MLF and Brett

No, this is not the latest stage show from Las Vegas. 

Malolactic fermentation (MLF) describes the enzymatic conversion of tart malic acid to softer lactic acid. This secondary fermentation is primarily applied to red wines, but is also common for chardonnay. Besides reducing the acidity in a wine, MLF also can impart buttery or nutty aromas to a wine. 0.2 mg/L in chardonnay, 0.9 mg/L in Pinot Noir and 2.8 mg/L in Cabernet Sauvignon are detectable by people. Too much MLF and a wine is considered spoiled. MLF also produces esters in the wine, many of which are responsible for a pleasant “fruity” nose. The bacteria responsible for MLF is called “oenocuccus oeni”. So a buttery chardonnay, such as the Matua Gisborne Chardonnay “Judd Estate”, or the Marimar Estate, Acero Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California, is a result of MLF.  As I mentioned it also softens reds giving you a more round mouth feel.  Two examples would be the Oyster Bay Merlot from New Zealand and the Kettle Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from BC.

Bretanomyces (Brett) is a common spoilage organism in wine making. While low levels of Brett are sometimes considered by some to be a good thing, adding complexity to some wines, others consider its presence a flaw. Common words describing the effect of Brett on wine are: barnyard, earthy, sweaty leather, and more. Brett appears much more often in red than in white wines. The wines of Burgundy tend to have Brett.  Locally you may try the Ross Andrew Winery Boushey Vineyard Syrah, Columbia Valley, WA for a bit of Brett.

Pacific Breeze Winery

Many people living in New Westminster probably drive by this winery and don’t realize it is there, and that they have very good wines. Hopefully this post, plus my past tweets will help let Vancouverites know about this winery and try their wines.

Last weekend, Pacific Breeze Winery, had a Summer Launch Release of their Sangiacomo Vineyards Chardonnay 2007 and their Lake County Killer Cab 2006. The grapes for both these wines come from California. The Chardonnay was medium lemon colour, lots of vanilla, citrus and pineapple on the nose. It was medium bodied, with some smoothness (so maybe partial MLF). Vanilla, pineapple and oak flavours. A very nice chardonnay.

The Killer Cab 2006 was medium purple in the glass. Black cherry, vanilla and other black fruit aromas. On the palate I tasted cassis, sweet fruit, black cherry liquor, and some spice. Nice round mouthfeel with medium tannins and a long finish. When the weather warms up this week, I think I’ll be bbq’ing and drinking this wine.

In their backroom, they had 2 additional wines to taste; the aCURE eSTATE Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 and the aCURE eSTATE Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. The 2005 was 81% Cab with 17% Merlot, 5% Cab Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, while the 2006 was 80% Cab with 16% Cab Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot. Both wines looked and tasted quite different. The 2005 was really dark and extracted in the glass. Vanilla, cassis, cherry and cedar aromas. Chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, and black cherry flavours. Very smooth. The 2006 was a medium garnet in colour (I thought it would be darker as it had a high percentage of Petit Verdot). Leathe, licorice, cherry, and nutmeg on the nose. Lots of cassis, black cherry and some spicy. Very tasty. Either wine is a winner.

Where is Pacific Breeze Winery? It is #6 – 320 Stewardson Way, New Westminster, BC. Hope you have a chance to visit them. Tell them Karl at MyWinePal sent you!