Friday, August 31, 2007

Ferment me wildly, baby

Last night we had a 2006 Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay. I admit I bought it because the label, which looks handwritten, and I was intrigued by the “wild ferment” part. I sort of invisioned people with buckets of yeast dancing around (like in sort of a ritual circle style) and singing and tossing yeast into vats of grapes. Sounded fun and since I do adore chardonnay, I couldn't pass up this bottle for $13.

Its from Chile and it was really quite yummy, although I’m positive my non-chard loving friends would probably not like it, as it has butter and oak. Although its tastefully done and it’s pretty complex, there’s still butter and oak. Tasting notes:

Our 2006 Chardonnay Wild Ferment is a complex wine with a rich mineral and citric character. The mouth-feel is soft and persistent, displaying elegance and finesse. Malolactic fermentation contributes buttery notes and richness, with well integrated toast and vanilla from barrel ageing providing the backdrop.

Yum. Its not that I ONLY like buttery oakey chards, because I’ve had a few that aren’t oaked that I like as well as quite a few overly buttery ones, but I do tend to prefer wines like this. It was around $13 and its from Chile, where you can typically get more wine for your money, so it was for sure worth the price.

Anyway, about this whole wild fermenting thing:

Wild fermentation is a process carried out using native yeast. Since the yeast are not selected using technological criteria (SO2 resistance, alcohol resistance, etc), they experience higher stress during fermentation. This effect, coupled with the presence of more strains during wild fermentation, produces different concentrations and byproduct proportions, adding distinctive flavours –and therefore more complexity– to the wine.

Hmm. During my search, I found there are a decent amount of wild fermented chards out there and even a few reds. Who knew?

1 comment:

WinoFriend said...

As one of your non-Chard friends, I have to say that we had some really nice Chardonney in Oregon. Even the oaky ones tasted, well, less oaky. After talking to about 5 different pourers it seems that besides terrior their secret is to serve it warmer. Yes, that's right served at just shy of room temp oak taste dissapates slightly.