Chardonnay

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justsipn

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Ok, so, back in February I stopped by a nice restaurant in Manteo, NC. I ordered a Chardonnay and it was amazing. For the longest time, I have thought about how to describe it. Finally, I read an article on Chardonnays and they described it as buttery and claims it comes from malolactic fermentation.

I want to make this.

Has anyone had success with this? What kit would be the best? Was the MF difficult to do?

Thanks.
 

Guasto-IS

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It's very simple, Great quality juice = great wine. The hard part is finding the kit with great juice.

A few years ago I was searching this forum extensively for a great Chardonnay kit that had excellent body, buttery notes and premium taste. Following the successes and recommendations from the users on this Forum (thank you all!) I can say I struck gold when I made Wine Expert's Dry Creek Chardonnay Ultra Premium Wine Making Kit. Follow the easy directions and you cant go wrong, just make sure your equipment is CLEAN! I

I have been making 2 kits/year religiously over the past 3 years and have never been disappointed! Hope you find the same results if you go this route.
 

salcoco

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MLF for a wine kit is not recommended however a good wine can still be made. to do MLF wine from grapes is normally used.
 

justsipn

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MLF for a wine kit is not recommended however a good wine can still be made. to do MLF wine from grapes is normally used.
Interesting. Why is that?

And, can I get that buttery taste/feel without it?
 

salcoco

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kit wine are pre-balanced using malic acid. a malolactic fermentation converts malic acid to lactic acid if MLF is done on a kit the imbalance will cause the wine to be very harsh ad possibly not drinkable. the buttery taste is the result of this transformation which can be done with real Chardonnay juice. there are retail outfits that sell real juice during the fall and spring season. no sure where you are located as most of these outlets require juice pickup when available. in the meantime I would try a kit to get involved with wine making. I am not a Chardonnay advocate but the recommendation made by toto seems legit. he was correct you get what you pay for the higher the cost the better the kit.
 

chicken

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I have made Chardonnay from juice buckets, and been very pleased with the results. Tried it for the first time in fall 2019, did MLF and added oak spirals. Fall 2020 I decided to experiment, and did one bucket with MLF and oak, but no MLF or oak in the second. Same yeast (ICV D47), same fermentation temp. Both came out well, but I prefer the MLF and oak version.

Trying to decide if this fall I will do juice buckets again, or try it from grapes. We always do a red wine from grapes, but haven't done a white in many years.
 

winemaker81

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Trying to decide if this fall I will do juice buckets again, or try it from grapes. We always do a red wine from grapes, but haven't done a white in many years.
Do you mean crushing & pressing your own juice, or fermenting Chardonnay on the skin?
 

winemaker81

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Crushing and pressing our own juice, instead of starting with juice from a juice bucket.
Is the source for the juice bucket and grapes the same? If so, I'd base it on how efficiently I could press the grapes, e.g., what yield am I going to get and what is the price difference vs. juice. If not, I'd base it on which wine I figured I'd like better. It's an interesting trade-off.
 

chicken

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Is the source for the juice bucket and grapes the same? If so, I'd base it on how efficiently I could press the grapes, e.g., what yield am I going to get and what is the price difference vs. juice. If not, I'd base it on which wine I figured I'd like better. It's an interesting trade-off.
Yes, source is the same. On the one hand, I've been very happy with how the juice bucket chardonnay has come out, so why mess with success? On the other hand, it could be interesting to be in control of the whole process from grape to glass.
 

winemaker81

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On the other hand, it could be interesting to be in control of the whole process from grape to glass.
If you have the capacity for 2 carboys, do one of each to compare. I'm into experimentation, so that catches my interest.
 

Steve Wargo

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I farm, harvest, move, crush and destem, ferment and press red grapes. Only because they're grapes from one single estate. I'm in control of the outcome from beginning to end. I'm able to record harvest information, grape condition, other factors, down to which row the grapes were harvested for a particular batch of wine. Otherwise, juice buckets sourced from a reliable supplier saves lots of work and time. Especially pertaining to white winemaking. Especially, if you aren't going to ferment with the skins, which is normally the case for white wines.
 

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