Shocking New Developments

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(courtesy psychologytoday)

I know, the title comes off sounding like some cheesy spam email you may get or random suggested Facebook post like “learn the shocking truth about so-and-so’s fast weight loss”- but admit it, you were curious to see what it was about.  We do have a new development here at Naggiar- our “shockingly” awesome new website.  It contains all you would ever want or need to know about Naggiar Vineyards and Winery contained in one beautiful, user-friendly package, and most importantly, it makes it much easier for you to find and read my blog.  But, this post isn’t about the new website- yes, shocking, isn’t it.  We are on the verge of releasing our first 2013 vintages- they have been bottled, ready to go, so they be released in May.  What!?  The wine is bottled- why can’t we sell it now?  The reason…bottle shock.

(not the movie, silly)

“Bottle shock” or “bottle sickness” is how we describe what happens to the wine when it goes through the bottling process.  The process of bottling is very hard on the wine- think of it as a Tough Mudder for wine- but without any training time.

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 It’s a literal “shock” to the system- the wine is very different from when it came from the barrel or tank before bottling.  If you were to try the wines within a week or two of bottling,  they may come across as flat, limp, lacking many aromatics except for the unwanted stink of sulfur- just how one might feel and smell after doing a Tough Mudder untrained.  All of these things are a direct result of the bottling process.

So, what is it about bottling that makes it such a shock to the wine?  A big part of it is our ubiquitous friend, oxygen.  A few posts back, I talked about oxygen and it’s role in aging and while in barrel, oxygen is our friend.  During bottling, not so much.  Even a small amount of oxygen contact is enough to throw the wine out of whack.  Aside from doing a bottling in an oxygen-free, hermetically sealed container wearing hazmat suits, which, let’s face it, would  be very expensive and quite uncomfortable, the only option is to let that wine settle for a few weeks until the oxygen binds with the sulfur (like how I snuck that chemistry in?)  to allow the remaining aromatic qualities to come back into harmony.  Of course, this process is completely normal because good things come to those who wait!

And boy howdy, do we have something worth the wait!  The winemaker has assured me that the 2013 vintage is a stellar-one to remember.  The fun kicks off Friday, May 16th with our Wine Club Members Only event- perfect excuse to join the club if you haven’t already yet- in the Tasting Room from 5-9 p.m.  Wine Club members will be able to taste and purchase new release wines before the general public while listening to some fab music from Midnight Sun.   The wines being released- drumroll please… 2013 Viognier, 2013 Mamma Mia, 2013 Bellissima, 2013 Rose’, and 2011 Syrah.  The party continues Saturday May 17th with the New Release Party from 1-4 p.m. in the Tasting Room.  There will be the new release wines for tasting and purchase, music by Ivan Najera, food, and carriage rides- all that’s missing is a visit from the Queen!

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So, don’t let a little bottle shock talk scare you away- mark your calendar for mid-May to be among the first to try the first vintage wines of 2013- the best vintage in several years. Bonus if you can make it up to Naggiar for the New Release celebration!  Mike and Diane would love to see you.

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And if you were counting, I used shock/shocking, a shocking 12 times- crazy!

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About dwdirwin

Wife of Naggiar Vineyards winemaker Derek Irwin, mother to 4 active kids and one dog and newbie blogger!
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2 Responses to Shocking New Developments

  1. What are your thoughts about bottle shock occurring as a result of shipping a wine? Does that exist as well? On another note–anyone around on either 4/14 or 4/17? Will be out in the neighborhood….

  2. dwdirwin says:

    While it’s not technically a “bottle shock” (because there’s no exposure to oxygen- at least hopefully not!) shipping definitely affects a bottle of wine, especially at high temps or very low temps- as you are well acquainted with recently 🙂 If you let the wine settle 10 days after shipping, it should be good to go. As for being around, not sure if you mean at Naggiar Vineyards in Grass Valley, or my husband and I in Napa. Either way, I would happy to arrange something! Just let me know and I will get you my email.

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