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Why all the sulfites?


Several years ago, I imported wines from Domaine Gramenon in the Southern Rhone. Among these were a few cases of Philippe Laurent's last vintage of "Pascal", a very old-vine Grenache which Parker was fond of comparing with old-vine Zinfandel. On the side of the case was a sticker imploring buyers to store the wine between 5-14 degrees as it contained absolutely no sulfur whatsoever.

Last week, when I opened my last bottle of this wine, which has been in my possession for most of its 13 years (and it is only in the last few years that I have been entirely satisfied with my storage conditions at home), I inevitably had a bottle of something else in reserve. Not necessary at all. The wine was remarkably fresh and not remotely oxidised (and it was delicious but that is not really relevant to this post). So how much SO2 do we really need?

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