A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 31, 2015
Premox or POx (premature oxidation)

"Premox” or “POx"/"pox" (premature oxidation) is a problem that began to be noticed in the 2000s in white wines with 1990s vintages. The wines would be darker and would taste and smell stale.

“The Pox, or Premox as it is also called” was cited in 2008, with the same post also explaining “Pox= P(remature) Ox(idation).” “PremOx” and “premox” (lowercase) were cited in 2009.


Wikipedia: Premature oxidation
Premature oxidation, (sometimes shortened to premox, or POx) is a flaw that occurs in white wines, when the presumably ageworthy wine is expected to be in good condition yet is found to be oxidised and often undrinkable. In particular the affliction has received attention in connection to incidents of whites produced in Burgundy. The afflicted vintages are predominantly from the late 1990s, and in particular those of 96, 97 and 98, until 2002. There have also been reports of premature oxidation occurring in wines from Australia, Alsace, Germany, and Bordeaux.

Wine Lovers Page
Premature oxidation
Wine geeks are starting to notice an odd pattern of white Burgundies turning brown and Sherrylike before their time.

Premature oxidation - sometimes nicknamed “Premox” or the snarky and perhaps judgmental “Pox” - shows itself in the form of a dark color, dark gold to brown, and the familiar walnut-like, stale aromas that betray the effect of oxygen on the wine.

Oxidation is not unusual in older whites after years of cellaring. But it’s justly considered premature when it afflicts a cellarworthy white within just a few years after the vintage.

Wine Spectator—Rajat Parr’s Blog
A Warning on White Burgundies
Posted: Sep 4, 2007 11:19am ET
I am a huge fan of old white Burgundy, but nowadays I am afraid of buying or cellaring these wines from the vintages of the 1990s.

Over the last year or so, I have discovered that a large number of bottles of white Burgundies from the ‘90s suffer from a phenomenon known as premature oxidation. Simply put, these wines show various stages of advanced oxidation, and this state is not what would normally be expected given their relatively young age.
(...)
COMMENTS
Brian Mcgonigle — San Francisco, CA USA — December 29, 2010 5:24pm ET
Hi Raj - I think this issue is still just as relevant, if not more, as it was when you wrote about it in 2007. Jordan Mackay and I have been discussing this issue off and on during Wine School classes at San Francisco Wine Center and the problem seems to still be there even perhaps after 2002. Are you finding issues at all in 2003-2006 vintage wines? Do you think the problem has or is being addressed aggressively by producers or are we perhaps also in for more premox btls in the coming years from more recent vintages? I seem to have experienced a large # of premox btls in the last couple years and issue only seems to be increasing in frequency.

WineLovers Discussion Group
Re: WTN: Good enough for Jehova
by Nigel Groundwater » Thu May 29, 2008 6:19 am
Chevre=Fevre? and Pox= P(remature) Ox(idation); a phenomenon not yet completely understood but apparently becoming prevalent across the board with vintages from the mid 90s - with 1996 receiving most of the votes.

The Pox, or Premox as it is also called, has been hugely debated since it manifests itself primarily in white burgundies [earliest significant reports in 2002/3] without distinction -from the humblest village wines to the best Grand Crus. The problem is that the wines smell, taste and usually look oxidised many years before they used to/should so that e.g. GCs or 1er cru wines that would not usually be broached until they were 10-15 years and older are completely shot very much earlier and in enormously greater numbers than before - dark, flat and most people would say ‘sherried’ although others describe it differently.

Google Books
International Wine Cellar
Stephen D. Tanzer
Tanzer Business Communications
2009
Pg. 3:
It ‘s worth pointing out that premox problems have generally been less pervasive in Chablis than on the Cote de Beaune, owing to factors that include generally higher acidity levels in the grapes, soil chemistry, greater use of sulfur during élevage, less batonnage, and more reductive winemaking in general, relying far more on stainless steel tanks and used casks than on new barriques.

Google Groups: alt.food.wine
TN: modern/international Barolo and Meursault
Mark Lipton
11/16/09
(...)
Granted, Ian, but Dale (like many of us) is fairly gun-shy right now about premature oxidation concerns w.r.t. White Burgundy.  I have given up cellaring any Chablis because of some very unhappy signs of PremOx in ‘02 and ‘04 PC Chablis.

Google Books
Secrets of the Sommeliers:
How to Think and Drink Like the World’s Top Wine Professionals

By Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay
New York, NY: Ten Speed Press
2010
Pg. 89:
A variety of factors, from vineyard regimes to sulfur additions to cork treatments, contributed to the premature oxidation (often shortened to the term premox) of many of the wines.

Twitter
Shea Coulson
‏@JustGrapesWine
@Yaffler what got me is that the oxidation wasn’t offensive and in fact complimented the other aspects of the wine - still could be premox
11:22 PM - 4 Oct 2010

Twitter
Pocket Wine
‏@Pocketwine
Worried about premature oxidation (premox for short) of top white burgundies? Check this out before you buy: http://bit.ly/c7w66r
6:10 PM - 2 Sep 2011

Decatur Wine & Food Dude
December 8, 2011
The Plight of Premox in White Burgundy
Premox.
Without even knowing to what it refers, you can almost tell, just from the sound of it, that it’s not a good thing. Premox, in wine nomenclature, is short for premature oxidation, a problem that has been manifesting itself in the Chardonnay wines from Burgundy. Premox was first noticed in 2004 as bottles from the mid-to-late 90s began showing signs. It appears that wines bottled prior to 1995 are not effected by the problem.

The Wall Street Journal
White Burgundy Looks Beyond the Mystery of Premox
By WILL LYONS
May 4, 2012
(...)
Where there is a consensus is on those vintages worst affected. Most experts agree that 1996, 1999 and 2002 were particularly prone to premature oxidation. The good news is that through the adoption of a number of measures by winemakers, such as adding higher levels of sulfur and using more reliable corks, we are undoubtedly over the worst of it.

Decanter
Premox: has the crisis moved to red wine?
Tuesday 11 November 2014 by Jane Anson
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What is premature oxidation?
Premature oxidation was first discovered in white wines that lost their fruit aromas more quickly than anticipated, developing instead heavier smells such as honey and beeswax, while their colour faded quickly to russet and brown.

Signs of ageing occur in all wines over time, but the accelerated version seen with premox is detrimental when it affects wines that are sold as having great ageing potential – hence the focus on white Burgundy initially, as the expectation for ageing is so high for those wines, so the corresponding disappointment was inevitably acute.

Hour (Detroit, MI)
Buyer Beware
Newer winemaking styles may be the culprit for a form of oxidation called premox that’s appearing in a number of new red wines

BY CHRISTOPHER COOK
Published: March 23, 2015
(...)
I remember walking into someone’s house and seeing a wine rack full of wine bottles sitting on top of the refrigerator. Ouch! Not good at all. That’s just asking for oxidation when the wine is so close to heat from the refrigerator motor below and the recessed ceiling lights above. I wouldn’t even bother opening any of those wines.

But this new kind of oxidation that has been appearing recently is in recently purchased bottles of wine. It is called premox, a new term to add to your wine lexicon coined by the British wine magazine, Decanter. It’s an amalgam of the words premature and oxidation. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, March 31, 2015 • Permalink