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Filtered verse non-filtered

It seems like everyone has an interesting take on filtering or not. Generally we don’t filter, but we haven’t been unhappy when we have filtered.

We recently had dinner at Chez Panisse and were seated next to Kermit Lynch and we ended up talking about filtering briefly. Kermit is famous for saying things like:

About the 1996 Thierry Bouchard Cuvee Beauvais Bourgueil:
“In 1978 I bought some 1976 Beauvais from Bouchard. It is still a dazzler, 22 years old, with a healthy deposit. Then he began filtering. Yikes. Abandon ship! Now I convinced him to stop emasculating his prizes, 20 years later, and I’m back in a Bourgueil mode again.”

Our friend from New York commented that in the past, Kermit and Becky Wasserman imported the same wine with Kermit’s unfiltered and Becky’s filtered. Initially, unfiltered were clearly better but within a two year period, many people thought they tasted identical.

Bertrand Celce recently posted, on his highly enjoyable blog Wine Terroirs, about tasting both a filtered version and unfiltered version of Edelzwicker made by Bruno Schueller. The photo isn’t surprising and I like the looks of the unfiltered one. Despite his bias towards the unfiltered one, he likes the filtered one more.

We haven’t tried an unfiltered and filtered version of any of our wines. Since we rarely filter, it hasn’t been practical to date. That said, at the next opportunity, we are planning on trying and seeing what happens.