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Old 08-01-2012, 11:48 AM   #1
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3 Types of Oak Barrels

The oak barrel is the traditional and most appreciated container for wine, particularly the so called Bordeaux Barrique, which has the capacity of 225 Litres & became the most widely used in La Rioja, Spain once French wine producing methods were adapted in La Rioja in the 1870s.

Most wine barrels are made of oak, as this wood came to be considered the best for storing and maturing or ageing of wines. Oak allows for a moderate oxidisation of the wine, it reduces its astrigency, stablises its colour and adds various compounds that improve its aromas and taste profile.

Of more than 150 known species of Oak, only three are used to produce barrels.

1. QUERCUS PETRAEA: also known as Sessiflora or Sessile Oak, which has a fine wood of LOW porosity that adds vanilla aromas to the wine and is French in origin. This is why it can only be employed for 3 to 6 months, due to very very low porosity.

2. QUERCUS ROBUR: variously known as Russian Oak, or French and which is very tannic and porous too. It is not widely used any longer in Spain.

3. QUERCUS ALBA: The American White Oak, has an extremely compact wood and thus, it is low in tannins and adds chocolate aromas ... It is used predominately in Ribera Del Duero and Catalonia as well as after the 3 to 6 month period, the Sissile Oak held wine, is transfered to the American Oak for almost 36 months for Oak Aged Crianza and longer for Reserva and Grand Reserva.

All my best for a lovely summer,
Ciao,
Margaux Cintrano.

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Old 08-01-2012, 12:21 PM   #2
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One more. Quercus Pyrenaica, or Spanish oak. This species makes excellent barrels, though you don't see very many due to the forest acreage being limited. Its organoleptic qualities are similar to Q. Petraea.

Quercus Robur isn't used extensively for aging wine anymore. It doesn't have a lot of aromatics or tannins to offer. However, those properties make it ideal for aging spirits, such as whiskey.

It should also be noted that the same species of oak has different properties, depending on where its grown. We use Q. Alba for making wine barrels in the US. Most of the wood comes from either Missouri or Minnesota. Because of the colder winters in Minnesota, the barrels coopered from this oak have tighter grain than the barrels made from Missouri oak.

Interesting stuff.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:55 PM   #3
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Steve, a bit off topick here, when making wine do you store your wine in oak barrels or some other sort of containers?
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:08 PM   #4
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La Rioja & Ribera del Duero - D.O. Grape Differences

Steve,

Yes, this is a fascinating subject ... You learn something new daily ...

It all started with my question about SPANISH WINES ...


LA RIOJA DESIGNATION

The red grapes in this designation must include: 85 % Tempranillo, and you have 15% which can be: garnacha, graciano, cabernet sauvignon in any proportions ...

RIBERA DEL DUERO DESIGNATION

100% Tempranillo Mono Varietal

The outer zones of this Designation produce merlot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and tempranillo, garnacha and there are a variety however, these wines are NOT within Ribera del Duero Proper.

Have nice evening,
Margi.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
Steve, a bit off topick here, when making wine do you store your wine in oak barrels or some other sort of containers?
Charlie, I store most of the red wines in oak barrels. I have three of them. The two French barrels are 50 liters each, and then I have a 25 liter American barrel. If I have more wine than will fit in the barrels, I store the rest in glass carboys.

All of my white wines are stored in glass carboys.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:19 PM   #6
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I have been contamplating on making my own wine, but am afraid being so busy I just will not do the right job, not baysit the wine proparly or skip a step and that would be waistful, but I am still hoping that one day I will. So I am slowly clect information.
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:31 PM   #7
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also off topic steve(blame charlieD!!)when i cooked the mexican dish yesterday i was sipping a rather nice blossom hill winemakers reserve californian merlot from tesco(is there anywhere else?!).something about it told me it would chill well so i put it in the fridge for half an hour(it wasn't anywhere near as cold as i would chill say a muscadet or chablis) and it worked a treat! now i knew some reds such as beaujolais take a chill well so i took a toot on t'internet & there was an article by tim atkins who writes for the guardian/observer.....reckons loads of reds work well in the ice bucket.what do you reckon?
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:00 PM   #8
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Harry, I agree. Every so often you'll run across an article claiming that red wines should be served at room temperature. Keep in mind that much of this advice began back in the day when "room temperature" was what we would now consider to be on the chilly side. I actually like most red wines just a little cooler than room temp. So I do the same as you - take the bottle out of the wine rack and put it into the fridge for 20 minutes or so. That seems about right for my tastes. I don't know if I'd go so far as to put them into an ice bucket, though. Too cold, and red wines can be harsh and hard to drink.

White wines are also temp sensitive. When dining out, we'll sometimes get a bottle of white wine that's served too cold, and I end up taking it out of the ice bucket and letting it sit on the table to warm up for 20 minutes.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:12 PM   #9
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Harry, I agree. Every so often you'll run across an article claiming that red wines should be served at room temperature. Keep in mind that much of this advice began back in the day when "room temperature" was what we would now consider to be on the chilly side. I actually like most red wines just a little cooler than room temp. So I do the same as you - take the bottle out of the wine rack and put it into the fridge for 20 minutes or so. That seems about right for my tastes. I don't know if I'd go so far as to put them into an ice bucket, though. Too cold, and red wines can be harsh and hard to drink.

White wines are also temp sensitive. When dining out, we'll sometimes get a bottle of white wine that's served too cold, and I end up taking it out of the ice bucket and letting it sit on the table to warm up for 20 minutes.
that's what tim atkins wrote....60-65c for reds.the ice bucket bit he said,was just like the fridge,10-15 mins max,so you're both on the same script.
have to say i like bone dry whites & do like them ice cold.
tell you what tho',that californian merlot was a beauty!!
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:52 PM   #10
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Just wanted to say I love these threads! I'm learning a lot.
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