pickle juice?

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pickle juice?

Postby Lizbeth S » Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:49 pm

My sister and I visited a local winery in Berks County, PA this afternoon. While some of the whites were pretty good, almost all of the reds had a weird taste of brine. Yes, brine as is pickle juice! Does anyone know what would cause this? I tasted it in the 2005 Cabernet Franc, the 2004 Merlot, and the 2005 Pinot Noir. Thanks in advance!! :D
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Re: pickle juice?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:51 pm

Lizbeth wrote:My sister and I visited a local winery in Berks County, PA this afternoon. While some of the whites were pretty good, almost all of the reds had a weird taste of brine. Yes, brine as is pickle juice! Does anyone know what would cause this? I tasted it in the 2005 Cabernet Franc, the 2004 Merlot, and the 2005 Pinot Noir. Thanks in advance!! :D


Lizbeth, "pickle juice" in red wine is most often the result of a combination of American oak character (dill, specifically) and the wine's natural acidity. Some very pricey wines, including Penfolds Bin 777 Cabernet Sauvignon and Silver Oak Cabernet from California, are notorious for it.
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Re: pickle juice?

Postby Mishy M. » Sat Dec 23, 2006 7:39 am

I'm just guessing....
Volatile acidity coupled with under-ripe grapes in a poor cool climate and vintage(s)?
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Re: pickle juice?

Postby Lizbeth S » Sat Dec 23, 2006 5:54 pm

I know this vineyard in particular had to bring the grapes in early because of the weather, so underripeness could be one of the causes.

The pickle juice taste wasn't like the Penfolds cab--it was really overwhelming and basically blocked out all other fruit or oak tastes.
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Re: pickle juice?

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Dec 24, 2006 12:58 am

Underripe grapes yield wine with all sorts of vegetable flavors--bell peppers, stewed green beans, and cabbge. Add in American oak aging and you get pickles.

-Paul W.
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