Woody Chardonnay, great then bad, corks red-ish

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bdahl

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So my first batch of Chardonnay was coming along magnificently (as magnificently as a first batch can go, I suppose) and was bottled after a bit of time with some toasted oak staves.

Filtered, stirred (like a champ), bottled, enjoyed... then, 3 to 4 months after bottling, a bottle smelled and tasted "off". Very very woody and alcohol-intensive. Tasted, well, alcohol-y (abnormally so). My wife, who enjoys Château 2x4 and was enjoying our wine can't even finish a sip now. She says it's like "Very bad Whiskey"

3 further bottles all have the same characteristics. Bizarrely, when I pop the corks, the inner-side of the cork - the side in contact with the wine - the surface is red. If all you saw was the cork you could be mistaken into thinking that you had just opened a light red.

What on earth happened to my Chardonnay? Any insight is welcome.

Details:
+ Added Kmeta when ageing with oak staves, which were sprayed with Sulfite solution before being put into the wine.
+ Filtered with BuonVino minijet, #2 filters.
+ Stirred in carboy over period of 12 hours, stirring in circles with the back of a spoon until my arm hurt - to get all the bubbles out.
+ Bottled using sterilized (Kmeta solution) tubes and that little tube with the tip that allows wine through when pressed into a bottle.
+ Soaked corks (Nova Corks/Brand) in Kmeta solution for 10 minutes before bottling with the "Floor Jammer" (I forget the offical name of the tripod-type of corker with the big handle.
+ Note: Didn't add Kmeta after the stirring/before the bottling.

Again, any insight is more than appreciated. Cheers!
 
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stickman

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You introduced too much oxygen during the stirring which oxidized the wine. White wine is very sensitive to rough handling, especially late in the game right before bottling. Some additional sulfite during the bottling process might have helped, but is not the best solution to excess oxygen addition.
 
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bdahl

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Is it that simple? I was careful nonetheless while stirring/degassing; I'd stir then replace the airlock - the pressure was always pushing air out.

Either way, I'd love to be sure about what happened - as I look forward to turning this once nice, woody chardonnay into wine vinegar, lol.

Cheers,
 

Johnd

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Is it that simple? I was careful nonetheless while stirring/degassing; I'd stir then replace the airlock - the pressure was always pushing air out.

Either way, I'd love to be sure about what happened - as I look forward to turning this once nice, woody chardonnay into wine vinegar, lol.

Cheers,
If you really want to know what's up with it, you could send a bottle to a wine lab and have them run tests on it. I don't know if testing can tell you that it's oxidized or not. I agree that it sounds oxidized, but the testing might just help you eliminate other things.
 

ceeaton

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Is it a whiskey taste or a sherry taste? Most oxidized wines/beers I've tasted had sherry overtones and did turn a darker than normal color (but not normally red). Is it cloudy at all? That might point to a bacterial infection, though I don't know how it would turn a Chardonnay red, that's the mystery. If you have the resources it might be worth sending that one to a lab, or we can just spend the balance of a few months with outlandish conjectures of what has occurred in your wine.
 

Johnd

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Is it a whiskey taste or a sherry taste? Most oxidized wines/beers I've tasted had sherry overtones and did turn a darker than normal color (but not normally red). Is it cloudy at all? That might point to a bacterial infection, though I don't know how it would turn a Chardonnay red, that's the mystery. If you have the resources it might be worth sending that one to a lab, or we can just spend the balance of a few months with outlandish conjectures of what has occurred in your wine.
Hmmmmm, I'm kind of leaning towards the months of outlandish conjectures...
 

ceeaton

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Hmmmmm, I'm kind of leaning towards the months of outlandish conjectures...
I'm sure we can come up with all types of outlandish conjectures if we are given the chance...(just ask my wife).
 

terrymck

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If you have ever seen the movie "Bottle Shock" which was about the famous wine tasting in Paris 40 years ago that proved California wines were the equal or superior to the French; a similar condition ocurred. The main character(the wine maker) threw away the winning wine(Chardonnay) after it had turned (I think ) brown. His son retrieved it from a junk dealer and it turned back to award winning Chardonnay. I can't remember what the condition was that caused it to turn.
 

bdahl

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If you have ever seen the movie "Bottle Shock" which was about the famous wine tasting in Paris 40 years ago that proved California wines were the equal or superior to the French; a similar condition ocurred. The main character(the wine maker) threw away the winning wine(Chardonnay) after it had turned (I think ) brown. His son retrieved it from a junk dealer and it turned back to award winning Chardonnay. I can't remember what the condition was that caused it to turn.
Saw it, actually thought of it, but in the end, it turned out to be modest filmmaking :p
 

bdahl

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Is it a whiskey taste or a sherry taste? Most oxidized wines/beers I've tasted had sherry overtones and did turn a darker than normal color (but not normally red). Is it cloudy at all? That might point to a bacterial infection, though I don't know how it would turn a Chardonnay red, that's the mystery. If you have the resources it might be worth sending that one to a lab, or we can just spend the balance of a few months with outlandish conjectures of what has occurred in your wine.
Definitely more Whiskey than Sherry. Doesn't have that lovely "lazy barrel" smell, just woody (from the staves) and alcohol. Another bottle yesterday tasted pretty flat - same textures, absent taste. I guess it may indeed be oxidized...
 

bdahl

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Is it a whiskey taste or a sherry taste? Most oxidized wines/beers I've tasted had sherry overtones and did turn a darker than normal color (but not normally red). Is it cloudy at all? That might point to a bacterial infection, though I don't know how it would turn a Chardonnay red, that's the mystery. If you have the resources it might be worth sending that one to a lab, or we can just spend the balance of a few months with outlandish conjectures of what has occurred in your wine.
The wine itself is quite clear and very (wine) white. Very clear. The redness is not in the wine at all, but the part of the cork in contact with the wine is reddish.
 

bdahl

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While I'm at it: this forum is awesome, you guys are all pretty cool in my book - I totally appreciate the input. I'd toast with a glass of Chardonnay but, you know...
 
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