Chardonnay 2014

This one was a challenge. Because we handle everything minimally at the winery and use rustic methods of handling the wine, we do not have advanced equipment for making big...
Vendor: Traynor Family Vineyard

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$25.00
This one was a challenge.

Because we handle everything minimally at the winery and use rustic methods of handling the wine, we do not have advanced equipment for making big adjustments or forcing an issue. Our cellar is also difficult to keep "hot" during the cold seasons, and the wines are subjected to the temperature variations of the seasons. So when it's cold out, we cannot heat the wines. I like to use the cold season and our natural Canadian advantages to cold stabilize the wines. It's the way I like to do things, and normally it's quite predictable but this one was different.

In seventeen vintages as a winemaker, I have never had a fermentation behave like this one. To say it was a prolonged fermentation would be an understatement. It took almost a full year. During harvest everything was moving along perfectly, temps were perfect, the aromatics were perfect, everything was exactly how you want an unoaked Chardonnay fermentation to tick along. And then, with about 5 Brix remaining, it just stopped. The ferment stuck and I could not get it moving again.

Because the winery was cold, all I could do was continually stir the lees (yeast and sediment) to help stimulate it. Every once and awhile the yeast would activate a little bit and a quarter of a percentage point of sugar would ferment out and then it would stop again. By March, the wine was crystal clear. All the sediment had dropped out and would quickly drop again when I stirred the lees.

April, May, June, July, nothing happened. August, I usually go through a big bottling cycle because I need the tank space for the upcoming harvest. I was starting to panic. What do I do with a sweet unoaked Chardonnay that I was certain would decide to finish fermentation in the bottle? Well Around the 10th of August (ten and a half months after the fruit was harvested) the thing randomly had started to ferment on its own! It took another two weeks, but finally, the wine was dry.
Usually what happens when you put the wine through a rigorous lees stirring program, you lose much of the fruit, and the wine becomes more bready. I think because the wine finished fermentation after all the stirring, it made some more fruit aromas. This Chardonnay, while yeasty, round, rich and soft, is still packed with fruit.

At the winery, we serve it with anything that has avocados in it, but that's because we love avocados and the creaminess they lend to dishes. So that's my recommendation. With creamy foods.

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