Definition - What does Stalky mean?
Stalky is used to describe a wine that has aromas similar to hay or dry leaves. This aroma is imparted into wine when grapes are fermented with their stems or in full-cluster fermentation. It is typically a subtle smell and it can add to the complexity and layers of artesenal wines.
WineFrog explains Stalky
Wines which are described as stalky have a savory note similar to dry grass or a barnyard. It is sometimes said that it is a default, however, this is not true. Some people may prefer this character and some may not.
This is a common characteristic in traditionally-made wines, for example, red wines made in Burgundy. These wines are made from Pinot Noir, a variety commonly fermented with the grape stems, and therefore, may be "stalky" in character.
Sauvignon Blanc, especially from New Zealand may also have a stalky character along with a crisp finish. The layers present in this particular wine help to build meals and elaborate a dining experience, rather than a flat, one-sided crisp wine, which may not be as versatile.