Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I just enjoyed a bottle of 2007 Sonoma County Pinot Noir. The wine was excellent, but I noticed a considerable amount of sediment when decanting. Is this typical for a young Pinot Noir?
—Greg S., Abington, Pa.
It’s not exactly typical, but it’s not that unusual, either. Sediment is present during most of a wine’s life. Many winemakers try to filter or fine these particles out, but others believe this process strips away aromas and flavors, and unfiltered wines may throw sediment when young. Other types of sediment are a natural part of the aging process, as phenolic molecules combine to form tannin polymers that fall out of the liquid. Young wines with sediment don’t require any extra handling, though you might find the last few drops a little on the gritty side.
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