cjsiege wrote:Serious question for Laura - considering that so many winemakers produce chardonnays that are oak monster, butter bombs, what was it that made you decide to NOT follow the well-paved road? As I recall, your chard had enough oak to make it's presence known, but all of the stainlass steel and SauvBlanc lovers in the room were raving over it. Philosophy?
For me it's my personal style with a little bit of business thrown in. I, personally, don't like the butter bombs. I won't name names, but I have neighbors, in and around Calistoga that LOVE to make that style. Good for them. I don't buy them, or barter for them for myself. So that's the first reason. The second reason is sort of connected, many of my neighbors make that style so I wanted to offer something a little different. When we went a lookin' for chardonnay - that is to really find MY style, I really wanted the wine I like. (Side note: wish WOOT was available in 2003/4, imagine the $$ I could have saved on sample bottles!!!) So, when we started, I stainless fermented the 2004 vintage, then barrel aged. Nice, really bright, almost too shiny. 2005, partly stainless fermented and partly barrel fermented, then barrel aged. 2006 - the whole enchilada was barrel fermented and aged - and as I said, my favorite. But the lack of ML, across the vintages, is what has kept me happiest. Just don't need the butter bomb! 2007 - it's already released on my website, so the new vintage has a touch of stainless fermented SB in it, but the Chard was barrel aged - no ML, just like her big sisters. As is my ilk, once I have a line up of vintages, the harvest will reflect my taste, so, I suspect I'll be back to full blown Chard, no ML, 100% barrel fermented, but, we'll see!