The oak, French, please

Posted By: Merkatu Interactiva In: Ultimas Noticias On: Comment: 0 Hit: 253

The barrel, a fundamental part of the elaboration of many of our wines, is a complex item that we must value individually. It is no coincidence that wines are aged in this type of container made of a specific material: oak.

While the wine stays in the barrel it gets oxygenated in a very controlled way which provides texture, different aromas and softness so that the wine goes taking complexity. Normally 225-liter barrels are used, the so-called ‘bordeaux style’, although there are other types of barrels, such as the "bocoy", of 500 liters or the vats (of 3000, 4000 ... liters) that are used for alcoholic or malolactic fermentations or, sometimes, for aging.

But, why are oak barrels used for wine? Many things about that could be said, but the most general thing is that the oak is in fact very resistant but, at the same time, elastic, so the hogshead staves (the different wooden slats that make up the barrel)  can be bended without fall apart. In addition, oak is one of the highest level of tannins wood, so fundamental in the wine aging.

As a winery, one of the keys that we have to think of when choosing a barrel is the type of oak we are going to use. The best known are the American and French ones, but there is a wide variety of oaks suitable for winemaking (Hungarian, Russian ...). In our home we always use French oak. This type of oak is known to have fine pores that will configure the attributes of the wine in a slower and more balanced way, provideing its  best but respecting the qualities the wine has by itself (i.e. the fruit). With this, we get more elegant and subtle wines.  

If we add that the barrels we use in Ostatu are new, this purity in the pores is still effective throughout the aging process since we only use the same barrel for a maximum of 3 wines.

As for the aromas that French oak can bring us, we have, as general, vanilla, honey, nuts, sweet and spices, balsamic herbaceous notes. That is why in our Selección de Ostatu you can see how the aromas of red fruits are accompanied by notes of spices.

The barrel, a fundamental part of the elaboration of many of our wines, is a complex item that we must value individually. It is no coincidence that wines are aged in this type of container made of a specific material: oak.

While the wine stays in the barrel it gets oxygenated in a very controlled way which provides texture, different aromas and softness so that the wine goes taking complexity. Normally 225-liter barrels are used, the so-called ‘bordeaux style’, although there are other types of barrels, such as the "bocoy", of 500 liters or the vats (of 3000, 4000 ... liters) that are used for alcoholic or malolactic fermentations or, sometimes, for aging.

But, why are oak barrels used for wine? Many things about that could be said, but the most general thing is that the oak is in fact very resistant but, at the same time, elastic, so the hogshead staves (the different wooden slats that make up the barrel)  can be bended without fall apart. In addition, oak is one of the highest level of tannins wood, so fundamental in the wine aging.

As a winery, one of the keys that we have to think of when choosing a barrel is the type of oak we are going to use. The best known are the American and French ones, but there is a wide variety of oaks suitable for winemaking (Hungarian, Russian ...). In our home we always use French oak. This type of oak is known to have fine pores that will configure the attributes of the wine in a slower and more balanced way, provideing its  best but respecting the qualities the wine has by itself (i.e. the fruit). With this, we get more elegant and subtle wines.  

If we add that the barrels we use in Ostatu are new, this purity in the pores is still effective throughout the aging process since we only use the same barrel for a maximum of 3 wines.

As for the aromas that French oak can bring us, we have, as general, vanilla, honey, nuts, sweet and spices, balsamic herbaceous notes. That is why in our Selección de Ostatu you can see how the aromas of red fruits are accompanied by notes of spices.

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