Sauvignon Blanc Yeast and Barrels

Today we have a lineup of all the Sauv Blanc lots to taste. Remember we are still following the Yeast Trials for flavors and development in Stainless Steel and 2 different French Oak barrels.

The new yeast that we liked the best during fermention did pretty well. It really holds true to SB musque tropical aromas and flavors. The other new yeast makes the citrus notes in this SB pop out. The yeast that we use every year still holds true to the SB that I associate with Selene, which is a more balanced combination of flavors of the first two yeasts.

The old block of SB that was the second pick and went to Stainless barrels with the first new trial yeast we liked so much is indescribable! It has a depth and long finish that makes you want more. This old block did really well this year.

The two French oak lots have been interesting to taste during their development. Initially I liked the Taransaud lot better. In the end, I preferred the Nadalie lot much more.

I learned so much about these two barrels this year. I got to see the inside of each one during the Barrel Blasting.

This is the inside of a heavy toast Taransaud barrel. In the begining the oak flavors were very nice, and it really made the SB creamy during fermentation.

This is the inside of a heavy toast Nadalie barrel. This lot ended up being a beautiful integration of oak into the SB.

While I was tasting the Taransaud and Nadalie lots, I kept mixing them up. Mia would point to the wine glasses and say this is the Taransaud and that’s the Nadalie. But my mind couldn’t let go of the assumption I had made by seeing the inside of the barrels. You’d think the Nadalie barrel would be much more oaky tasting. I mean look at it! It’s burnt inside!

It was actually the Taransaud barrel that imparted more oak flavors into the wine. Mia explained the char I was seeing on the Nadalie kept the oak grains from imparting so much oaky flavor into the wine. While the Taransaud with it’s pretty wood had more grainy wood surface to make contact with the wine and give it a more bold oak flavor.

So no more assumptions about ‘heavy toasted barrels’ making wine oaky from me!

So, bottom line is we have a bunch of really exciting lots of Sauvignon Blanc. They all have great qualities and all taste very exceptional on their own. I can already see how each one is going to give it’s character to the ultimate blend. I can’t wait for the tastings Mia will have while she makes the blend for the 2008 Selene from Hyde! – Skippy