Thanks for your patience on the release of this Chardonnay Varietal Characteristics card. I got the flu at the end of the week, and so didn’t finish it for Friday as usual.
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Chardonnay is one of the most versatile grapes to make wine out of. Short of making a red wine with it (that would take actual other worldly magic), the flavors of chardonnay can vary widely depending on the location, and production techniques used. As a result, this card does what it can to capture the variation from colder to warmer climates, and also in production choices.
To briefly explain some of what is mentioned on the card–cooler climates tend to lead to lighter fruit flavors and more noticeable mineral flavors with higher acidity. Warmer climates on the other hand grow riper, and more tropical fruit elements.
When it comes to production techniques, oak can cause huge variation in the flavor of the varietal itself, depending too on the amount of toast (charring) on the inside of the barrels. The chart shows the effects of lighter to stronger oak influence.
One other production process sometimes chosen for making wine from chardonnay is malolactic fermentation–this is a process chosen by some wine makers after the regular wine fermentation, and converts malo acids to softer lactic acids. The result, when used, is a more buttery, even nutty flavor in the wine.
To read more about different styles of chardonnay, check out the rest of the week’s posts and reviews on chardonnay varietal wines. Click on any of the following comics to go and read its accompanying post.
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