Double Oaked Chardonnay!

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crushday

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Dang, last year I fermented a WE Sonoma Dry Creek Chardonnay with two American Oak medium toast spirals, pitching D-47 instead of the provided EC-1118 with the kit. I then bulk aged it for six months with two more (new) American Oak medium toast spirals. I bottled it on July 7th, 2018.

Trying a bottle tonight, and wow! I'll definitely do this again. It's the best Chardonnay I've ever sampled.

IMG_0239.jpeg
 

Boatboy24

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Wow! That color is almost caramel.
 

jgmann67

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That looks like something special. What can you say about the nose and palate?
 

crushday

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Here’s my best attempt at describing my first taste:

After I buried my nose in the glass, I was expecting an aroma taking me back to high school shop class given all the oak I used both in fermentation and aging upon first whiff. However, just a hint of oak remains a year after I first pitched the yeast. Instead, fruit forward with a slight hint of vanilla.

Tasting notes: pear, pineapple and apple. Not buttery but a light, smooth mouthfeel exploding into melon on finish.

I should note that it was served at my cellar temperature of 58 degrees. This is only going to get better in the months to a couple of years ahead. I’ll try it again on Memorial Weekend before deciding to serve it in the summer wine rotation around here.
 

crushday

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In preparation of Thanksgiving on Thursday this week, I cracked another bottle of this fine wine. Wow! It's amazing. I'm very excited to share it with my family in a couple of days. It's going to pair well with the appetizers my wife has planned. Instead of a turkey this year, I'm going to be smoking a prime rib. Planning a Tempranillo as the wine for the main meal this year.
 

Elizajean

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Very interesting! I made the WE Eclipse Dry Creek Chardonnay, bottled 12/2017 and it is extremely disappointing. I did not oak, as it is an unoaked Chardonnay. Tastings have been harsh and medicinal in flavor. It has an odd aftertaste and while more mellowed now, after two years, it is still slightly medicinal. I would not share this wine with anyone. I made it according to direction, and it is disappointing. Mine is also the same color as yours, it looks beautiful. My notes indicate that it was actually better a year ago, but I thought it would only improve given it is a high end kit.
 

ZebraB

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Just wondering if the difference in outcome between Elizajean and Crushday may be due to the potassium metasulfide regime???? Do both of you have notes or know what your potassium metasulfite protocol is? Do you calculate the required addition or just add the packet included in the kit, with 1/4 tsp every 3 month?


I am curious because I know my first kit I added the full package included in the kit followed by 1/4 tsp at 3 months. At 6 months, mine has good smell, similar color, good initial taste but a very strong medicinal aftertaste. After 1 day in decanter it is better but still there, so I am suspecting it is too high Kmeta addition. Since this sounds very similar to Elizajean's results, I am curious if there is a difference in your protocol because I am trying to learn and understand.


I do plan on calculating the first addition going forward. I read at another brand states their target is 35 -50 which is really high for a white wine.

https://www.rjscraftwinemaking.com/craft-and-cork/sulphites-and-wine/

P.S. Crushday, I like your kitchen tile and granite. Looks just like mine.
 

crushday

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@ZebraB - Here’s some images of my full kitchen. We bought this house when I moved to the PNW from Montana 16 months ago...

As far as K-Meta, my process is a bit different from conventional since I use FastFerment conicals. Primary and secondary are all in one vessel and both the gross and fine lees fall out into the collection ball. Once I move the wine to a carboy, after 2 months for white (3 months for red if doing an EM), I add the Kmeta pack from the kit, skip the sorbate and all the finings. I let my white wine age 6 months, minimum, in the carboy. There’s usually a fine dusting in the bottom of the carboy after 6 months that I don’t feel any need to rack the wine off of. In fact, I never rack at all once it hits the carboy and never add Kmeta again. I filter (Buon Vino #2 pad) during bottling.

Hope that helps...

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ZebraB

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Yes. it helps because my few batches afterword, I only added the packet of Meta and nothing more and I don't have the aftertaste in these at least yet. I definitely will be mindful of any additions. Also good to know about only racking once after secondary and letting it hibernate for 6 months

Very nice kitchen!! Mine is much smaller with cherry cabinets. It wants to your kitchen when it grows up. :h. Actually I like our place here in WA. Hope you enjoy the PNW as much as we do.
 

mainshipfred

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Just wondering if the difference in outcome between Elizajean and Crushday may be due to the potassium metasulfide regime???? Do both of you have notes or know what your potassium metasulfite protocol is? Do you calculate the required addition or just add the packet included in the kit, with 1/4 tsp every 3 month?


I am curious because I know my first kit I added the full package included in the kit followed by 1/4 tsp at 3 months. At 6 months, mine has good smell, similar color, good initial taste but a very strong medicinal aftertaste. After 1 day in decanter it is better but still there, so I am suspecting it is too high Kmeta addition. Since this sounds very similar to Elizajean's results, I am curious if there is a difference in your protocol because I am trying to learn and understand.


I do plan on calculating the first addition going forward. I read at another brand states their target is 35 -50 which is really high for a white wine.

https://www.rjscraftwinemaking.com/craft-and-cork/sulphites-and-wine/

P.S. Crushday, I like your kitchen tile and granite. Looks just like mine.
Please remember the sulfite levels are dependent on the pH. Whites in the 3.6 pH range would require 50 ppm while 35 ppm would be for a wine in the 3.45 range. I personally prefer my white below the 3.45 range.
 

mainshipfred

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Thanks. I did noice that and have since purchased a PH meter and the Wine Titrets. I found these two sites that I plan on using as a guideline.

https://winemakermag.com/resource/1301-sulfite-calculator

https://www.smartwinemaking.com/single-post/Optimal-Sugar-and-Acid-Levels-for-Popular-Wine-Grape-Varieties
I like the Smart Wine Making article but very rarely have grapes with those starting numbers. I use the attached chart for determining the free SO@ requirements.
 

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ZebraB

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Thanks. I will use this as a guide to determine SO2. I have yet to try fresh grapes perhaps next year. I suspect as life you deal with the cards given and do your best.
 

cooknhogz

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I have this kit sitting in my wine room wanting to be started. I too was going to switch out the yeast with D47 just curious if you used a yeast energizer or nutrient when pitching. I know this yeast like a little help sometimes.
 

crushday

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I too was going to switch out the yeast with D47 just curious if you used a yeast energizer or nutrient when pitching. I know this yeast like a little help sometimes.
. I have used D47 many times for Chardonnay kits. I have never used supplements and experienced no issues like stuck fermentation. Looking back through my notes, all have finished out at .990
 

cooknhogz

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Really appreciate the quick reply. I’m going to get this kit going Wednesday might even go with the oak also. Have a good New Year
 

cooknhogz

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Not being a expert on Oak and the difference they have in flavor but, I have French Oak medium toast spirals on hand. Think they will work fine or should I look for American?
 

cmason1957

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Not being a expert on Oak and the difference they have in flavor but, I have French Oak medium toast spirals on hand. Think they will work fine or should I look for American?
I think I would go with what you have on hand, but go lightly with oak. In a Chardonnay, you can over oak fairly easily. But then I don't care much for most oaked Chards.
 
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