Volunteers sought..

Anything to do with Port.
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uncle tom
Dow 1980
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Volunteers sought..

Post by uncle tom » 19:21 Sun 10 Sep 2017

Following on from a thread I started on another site - https://www.fortheloveofport.com/ftlopf ... =1&t=40628

- Could I ask for volunteers to do something rather simple?

Next time you open a bottle and find it to be unmistakably corked, please don't throw it down the sink, but put it back in the bottle it came from, reseal the bottle with a fresh cork or T stopper - anything other than the original cork.. - and put it away for a few years (making a note about the date and degree of taint observed)

I am hypothesising - very tentatively at this stage, and based on a not terribly scientific statistical review of tasting notes from the past decade; that TCA when dissolved in wine (or at least, in Port) may not be chemically stable, and that when removed from the source, wine may be capable of recovery.

In the interests of getting clear results it would be better if this were done with wines that show full-on corked symptoms, rather than observed possibly traces.

This might be either a revelation or a false dawn, but there is only one way to find out - and little to lose..
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

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AHB
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Re: Volunteers sought..

Post by AHB » 19:35 Sun 10 Sep 2017

An interesting question. I'll do my best to volunteer as you ask. I have a number of bottles which are likely to be cork tainted on my drinking list for next year so could well have the opportunity to prepare a bottle capable of testing the theory in a few years time.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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DRT
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Re: Volunteers sought..

Post by DRT » 23:23 Sun 10 Sep 2017

Interesting.

I have a batch of "believed Fonseca 1966" that have been reliably corked each time I have pulled the trigger. I will re-cork the remaining bottles and report back in 2037 :D
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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CranBurgundy
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Re: Volunteers sought..

Post by CranBurgundy » 21:42 Sat 16 Sep 2017

So if, and that's a BIG "if", TCA breaks down, will the loss of fruit flavor restore itself?

Does TCA have a half life? :twisted: :mrgreen:
Purple dranking cretin

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jdaw1
Taylor 1900
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Re: Volunteers sought..

Post by jdaw1 » 22:24 Sat 16 Sep 2017

ChemSpider, re 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole, “Stable. Incompatible with strong oxidizing agents. Oxford University Chemical Safety Data (No longer updated) More details”.

The ChemicalBook reports the same: “Stable. Incompatible with strong oxidizing agents.”

Other searching for information might want to note that wikipedia says “Preferred IUPAC name 1,3,5-Trichloro-2-methoxybenzene”. Other names “2,4,6-Trichloroanisole”, “TCA”, and “2,4,6-Trichloromethoxybenzene”.

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uncle tom
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Re: Volunteers sought..

Post by uncle tom » 09:24 Sun 17 Sep 2017

There is 'stable' and..

a) 'stable - over very extended periods within the alcoholic soup of chemicals that undergoes a slow chemical transformation, known as wine'

or

b) 'stable within the chemical structure of a cork'

The possibility of a slow degrading reaction between TCA and another chemical within the wine seems entirely credible - but there's only one way to find out. All we can observe at the moment is an apparent reduction in the observation of cork taint that roughly correlates with the saturation age of port corks. This hints that TCA may be stable in situation (b) but possibly not (a)

Another observation is that if TCA were stable within the body of the wine, one would expect young wines to only ever show the faintest hint of taint and for it to get steadily worse as bottles get older and the TCA gets leached from the cork; however this pattern is not apparent from the tasting notes.
Does TCA have a half life?
If the theory proves correct, that could be measured, but bear in mind the need to remove the source. If someone has a supply of pure TCA that could be used to deliberately contaminate a wine sample, then there's an experiment waiting to be done, although it would want to be done with a variety of wine types and ages.

- any uni students out there, looking for a project?
Last edited by uncle tom on 15:16 Sun 17 Sep 2017, edited 2 times in total.
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

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jdaw1
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Re: Volunteers sought..

Post by jdaw1 » 14:04 Sun 17 Sep 2017

uncle tom wrote:
09:24 Sun 17 Sep 2017
The possibility of a slow degrading reaction between TCA and another chemical within the wine seems entirely credible
This might be helped by TCA being present in very small quantities. A reaction between something scarce and something not-scarce might not remove much of the not-scarce.

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