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I'm making a wine with some pretty green tasting sangiovese grapes. I did a MLF to help soften the taste but it's still pretty sharp to my palette.

How will that sharpness change as the wine ages? Will it get more intense or less? Or will it stay exactly the same?

I'm trying to decide if I need some acidity intervention at this point or of I should just see how it's going to turn out. This is only my second wine, so I'm lacking the hands on experience here. What's your experience?

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  • I'm still planning to cold stabilize the wine too. I read that might help a little?
    – xaviersjs
    Nov 13, 2021 at 22:09

2 Answers 2

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Wine acidity does not change much during aging, if at all (minor fluctuations might occur of +/- .05 pH). The only other factor during aging that could affect acidity would be a spoilage organism leading to excessive Volatile Acidity and acetic acid production (e.g. the wine turning to vinegar).

However, it is important to note that the perception of acidity of a wine can change as it ages because astringency (e.g. tannins) and acidity have a tendency to amplify each other in terms of perceived acidity/astringency. Therefore, higher tannins can make a wine taste more acidic (or vice-versa). As the wine ages and tannins soften, complex, and eventually precipitate out of a wine, the perceived acidity might become lower and leading the wine to taste 'softer'.

While cold stabilization can have an affect on wine TA / pH, it is usually quite minimal unless the wine is very high or low in TA / pH. Common professional practice with overly acidic wine is to adjust pH with KHCO3 (Potassium bicarbonate). However, this is only good for minor adjustments. Too much KHCO3 can lead to a wine tasting soapy or even salty.

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There are actually two things about the grapes. They can taste unripe (a green taste), and they can taste ripe but won't be sweet yet. I made several wines from my own grown and harvested grapes.

If you make wine from grapes which still taste unripe, you will get this taste in your wine. If you make wine from ripe, but not yet completely sweet grapes, you can make a nice wine from them.

The acidity comes from the cream of tartar acids. If you cold stabilize your wine, these will drop out of solution and the taste will improve. Take a month or six before you bottle them.

There are of course other tricks to deacidify wine, but I haven't used them. I haven't even measured the acidity with 'blue lye' (?) (sorry don't know the translation). Just press my grapes, ferment, rack into DJ's and keep a month or six in a cold place before bottling them.

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  • I didn't grow the grapes, but they were young vines. They were about 23°Bx when I harvested them. But I did notice there were some that weren't fully ripe in the mix. Of course I didn't taste the green flavor until after they fermented. I think I've got potential for a good wine here, I'm just wondering how big of steps I should take? Or should I expect the flavor to mature on its own with time?
    – xaviersjs
    Nov 14, 2021 at 21:38
  • @xaviersjs: The unripe flavor will probably persist, but the wine will mellow from maturing when the cream of tartar drops out in cold storage. Since they are red grapes, the wine might taste better. I get better results from a blend of white and red grapes, instead of white only.
    – chthon
    Nov 15, 2021 at 11:02

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