by Fred McMillin
for April 15, 1998
In producing our very first wine, EOS Estate '96 Chardonnay, achieving BALANCE was our ultimate and deliberate goal.
...Tom Eddy, EOS Winemaker
What is "balance?" Author James Laube says, "A wine has balance when its elements are harmonious and no single element dominates." What are those elements? The legendary British Master of Wine Michael Broadbent included fruit, acid, tannin and alcohol. None should dominate, or be lacking. The leading Canadian expert, Andrew Sharp, includes aroma also. I.e., a good-tasting wine that lacks aroma in not well-balanced. Australia's gifted Dr. Max Lake even quantifies some of the elements required for balance saying that a minimum acidity of around 0.6% is necessary or the wine will be flat and out of balance.
So how did Tom Eddy avoid any undesireable excesses or deficiencies? Well, he fermented part of the wine in stainless steel, part in French oak and part in American oak. He put part through malolactic fermentation to add a "faint note of butterscotch" and part bypassed the malo step. He's in agreement with Dr. Lake; the wine's acid content is reported as 0.69. So, if you want to try a Chardonnay with BALANCE, here it is!
'96 Chardonnay, Premier Vintage, Paso Robles
As for the winery name, Eos was the Greek Goddess of Dawn, each morning gently lifting the sun over the horizon [to shine on vines].
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