Advices about wines

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If there is one subject that requires a nuanced approach, it’s the aging in barrels... The positive role of wood in the process of winemaking can’t be disputed.

Wine and wood

Beyond the aromatic contribution whose components and intensity vary according to the burning of the barrel (vanilla aromas, toasted, smoked, spicy ...) and the duration of the stay in the wood, it is acquired that the Slow and measured oxygenation caused by barrel aging has a positive effect on wine qualities. The most immediately legible aspect is color fixation. But for red wines, supply of oxygen also promotes the relaxation of tannins that will "round off" and merge with those of wood. The intensity of this overall process varies according to the age of the barrel. However, the systematization of aging in barrels, which has become synonymous with quality, sometimes leads to excesses. The "woody", does not necessarily add value to certain types of wine. Exclusive recourse to new wood, which is justified for a rich and concentrated production, endowed with a high quality tannic structure, wouldn’t be suitable for a medium intensity wine. During your tour in the vineyard, it’ll be interesting to question the owners on their winemaking process: intensity of burning the barrels, proportion of new wood, barrels duration…


Alain Labatut