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Age of the oak

Mature barrel:
Storage; tannic subtlety (smooth tannins); slow micro-oxygenation; natural stabilisation of the wine; disappearance of polyphenolic stabilisation; intense ruby colour with touches of terracotta.
Young barrel
Taste and aroma, sharp tannins; greater micro-oxygenation; higher percentage of volatile components; intense red colour.
“Adolescent” barrel
Craft of cooperage; moderate micro oxygenation: slight polymerisation; colour change towards intense ruby.

tonelero Barrels of different ages

French or North American oak?

There are many kinds of oak that are suitable for ageing wine, so it is unnecessary to compare the quality of one with another. It is sufficient to say that they are different; it is up to the winemaker to choose one or the other according to the character he or she wishes to give to the wine.

There are many species, sources and habitats, different producing regions with their own forestry methods (location of plantation, age) and other factors which affect the flavour of the wine, such as the type of cutting (sawing, splitting), curing (natural or forced), thickness of the staves, intensity of toasting, etc.

The two main countries supplying oak for the barrel-making industry are France and the United States. From the very beginning, our company has exclusively used American oak.

As far as physical characteristics are concerned, the basic differences in the oaks of each country lie with the greater porosity and flexibility of French oak. This flexibility means that the staves have to be split so that there is no loss of liquid.

Consequently American oak is less porous and flexible (the staves are thicker, which affects their drying) and they are sawn.

Our 131 years of using American oak and continuous experimentation has proved to us that it produces the characteristics we strive for in our wines.

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