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Snooth User: Dale8372

Smoke Tainted Wine Bottles

Posted by Dale8372, Jul 6, 2018.

Is any1 selling any? My wife loves to drink a wine with Smoke Taint but I am wondering if any1 knows of a resource that has them I know most people do not want them but she does. We had a bottle like this one time some years back at a restaurant and we can't remember the brand name but it was from Oregon.


Reply by outthere, Jul 6, 2018.

Anything from Mendocino County in 2008.

Reply by EMark, Jul 6, 2018.

Good luck, Dale. 

Hey, OT.  Thanks for dropping by.

I am confused, a bit about whether or not the fires, last October, should be of concern regarding smoke taint.  I'm no expert, but I thought the opinion was that if the grapes have passed the veraison phase, they should not be affected by smoke.

When the fires struck, last year, most of the harvest was complete.  Even the grapes that were still hanging were well past veraison.  However, it seems like I am hearing some comments that there is concern about '17 Sonoma and Napa wines because of smoke taint.

I did read something from Myriad to the effect that all their grapes were harvested prior to the fires and they have no concerns at all.

Can you share any insights?

Reply by Dale8372, Jul 8, 2018.

Thanks for the tip wow nothing available at in Mendo 2008 anyplace else I should look? Napa and Sonoma in 2017 has a good chance I think I will by buying. 

Reply by outthere, Jul 10, 2018.

Sorry about the delay EMark. Like noted previously most, but not all, of Sonoma County was picked before the fires. More of a problem than smoke for vintners was the fact that power was out for up to 4-5 days or longer at many locations. The ability to control fermentation temperatures was an issue. Extended/carbonic maceration, which I enjoy, will be a trait in those wines. Some can be damaged by high temps and bacterial issues, stuck ferments, reduction, VA could result. Most are treatable for a cost.

Napa was about 80% picked and there are some cases where finished wines were tainted. That is also treatable but only to a degree as smoke taint sometimes takes years to unravel in the bottle. Regardless of whether there is taint or not in the released wines it will be in front of the consumers minds and they will relate every smoky note, such as barrel char or the natural smokiness of some varieties such as  Syrah, to taint. We’re such an intelligent lot.

The taint in this case comes from ash on the fruit rather than the fruit absorbing the smoke. Some winemakers washed their fruit with O3 while others just crossed their fingers. Lab tests have have been inconclusive meaning fruit that was suspected of taint in some cases came back clean. Wineries are just going to have to roll with the vintage and take their lumps, deservedly so or not.

Reply by outthere, Jul 10, 2018.


Not much ‘08 left on the market for good reason. Try ths —>

or look for 2005 / Australia / Victoria. Again due to vintage not much available.

Reply by Dale8372, Jul 10, 2018.

Wow thank u so much for all of the information I will try to get this.

Reply by EMark, Jul 10, 2018.

Very interesting information and insights, OT.  Thank you very much.

It sounds like every other viintage:

-- Do you know how to determine if this wine is good?

-- Open it up and try it.

Reply by outthere, Jul 10, 2018.


The 2008 smoke tainted wines had heavy smoky presence in the nose and palate and even non-wingeeks picked it up.

I tasted a sample of ‘17 Napa Cab that tested positive for smoke taint and it had no hints on the nose. It had a noticeable astringency in the far back of my throat but that was it. But, like I said, people will be finding smoke taint in wines that don’t have any just because their minds have been programmed to look for it in every ‘17 Napa and Sonoma wine.

Reply by rckr1951, Sep 11, 2018.

Nothing to see here.

Reply by zufrieden, Nov 7, 2018.

The fires in the Pacific Northwest over the years have elicited comments of this kind.  Personally, I never noticed any smoke taint in the worst case scenarios, although it could happen - if the fermentation vats actually received ash.


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