The raw material: Chardonnay – barrel fermentation
Do a side-by-side nose and palate comparison between ‘chipped’ and properly barrel-fermented Chardonnay.
How to find a bottle of ‘chipped’ Chardonnay? Go by price, origin and label. If the wine is inexpensive ie cheap, you’re warm. If it’s not from Burgundy, you’re getting warmer. And if the words “oaked” or “wooded” appear on the label, you’ve found your bottle.
As for finding a properly barrel-fermented Chardonnays, you’ll find fine examples of barrel-fermented Chardonnay outside of Burgundy virtually anywhere. But if you need a place to start, Robinson recommends trying a mid- to high-priced wine from California.