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2014 Far Niente Chardonnay: Cooper Evaluations

05.28.15

2014 Far Niente Chardonnay: Cooper Evaluations

Have you ever wondered about the life of Far Niente Chardonnay, before it reaches you in bottle?


Nicole Marchesi Evaluates 2014 Far Niente Chardonnay

Winemaker Nicole Marchesi evaluates 2014 Far Niente Chardonnay

Our winemaker, Nicole Marchesi, tastes the wine regularly during its progression from vine to bottle, but there are two important tastings with each year that help determine the best combination of French oak barrels for the particular vintage. These tastings--or cooper evaluations--occur in February or March, and then again right before the wine is removed from barrel. Since the cellar crew will start sumping out the wine next week, an evaluation team led by Nicole Marchesi and Larry Maguire tasted through 20 coopers this morning, two barrels per wine, to taste what each combination brings to the Chardonnay.

The team scores the barrels low, medium, or high depending on several aromatic attributes (smoke, toast, wood, spice, fruit, and vanilla) and makes notes about how the barrels affect mouthfeel and flavor. What is the barrel adding to the wine? Does it enhance the fruit or mask the fruit? Is it adding length or weight to the palate? Do we like it?

As you can imagine, the evaluation is a wonderful intellectual and sensory challenge and provokes lively discussion. In the end, the time spent thoughtfully tasting the wines ensures that what you have in your cellar is the best representation of Far Niente Chardonnay.

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