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February 10, 2006

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Thanks for the roundup of wines and talking about this encouraging trend. Hallelujah!

I also enjoy the trend toward steel fermented Chardonnays, although there are many lovely oaked versions, here and throughout the world, moderation,of course, is key. The real reason I'm writing though is to point out that Merlot actually is the most widely planted variety, according to the most recent survey done by
the LIWC

Ben,

Really? I'll make that correction here on teh site...do you know when these numbers came out?

Should I also assume that you're taking over the vineyard management for Leucadia's new venture on LI? :)

I've noticed this trend in the Washington Chardonnays, too. I've heard people speak of them as being done in the "French Style" which is normally a much cleaner taste.

I am surprised by Ms. Marcari's comment. I've been complaining of "getting splinters" while drinking Chardonnay for years. And it seems to me that the big oak would appeal more to the "manly" palate. But that's just my non-scientific observation of my friends and acquaintances.

Anyway, the point you are making is good for the industry and consumers alike. Getting back to the true nature of chardonnay is a welcome trend.

~ B

The trend you've identified and explained quite well can't accelerate fast enough for my taste. If oak is the first thing I notice on either the nose or palate, it's an immediate turnoff. I suspect too many winemakers saw barrel fermentation, oak aging or chips/dust as a masking agent for thin, innocuous chardonnay juice. Doesn't work. The gig's up.

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