Naked chardonnay: Does this grape find a purer expression when unoaked?
14 June 2012 by Chardonnay Forum South Africa
Many things explain chardonnays ubiquity: the ease of raising its vines in sundry climates and soils, its association with the famed wines of Chablis and other great white Burgundies, and the way that it marries felicitously with oak. By and large, it is also simply a delicious quaff.
As it happens, chardonnay is a rather neutral grape; winemakers love playing with it because their tinkerings can deliver various flavors and aromas that they want stamped onto a wine. For example, using oak barrels to ferment and age chardonnay can deliver a wine with a creamy texture, scents of wood, spice or vanilla, or tastes of butter or caramel.
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