One thing that a fellow judge and I were also discussing this weekend was the 'buttery' character of chardonnay and that there was likely a diacetyl component to it since there was a local brewery who aged a beer in chardonnay barrels that came across as a butter bomb.
I only get buttery in Chardonnay when Oaked. Stainless Chardonnays don't give me that.
edit: interesting .....
"What Makes a Chardonnay Buttery?
Malolactic fermentation (or sometimes malolactic conversionor MLF) is a process in winemaking where tart-tasting malic acid, naturally present in grape must, is converted to softer-tasting lactic acid. Malolactic fermentation tends to create a rounder, fuller mouthfeel. It has been said that malic acid tastes of green apples. By contrast, lactic acid is richer and more buttery tasting. Grapes produced in cool regions tend to be high in acidity much of which comes from the contribution of malic acid. MLF is also thought to generally enhance the body and flavor persistence of wine, producing wines of greater palate softness and roundness. Many winemakers also feel that better integration of fruit and oak character can be achieved if MLF occurs during the time the wine is in barrel.
The two winemaking decisions that most widely affect the end result of a Chardonnaywine is whether or not to use malolactic fermentation and the degree of oakinfluence used for the wine. With malolactic fermentation (or MLF), the harder malic acid gets converted into the softer lactic acid which creates the “buttery-ness” that is associated with some styles of Chardonnay. The wines that do not go though MLF will have more green apple like flavors."
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