In early October, we mentioned that we had smoke taint with our rose. It is gone and we have learned a fair amount on how to deal with since then including:
- Smoke taint or flavor is in the eyes (or perhaps mouth) of the beholder. As the The Wine Spectator reported, some people consider it a mark of the vintage/terroir, others as an issue.
- Rain, despite the research from Australia, seems to have a huge impact on the smoke. We picked our Perli Vineyard both before and after 3 inches of rain – different plots. The plot we picked after had nearly no perceivable smoke flavor.
- Letting the gross lees fall out minimizes the smoke flavor. We do this by settling in tank after pressing the fermented reds.
- Adding smoke free lees also minimizes the smoke flavors.
Once we are finished with malolactic fermentation, we will re-taste everything and see if we need to do anything more.