Tasting Notes: Word of the Week “Oak”

WineBarrels300-300x194Simply put, a wine with a noticeable perception of the effects of oak. This can also include the sense of sweet or baking spices, vanilla, butter, coconut a creamy body and a smoky or toasted flavor. These qualities are created by the use of oak barrels during the fermentation or aging process.

Oak barrels are an important and complicated variable in the production of red wines and an increasing number of whites, namely Chardonnay. Particularly when the barrels are new, they can add complexity to a wine, imparting  toasty, nutty or vanilla flavors. There is much debate in the wine community over which oak barrels are best. French and American are the two most common picks, but  Portugese and Slovenian oak impart their own unique flavor.

It is important for winemakers to use their oak judiciously. If a wine is not concentrated enough or lacks depth, the barrels can overwhelm the wine. If the wine has what it takes, it can result perfect harmony between fruit and oak.

Our pick:

2014 Lloyd Cellars Chardonnay, Carneros

2014-ChardonnayWine Spectrum 94+ Lloyd Chardonnay is an unabashed California Chardonnay! Sourced from the Home and Green Acres Blocks from Sangiacomo Vineyard, as well as a small amount fruit from the Truchard Vineyard, this is a fantastic expression of California Chardonnay.  Picked at the peak of ripeness, this Chardonnay is then barrel fermented and left on the lees until we get ready to bottle. Flavors of tropical fruits, pear and apple are supported by rich notes of vanillin, leading into a powerful and succulent finish.



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