Black Chardonnay on Black Friday!

Never heard of Black Chardonnay?  It’s a real thing, and we made some!  For one day only, on Friday, November 23rd, 2018, we will be pouring samples of our Black Chardonnay that will be released one year from now!  This special preview is for one day only and we’ve only bottled one case of it for the entire day. Once it’s gone, it’s gone! So, get here early to try it.

Here is some more information on it:

What is Black Chardonnay?

Black Chardonnay is chardonnay made using a long-forgotten winemaking technique that purposely hyper-oxidizes the wine, which turns it “black” (actually dark brown, like an iced coffee). By the time it is bottled, the color turns back to gold.

How is Black Chardonnay made? 

Rather than handling their grapes gently, winemakers make Black Chardonnay by pump-mixing the unfermented juice together quickly and aggressively, exposing it to as much oxygen as possible.  Phenols from the grape skins that are present in the juice absorb oxygen until they turn deep brown in color. As the juice sits in the press, these dark, solid phenols precipitate and separate from the rest of the juice. By the end of the pressing, winemakers are left with a golden yellow juice that has fewer unoxidized phenols than traditionally-pressed Chardonnay.

Why did we make Black Chardonnay?

Although this process seems unrefined, it serves a greater purpose: to prevent premature wine oxidation.  By exposing the juice to air BEFORE fermentation, the wine will resist oxidation for many years in the bottle. This is an experiment for us and we can’t wait to see the results!

How is Black Chardonnay Different from regular Chardonnay?

Aside from the different way of making the wine and the benefit of guarding against premature oxidation, the end product of Black Chardonnay is actually quite similar to traditional chardonnay in terms of color and even taste. The preview of this chardonnay will be very different from what we release next year because it has not yet undergone malolactic fermentation, which softens the acidity in wines.

Why isn’t it “black”?

Phenols are the major oxygen-consuming substrate. When they are allowed to oxidize in the juice, they precipitate out during fermentation. And when they precipitate out, that dark pigment goes away.

When can I buy this?

The 2018 Black Chardonnay will be released one year from now in the December 2019 Sunstone wine club shipment.





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