Diacetyl

Diacetyl is a buttery-tasting compound that is a by-product of malolactic fermentation, the process in which beneficial bacteria turn sharp-tasting malic acid in wine to softer lactic acid. Chardonnays that have gone through malolactic fermentation often have noticeable diacetyl. Butteriness in chardonnay does not come from oak; although many wine drinkers assume this is the case.

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