Thursday, September 9, 2010

2009 Toad Hollow Unoaked Chardonnay Mendocino County Francine’s Selection

As I sweat my way through the last few months of summer, should only be another two or three months here in Florida, time for a few more of those delicious white wines. A recent sample included a 2009 Toad Hollow Chardonnay Mendocino County Francine’s Selection.
Bright green apple and citrus on the nose, flavors are crisp and clean consisting of pineapple, citrus and mineral. Beautifully balanced between crisp flavors yet creamy mouthfeel. Low residual sugar and well balanced acidity make this a treat for all senses.

The unoaked Chardonnay spends nine months in steel tanks, hence the unoaked, and undergoes a 100% malolactic treatment and left on the lees for eight months. Malolactic treatment is a method of fermentation where malolactic bacterial culture are able to convert malic acid from grapes (generally not used with other fruits) into lactic acid. This process is in addition to regular fermentation.

The method is used for two reasons: 1) Reducing excess acidity by converting the malic acid to softer lactic acid. 2) Adds complexity to the wine by adding a buttery or creamy component as well as additional flavors and aromas.

For years I boycotted California Chardonnays, turned off by the overly buttery and oaky flavor that seemed so prominent in the region. And I wasn’t alone. Luckily winemakers took notice and took action. Today’s California Chardonnay’s are wonderfully balanced and well crafted wines so seize the day with some Toad Hollow Chardonnay.

For more on the story of Toad Hollow Vineyards click here.

2010© Kellie Stargaard. All Rights Reserved.

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