Chardonnay Lees Management with Extralyse (ARC) (2016)

This study examined the impact of lees stirring and batonnage enzyme addition during Chardonnay aging on the chemical and sensory qualities of the wine. It is a companion study to Blenheim’s Chardonnay Lees Management (2016), which compared the effects of not stirring Chardonnay to stirring Chardonnay. Chardonnay juice was fermented in barrels, and afterwards two different treatments were imposed: stirred, and stirred with Extralyse (Laffort). Stirring occurred once per week for 8 weeks. No major chemical differences could be observed between the finished wines. Wine tended to become more cold stable over time. Additionally, increased bentonite additions to become heat stable were necessary after aging. In general, people often could not distinguish between stirring and stirring with Extralyse. When people could distinguish, there appeared to be a slight preference for wine made with Extralyse. The descriptors used generally did not help elucidate which qualities in wine were affected by stirring. There may be a small tendency for Extralyse to enhance Fruit Intensity and Depth of Flavor, but these tendencies were weak. However, the stirring regime for this study was relatively short (8 weeks). In the future, more realistic stirring regimes should be implemented to see whether differences tend to increase over time.

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