Premox study shifts to red wine

Having identified the causes of premature oxidation in white wine, Bordeaux-based researcher Dr Valérie Lavigne is now looking at why reds may be facing the same problem.

Dr Valerie Lavigne

Dr Valérie Lavigne

During an interview with the drinks business earlier this year, Lavigne – who is both a wine consultant working alongside Professor Denis Dubourdieu, and a research fellow from the Faculty of Oenology at the Bordeaux Institute of Vineyard and Wine Sciences – said that she was “working on premox [premature oxidation] in red wine.”

Explaining why it was necessary to start analysing the possible reasons for this problem in reds, which have so far escaped scrutiny for their age-worthiness, she commented, “We are considering premox in Bordeaux and elsewhere because we believe there is a problem connected to the fact that more people are harvesting later.”

As a result of leaving bunches longer on the vine, Lavigne said that “more grapes are overripe, and we think that this means that the wines are losing their ageing ability.”

Continuing, she said that this was “a particular problem in Bordeaux for the Merlot”.

She also said that she had spent 10 years studying the reasons for premox in white wines at the Bordeaux institute.

Although she acknowledged that the problem was most closely associated with Burgundy, not Bordeaux, above all concerning the fine Chardonnays from the Côte de Beaune, she stated, “The real expertise on this topic is in Bordeaux.”

Following a decade of studies, she outlined three main causes of the premox issue in white wine, and, notably, said that the type of closure was “just a little part of the problem” – in contrast to the views of some Burgundian winemakers, including Benjamin Leroux of of Domaine Comte Armand and Laurent Ponsot from Domaine Ponsot.

Lavigne’s three overriding causes of premox in white wines can be seen on the following page.

One Response to “Premox study shifts to red wine”

  1. BBT says:

    Our environment is no longer as neutral as it was 50 years ago!

    Electromagnetic and toxic emissions are nearly omni-present and have great influences on the quality of ALL products with a high proportion of water – including your wines!

    Emissions by transformer stations, radio masts and telegraph poles, satellites, directional radio and many other permanently increasing interferences directly and negatively influence the water body of your wines and significantly diminish quality. (read more: – info sheet)

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