петък, 21 август 2009 г.

Unoaked Chardonnay

Chardonnay is vinified many ways, including without oak, which seems to be a growing trend. Without the influence of new oak, the fruit takes center stage. A good unoaked Chardonnay has expressive fruit and zippy acidity - traits of a good food wine.

The most classic example is Chardonnay from Chablis in northern Burgundy in France, which is traditionally fermented in all stainless steel or in combination with used or neutral oak.

Not fermenting or aging in oak means none of the butter, vanilla and toast character that many people associate with California Chardonnay. Even so, winemakers still use other techniques such as time on the lees, which adds a creamy texture, and malolactic fermentation, which softens the wine's acidity.

Judicious use of oak can add much to a wine, but if you want one without, look for terms on the label like "unwooded," "inox" or "acero," which is Spanish for steel.


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