Thursday, September 20, 2012

About Our Chardonnay

This week we are bringing in Chardonnay. The process is a bit different from Sauvignon Blanc, as it is fermented in oak barrels, rather than stainless steel tanks. That said, I find our Chardonnay to be a great example of wine that is enhanced, but not dominated by oak. Winemaker Sara Fowler typically sticks to a ratio of roughly 70% neutral to 30% new oak barrels. This means--and I quote this from an unbiased, unaffiliated guest I overheard in the tasting room-- "it doesn't taste like oak, but it has the essence of it". And that elusive equilibrium is exactly what winemakers hope to achieve with neutral oak. It imparts a complexity and richness without dramatically altering the great fruit flavors Chardonnay has to offer. The result is a wine that is lively, smooth, and full flavored, with crisp apple, pear, citrus, and a little bit of spice. Here are some pictures of the French oak barrels that are already filled and beginning to ferment.

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