Definition - What does Unoaked mean?
"Unoaked" signifies that a wine does not have the perception that it was elaborated or aged in oak, or with oak substitutes. These wines lack the typical nuances of being oaked, such as; vanilla, coconut, smoky aromas, cinnamon and other warm spices, etc. An unoaked wine is typically more forward in fruit notes, acidity, minerality and terroir.
WineFrog explains Unoaked
An "unoaked" wine is one which has not been made without the use of oak.
Oaked wines can have prominent characteristics which are apparent in their aroma, taste and finish. Common nuances from oaked wines are what can be described by tasters as; pencil shavings, toasted bread, vanilla sugar, toasted coconut, nutmeg, cracked pepper or white pepper, cinnamon, pie crust, etc. These are all characteristics found in wine which can only be imparted by the use of oak and its varying toast levels.
An unoaked wine is often perceived as "fresher" and "lighter" with more apparent notes of fruit character and bright acidity, like that from citrus fruits.
In the case of an unoaked Chardonnay, it may present itself with more pear and apple notes and crisper acidity.
For other wines, they may be more terroir driven with hints of sharp minerality and earthiness, as they lack the oak characteristics which might otherwise mask the more natural notes.