Microoxygenation = The Devil?
Posted 01 October 2003 - 11:50 PM
Posted 02 October 2003 - 07:23 AM
Ah, it is a very slippery slope but I think that there really needs to be some clear differentiation of the moral implications of the various new modern wine technologies. First and second growth Bordeaux chateaux use must concentrators to remove water from grapes that are not as ripe as they could be. Reverse osmosis is used to further concentrate wines that are judged to be lacking in extract. I think that these particular tools are not intrinsically evil but there are certainly moral implications to their utilization. If by the utilization of these techniques, a consumer is being fooled into buying a wine that is somehow less true to what it is advertised as being, then I think that their use is inappropriate. (This is the argument that attacks the use of must concentrators in the domaines that produce blockbuster wines in off-vintages.) If the reliance upon these techniques lead to a general laziness in farming and a general weakening of the expression of terroir (in wines where there is the expectation thereof), then I think that these techniques can be thought of as pernicious. But microbullage, or micro-oxygenation is really just the adaptation of some very old techniques of élevage, where a cellar master would look to monitoring the rate of the maturation of the wine. As a tool, it can certainly be abused and lead to wines that might be thought of as over-extracted and perhaps robbed of their personality. But I think that if it is used wisely, it can actually work towards making wines more expressive and truer to themselves. RG.