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I recently bottled a batch of Cabernet Sauvignon, which tastes fine but has an off odor.

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Matt Vickey — Erie, Pennsylvania asks,
Q

I recently bottled a batch of Cabernet Sauvignon, which tastes fine but has an off odor. I keep all my notes and regularly follow the same procedures. I buy my juice already pressed at a very reputable supplier and have never had a bad batch. When I started the wine it smelled fine and it wasn’t until I bottled it that I noticed the strange odor. Did I miss something, or will this go away with aging?

A
I wish I could help you out with your off-odor issue a little bit more than I think I’ll be able to. Because you didn’t include many details about what your off odor smells like or any analysis or many winemaking details, it’s tough to diagnose from afar and help you treat this problem or help you prevent future issues. Off-odors that were not present in the wine during aging but show up later in the bottle are often reductive sulfide issues (disulfides and mercaptans) which smell like burnt rubber or onions, Brettanomyces infections, which smell like Band-Aids or “sweaty animal,” and “corked” aromas (TCA or tri-chloranisole), which smell like wet paper, wet cardboard or a “swampy” aroma. Since I don’t know what you might be experiencing, I’m not going to launch into a treatment and prevention program for all of the above, but one or more of these are my best guesses. Your query does, however, bring up something that might help anyone writing in — it always helps me if you can give enough relevant detail about your
Response by Alison Crowe.