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Wine Spectator School

Class 9: Winegrowing and Winemaking

summarize: aftertaste, finish, balance, complexity

This tasting compares two wines made from the same variety and looks at how the winemaking influences the wines' styles: The winemaker's goal for the unoaked wine is to produce a wine that is essentially pure Chardonnay. For the oaked wine, it is to create a big and powerful wine, using every means available.

Neither approach is necessarily better: A well-made wine in either style gives enjoyment and pleasure, just as a poorly made wine in any style does not.

As you finish the tasting, keep noting the differences between these two wines. Ask yourself if there is one style you clearly prefer over the other, and if so, why. (For instance, you may find the oaked Chardonnay more forceful, yet find the unoaked...

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