjective approach is to PnP a small taste, give it a good swirl, and see how it's drinking. Depending on how closed it is, I'll decant, use the Vinturi, or just pour away. Then I'll let it evolve in the glass.

On a related topic, if you don't finish a bottle in one night, do you have advice on how to store the remainder? If I've decanted it, I pour it back in the bottle, VacuVin it, and typically put it back in the wine fridge (upright, of course). Is that a reasonable approach?

Andrew


Hi Andrew

I drink about 1/3 a bottle a day, during the work week. Vacuvin seems to work fine, for any wine with a decent level of tannin. The above applies to younger wines, which are my day to day wines in any event. I would not refrigerate below 57 degrees, as this adversely impacts wine quality and taste. For older wines, Vinc's half bottle approach or other wine preservatives (argon, nitrogen) work in a limited way.

Cheers

Julian
Thanks VinT and Julian. Yes, I put the bottle back in the Vintage Keeper which is set at 57 F.

VinT, in those two threads there seems to be a big difference in opinion about pumping. But it leads to another question, so I'll move this to a new thread and avoid derailing Julian's any further.
bump

Here's an older thread on the topic.

I've used the spray (argon) in addition to the half bottle, especially if saving 1/3 of a bottle (more head space). Pump was useless. The ideal, if you're concerned about a very good wine, would be the half bottle plus argon, or just buy a Coravin.

Coravin thread

As VinT said, hope to see you out to an Offline soon, and can help you with that stockpile of Burgundies.

Cheers,

VinC
quote:
Originally posted by sunnylea57:
(Oops. I meant VinC. ). EDIT: Ok, wait a sec. There's a VinC AND a VinT here? What the?

And I hope I'm not turning into one of "those people": the newb who can't be bothered using the search tool. Smile


NO worries Sunnylea. Yes there is a VinC (VinCentric) and a VinT (VinToronto).

Re: search tool - no worries there. I thought it might be helpful for you to see those other threads. Parcival seems to have the most experience with the Coravin, and as a science related professional, does his testing with good scientific methodology, hence my reference to his comments on the Coravin.

Cheers,

VinCentric...errrr VinC?
I posted on Bill Nanson's site. He replied, advising:

"Most 1-3 year-olds these days will massively benefit from a shake or decant - mainly due the amount of gas that many now carry. 4-20+ years I would just open the bottle an hour or two before and let it open/close/open again in the glass over a few hours. 30+ years and I think the Audouze method works very well indead - for me at least."
quote:
Originally posted by Longboarder:


Someone I trust explicitly (Somm at Bern's) always decants older burgundy. He uses the wide base models and says they need the air. It does not matter if it is a village wine or a grand cru. The greatest burgundy I have tasted have been treated this way.


+1 Wink
My experience has shown a Somm will always decant a red wine over $100 - I always figured it was part of the show.

I've never seen anything happen in a decanter that won't happen in the glass. My practice is to open a few hours before drinking, pour in glass and swirl the hell out of it, if needed. If sediment is involved,then a decanter is called for.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by jhcolman:
I would not refrigerate below 57 degrees, as this adversely impacts wine quality and taste.
Cheers

Do you really think keeping the leftover bottle in a normal refrigerator (35-40 degrees) for a day or two will adversely affect the wine vs putting back in a 58 degree cellar. I would think a colder temperature would preserve the wine better, then just allow it to come to a warmer "cellar" or room temp prior to drinking.
Personally, I pop and pour any older Burgundy. I prefer to let it open in the glass, and as long as it has stood upright, I don't find the sediment to be much of a problem. For something younger, I wouldn't hesitate to throw it in a decanter and sample every 20-30 minutes to see where it is at.
quote:
Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
Strange question. Why should Burgundy be treated in another way than other wines? Isn't aeration a general question with long-lived wines? Why should a top Burgundy, in terms of aeration, be treated in another way than a top Barolo, for instance?


there's an american phrase for this "contemplating our bellybuttons."
quote:
Originally posted by Stefania Wine:
quote:
Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
Strange question. Why should Burgundy be treated in another way than other wines? Isn't aeration a general question with long-lived wines? Why should a top Burgundy, in terms of aeration, be treated in another way than a top Barolo, for instance?


there's an american phrase for this "contemplating our bellybuttons."


http://www.amazon.com/Contempl...cience/dp/091629160X

i can use pinot to clean out my bellybutton?
quote:
Originally posted by VinT:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
Julian - You can close up shop and call life complete. You've been published. Smile Smile

Very cool.


Semi-cool! Post here and published there? So all posts are fair WS media game? Without consultation? We all might have to be more circumspect about what we post.

I have no concerns around What was posted. Just that text that I posted was published without even the courtesy of an email or posted request.
quote:
Originally posted by jhcolman:
quote:
Originally posted by VinT:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
Julian - You can close up shop and call life complete. You've been published. Smile Smile

Very cool.


Semi-cool! Post here and published there? So all posts are fair WS media game? Without consultation? We all might have to be more circumspect about what we post.

I have no concerns around What was posted. Just that text that I posted was published without even the courtesy of an email or posted request.


If you check the Article, you will see a link to this very thread, so everyone that has posted to this thread (or will post) is now published! Time for a new thread! And a conversation with the Administrator of this Forum.
quote:
Originally posted by jhcolman:
quote:
Originally posted by VinT:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
Julian - You can close up shop and call life complete. You've been published. Smile Smile

Very cool.


Semi-cool! Post here and published there? So all posts are fair WS media game? Without consultation? We all might have to be more circumspect about what we post.

I have no concerns around What was posted. Just that text that I posted was published without even the courtesy of an email or posted request.

Wow. We are clearly looking at this situation from very different perspectives. I posted the words "very cool" because I think it's flattering that one of America's preeminent wine writers chose to use your thread as subject matter for an article. I imagine Mr. Kramer filters thousands of bytes of information every day and from all those, he chose your article to expand upon. That's cool, at least in my view.

I'm not sure if you're upset because you feel a public forum post somehow becomes 'work' automatically copyrighted in your name and your permission is required before it gets used elsewhere. Or perhaps you think the extra attention to your decanting thread will somehow besmirch your professional reputation (not sure how) or whether something else altogether is causing your knickers to be tied so tightly.

At any rate, I find all the fuss amusing. If it happened to me, I'd probably send Mr. Kramer a quick note and thank him for sharing his considered professional opinion on my thread subject. Smile
quote:
Originally posted by VinT:
quote:
Originally posted by jhcolman:
quote:
Originally posted by VinT:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
Julian - You can close up shop and call life complete. You've been published. Smile Smile

Very cool.


Semi-cool! Post here and published there? So all posts are fair WS media game? Without consultation? We all might have to be more circumspect about what we post.

I have no concerns around What was posted. Just that text that I posted was published without even the courtesy of an email or posted request.

Wow. We are clearly looking at this situation from very different perspectives. I posted the words "very cool" because I think it's flattering that one of America's preeminent wine writers chose to use your thread as subject matter for an article. I imagine Mr. Kramer filters thousands of bytes of information every day and from all those, he chose your article to expand upon. That's cool, at least in my view.

I'm not sure if you're upset because you feel a public forum post somehow becomes 'work' automatically copyrighted in your name and your permission is required before it gets used elsewhere. Or perhaps you think the extra attention to your decanting thread will somehow besmirch your professional reputation (not sure how) or whether something else altogether is causing your knickers to be tied so tightly.

At any rate, I find all the fuss amusing. If it happened to me, I'd probably send Mr. Kramer a quick note and thank him for sharing his considered professional opinion on my thread subject. Smile


Big +1. I don't see the reason for the fuss and, as VinT says, would be flattered that a well known professional wine persona wrote about a thread that I started.

That said, I agree with most of what Matt wrote. The exception being that I find sediment in wine quite regularly, and even in Burgundies. I do agree with him on not overdoing it on decanting time, unless you monitor it and start drinking as soon as you find it at the sweet spot for your palate. In the case of very old delicate wines, I decant right before pouring just to get rid of any sediment. This whole topic gets more complicated and ritualistic than it needs to be imo.
Big +2. I'd be flattered he thought your topic was intriguing. He's a deep wine thinker and as in the article, the genius of it is to make complicated concepts easier to understand.

I love red burgundy. I tend to agree with him. If I'm opening a burgundy, even if I'm going to let it open up a bit, I start sniffing and sampling it from the first pour. Usually serially. Sometimes I put it in a decanter for presentation at dinner. Sometimes they seem to take a few hours before they're ready to go (sometimes never, they're closed), but even then I follow them along the way.
quote:
Originally posted by VinT:
quote:
Originally posted by jhcolman:
quote:
Originally posted by VinT:
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
Julian - You can close up shop and call life complete. You've been published. Smile Smile

Very cool.


Semi-cool! Post here and published there? So all posts are fair WS media game? Without consultation? We all might have to be more circumspect about what we post.

I have no concerns around What was posted. Just that text that I posted was published without even the courtesy of an email or posted request.


Wow. We are clearly looking at this situation from very different perspectives. I posted the words "very cool" because I think it's flattering that one of America's preeminent wine writers chose to use your thread as subject matter for an article. I imagine Mr. Kramer filters thousands of bytes of information every day and from all those, he chose your article to expand upon. That's cool, at least in my view.

I'm not sure if you're upset because you feel a public forum post somehow becomes 'work' automatically copyrighted in your name and your permission is required before it gets used elsewhere. Or perhaps you think the extra attention to your decanting thread will somehow besmirch your professional reputation (not sure how) or whether something else altogether is causing your knickers to be tied so tightly.

At any rate, I find all the fuss amusing. If it happened to me, I'd probably send Mr. Kramer a quick note and thank him for sharing his considered professional opinion on my thread subject. Smile


Hi VinT

Thanks for your feedback.

I do not disagree with Mr.Kramer on his point of view. Nor his selection of topic. I do respect his wine knowledge. And he is at liberty, as a journalist, to express his editorial point of view. All I expected was some courtesy, in the form of a post ("jhcolman, I about to quote you in a news article. Can we briefly chat. Here is how you can reach me"). And while the article is his to write, his choice of opening words could have been better. And yes, WS and he can legally include links to posts in published articles, but it was not necessary to his article and (in my personal view) does not best serve the interests of the Forum that WS supports. Perhaps I am naive, but courtesy and respectfulness is what expect from everyone I deal with, including Mr.Kramer. This seems to be a forgotten skill with some folks, which is a shame.

Anyway, I suppose that all of the preceding is small stuff, in the larger scheme of things. Onto more enjoyable topics, such as our coming wine tastings.

Cheers

Julian

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