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. Chardonnay juice was fermented in barrels, and afterwards 3 different stirring regimes were imposed: unstirred, stirred, and stirred with Extralyse (Laffort). Stirring occurred once per week for 8 weeks. The finished wines showed decreasing levels of residual sugar with stirring and with enzyme addition. Some malolactic fermentation could be observed in the stirred wine with Extralyse as well. Wine tended to become more cold stable over time, but the unstirred wine showed the highest level of cold stability but also the highest level of bentonite addition necessary to become heat stable. These results suggest that stirring may enhance Sweetness, Depth of Flavor, Yeast Character, and Body, although many of these effects were weak. The effect of Extralyse in combination with stirring was not too different than from stirring itself. 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, particularly with respect to Extralyse.

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