Vignoles and oak

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ErikM

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Has anyone used oak their vignoles?
My vignoles is very high acid, abt 1.0%. Back sweetening seems to be the obvious way to get some balance. But reading posts from members who have used oak on dry whites makes me wonder if I could get some balance from oaking.
 
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AaronSC

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I had an "oaked" Vignoles in the Finger Lakes some years back, when "oaking" everything was all the rage. I felt it essentially ruined the wine and really didn't work.

1% acid or above is the norm with Vignoles, it's not exceptional. I've made completely dry Vignoles before, but it really doesn't work well with this grape either. In my opinion Vignoles really shines with residual sugar to balance the acid, and it's not that flexible otherwise.

-Aaron
 

winemaker81

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I defer to @AaronSC's experience, as I've not had an oaked Vignoles.

Dredging my memories, since I haven't had much Vignoles in years, I seem to recall that "dry" Vignoles I tried were actually off-dry. I made it once, and used 1 quart reserved juice to backsweeten 5 gallons. [My version of "sweet" is quite dry to most folks. ;) ]

A small amount of sugar (SG 1.000) can produce a large change, so don't rule that out.

Making my above advice more specific, try oaking 1 gallon. The ratio for oak cubes I've used is 2 oz for 5 gallons, so use 0.4 oz in a gallon, or maybe reduce to 1/4 oz. This way you risk only 1 gallon. If it doesn't work out, you have 5 bottles of cooking wine. If it does work out, you can either blend the oaked into the non-oaked, or add oak to the remainder.

My experience is with NY Finger Lakes white hybrids. I found that with the exception of Seyval Blanc and Vidal Blanc, they benefit from just a hint of sugar. Vidal is typically used for sweet wines, but the few bone dry ones I had were quite good.
 
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