This July, Dutton Estate Winery in Sebastopol, CA is hosting an expert-led class entirely focused on the differences between wines aged in different containers. The experience is titled “Dutton Wine Class: Barrel vs Tank vs Egg” and will explore four Chardonnays aged in different containers: a french barrel, an american barrel, a tank, and the concrete egg.
Now, here at Skolnik we write a lot about stainless steel wine barrels and the differences between wines aged or stored in various materials, but nothing beats experience. We love the idea of this class and the fact that it will explore the same variety of wine from, presumably, the same winemaker, thus providing a solid control for the experience.
In a press release announcing the event, Dutton Winemaker, Kylie Dutton, states “Of all the grape varieties, Chardonnay can taste so different depending on the choices we make in the cellar. Tasting them side by side is one of the best ways to understand how different types of barrels or alack of wood affect the wine.”
We couldn’t agree more. It is unclear whether their stainless steel tank-aged Chardonnay is completely unoaked or flavored with oak chips or some other alternative, but we’d suggest they include both in the experience – if only to present an alternative to the cost (economical and environmental) of a full oak barrel.