Bottle Shock?

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MiBor

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Something really weird is happening to a batch of Merlot I bottled about a month ago. I made this wine from grapes in the fall of 2020 and was aged for a year with about 3 months of that year being in a barrel. The wine I bottled was well balanced, with good structure and mouthfeel, still fruity more than jam-y and with a really pleasant aroma.

That's not what I found in the bottle I opened today. What I poured into my glass looked like the same wine, good deep red color (no brown tint from oxidation) but it had lost most of its taste and smell. I really tried to smell it and all I could get was a slight hint of acidity. The taste was horrible as well. All the fruitiness was gone and what was left was some tannin and the acidity which stood out in the absence of other flavors.

I thought maybe that bottle had a problem so I opened 3 more and all had the same insipid and flavorless liquid inside.

The wine had 70 ppm SO2 at bottling, PH 3.5 and a TA of 0.65%. All bottles were washed and sanitized with KMeta solution right before the wine went in. The corks used were Nomacorc 900.

Has anyone experienced this phenomenon before? Is this really bottle shock or maybe something else is going on?
 

Khristyjeff

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I have had some wines that went from good tasting to not very good , then back again to good. For example, I had a high end cab sauv that tasted really nice at 10 months, then at a year it tasted flat. Really was considering blending with a sharp wine but forum friends convinced me to give it time first. At about 14 months it started tasting normal good. So, lesson I took from that is, wine can go through taste change ups and downs as they age, which means many times patience is the best answer.

Hopefully you're situation is similar. Otherwise, I expect others on the forum may be able to offer additional points of view.
 

balatonwine

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Every wine is different -- some don't experience it, others have it for a short while, and yet others take months to regain their former stature. Ignore the wine for another couple of months before tasting again.
You beat me to this comment by 10 minutes.... :try

Indeed every wine is different. Many online sources talk about bottle shock taking a few weeks to correct.... but... Every wine is different. And some wines may take months. :cool:
 

MiBor

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I truly thank everyone for their comments. Yes, I questioned my ability to taste and smell, but all other things taste and smell normal to me, so that's not it. I also asked my wife and one of her friends to taste the wine and they came to the same conclusion.

I did a side by side comparison with another wine I bottled about the same time and that wine is totally fine and only the Merlot lost its good sensory properties. I never experienced that before and every single wine I bottled that was good out of the carboy, was also good after spending a month in the bottle. Somehow I thought that that would be the standard period for overcoming bottle shock.

As annoying as it is, this is a good learning opportunity for me. I will put this wine aside and open a bottle every month to see how it evolves. If it doesn't recover in 6 months, I know my options.
 

hounddawg

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I truly thank everyone for their comments. Yes, I questioned my ability to taste and smell, but all other things taste and smell normal to me, so that's not it. I also asked my wife and one of her friends to taste the wine and they came to the same conclusion.

I did a side by side comparison with another wine I bottled about the same time and that wine is totally fine and only the Merlot lost its good sensory properties. I never experienced that before and every single wine I bottled that was good out of the carboy, was also good after spending a month in the bottle. Somehow I thought that that would be the standard period for overcoming bottle shock.

As annoying as it is, this is a good learning opportunity for me. I will put this wine aside and open a bottle every month to see how it evolves. If it doesn't recover in 6 months, I know my options.
giver at least 3 months before opening another bottle, you got it in a dark and kinda cool place, and not near the washing machine,, lol that spin cycle won't let it rest, lol
Dawg
 

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