Does wine from juice buckets taste odd to you?

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Landwaster

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Been making wine from grapes and juice buckets. Every juice bucket we've made, for about 4 years, has this slightly odd and off-putting taste to me. I can't really describe it, and it seems like some people I ask don't even notice it. Last night, my cousin described it as a mild "smokiness", though it's definitely not the kind of smokiness you would want. Anyway, just wanted to see if anyone else has had the same impression of juice bucket wines?

None of our grape wines have had this taste, even though they've been fermented and produced side-by-side.
 

CabSauv

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Been making wine from grapes and juice buckets. Every juice bucket we've made, for about 4 years, has this slightly odd and off-putting taste to me. I can't really describe it, and it seems like some people I ask don't even notice it. Last night, my cousin described it as a mild "smokiness", though it's definitely not the kind of smokiness you would want. Anyway, just wanted to see if anyone else has had the same impression of juice bucket wines?

None of our grape wines have had this taste, even though they've been fermented and produced side-by-side.
Are you adding any oak chips during fermentation? Are you adding sorbate after fermentation? Are you racking off all the sediment? Any bulk aging and are you making sure not to bottle it with CO2?

Sorry to hammer out a bunch of questions, but those are the ones I imagine will get asked by others anyway so I figured I'd ask them all now so one of the experts had more to go off of.
 

JohnT

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Sounds like mercaptans. What type of yeast did you use and did you add any type of yeast neutrients
 

Landwaster

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This year we used EC-1118, in the past we used RC212. I believe for the buckets we've added a half dose of nutrient when pitching the yeast -- I think it was a blend from our local shop.
 

Landwaster

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Are you adding any oak chips during fermentation? Are you adding sorbate after fermentation? Are you racking off all the sediment? Any bulk aging and are you making sure not to bottle it with CO2?
Here are the two batches that I'm comparing:

2013: Sangiovese and Lambrusco with RC212. No oak chips. No sorbate. Racked several times as normal while aging for at least 6 months in 5g carboys. Added 1/4tsp per carboy sulfite after fermentation and pre-bottling.

2016: Montepulciano and Barolo with EC1118. No oak chips. No sorbate. Racked once into 5g carboys after fermentation and added ML. ML completed after about 4 months, racked and sulfited at 1/4 tsp per carboy. Still aging in carboys (close to 10 months).
 
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