Posted by

Premox, or premature oxidation, is an issue that can affect wine, particularly white wines, most notably those from the Burgundy region of France. It refers to a condition where a wine ages prematurely, resulting in it losing freshness and exhibiting oxidised characteristics much earlier than expected. This problem is not limited to but is most commonly associated with white Burgundy, especially the Chardonnay grape variety.

The signs of premature oxidation in wine include a darker colour than is typical for the wine’s age, along with flavours and aromas that are more muted or evolved than expected. Instead of fresh, vibrant fruit flavours, a wine suffering from premox might taste flat, with diminished complexity and an overly nutty, bruised apple or even a sherry-like profile.

The exact causes of premature oxidation are not entirely understood and there are thought to be many. Factors that might contribute include cork quality and permeability, bottle storage conditions, winemaking practices (such as reduced sulphur dioxide levels for preserving wine) and even the oxygen exposure during the bottling process.