Nevada Wine

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chardonnay Tasting - May 20, 2010

Greetings Nevada Wine tasters. In case you missed it, we had a very interesting tasting yesterday. We started by training our palates for acid, sweet, bitter and astringent tastes in our Well-Watered 2008 Chardonnay. Then when moved on to a comparison of different fermentations and modifications of of 2009 Chardonnays. The 2009 Well-Watered Chardonnay was quite a bit lighter than the 2008, with less fruity aromas. We compared our Drought-Stressed Chardonnay and this was perceived most as having more acid. It looks like our previous week’s sensitivity test to acid was working as the tasters were absolutely correct. The Drought-Stressed 2009 Chardonnay grapes had 8.6 g/L titratable acidity (TA), whereas the Well-Watered grapes came in on the same day at 7 g/L. This is unusual in that generally our drought-stressed grapes come in with less acid.

After that we compared wines made under exactly the same fermentation conditions with two different yeasts. The differences in fruity esters were notable, with more fruit aromas in the wine made with the Pasteur (Champagne) yeast.

Next we compared wines fermented in stainless steel or a French Oak Barrel with malo-lactic fermentation. The wine fermented in the used barrel had clear aromas of oak and increased body and mouthfeel.

Finally we compared a wine made with the oak barrel and with extra oak chips. This changed the wine again, bringing out more fruit (sweet) aromas and providing a long finish to the wine.

As usual there was quite a difference in the group on which wine was best, however most people like the wine with the most oak (a common phenonomenon!). As we have discovered before there is a wide range of tastes and preferences!!!

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