BARREL CHARACTERISTICS

Please download our barrels characteristics.

Superb results are obtained by using traditional methods of winemaking. Production techniques that assist the winemaker in achieving distinctive, full flavored wines include:
Barrel fermentation
Extended Lees Contact
Stirring (battonage)
Small residual fermentation in barrel for red wines
Extended aging - after approximately 9 months in the barrel, oak flavors evolve, integrate & become less obvious
We at Tonnellerie Sirugue are available to assist you to select your preferences regarding toast levels, grain structure oak source(s), and barrel shape and size.

Sirugue sources oak from the most desirable French forests. Each displays distinctive flavor characteristics, offering the winemaker a palette of options with which to dial into their wine, based upon the personal experiences and sensory preferences of every oak consumer. Each barrel we produce has its own personality and is traceable back to the originating forest, through all steps of its manufacturing.

THE FORESTS

If we were to qualify each forest with a few adjectives or general terms, it would go this way:
•  Allier magnifies structure, elegance and spices;
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Vosges enhances floral aromatics, has the sweetness, the fluff and roundness of a good middle palate filler and wraps stiff tannins with delicacy;
•  Nievre (Nevers region) is about structure and power and can sometimes be a tannic bear;
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Chatillon is often a favorite; it has focus, structure and elegance. It is usually a pretty subtle barrel that allows the purity of fruit to shine;
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Our Center of France barrel has many faces as the staves are sourced from different forests over a larger central region encompassing an area West and South West of Paris. This oak doesn't have the footprint of a specific forest but seems to enhance just about any wine aged in it.

THE GRAIN

The tightness of the grain is important with regard to the aging program and the polish level you're seeking in the finished wine.
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For a wine that will stay in barrel for eight months or less, you might consider mixed grain to allow more oxygenation and a faster maturing.
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We would recommend tight grain (or possibly even extra-tight grain) for anything aged over eight months or when working with fruit displaying remarkable character.
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Extra-tight grain is particularly useful when you've got magnificent fruit and are on a quest to achieve the utmost in elegance, finesse, and seamless integration of the oak. These barrels are also the finest expression of Sirugue's ability to add to the complexity of your wine's texture.

THE AIR DRIED AGING

When choosing between 24 month or 36 month natural air dried oak, one should think about the vineyard, the polish level and production schedule, considering that the 36m will integrate earlier than the 24m, will allow a finer mouth feel, a better tannin management (less wood tannins that are supposed to have been washed out by the Burgundian rains and snow), we have had long snow season in recent winters. We can talk good and not-as-good vintage for barrels as well... the more rain or snow, the smoother, sweeter, friendlier the barrels will be the following year(s). When looking for more structure and perhaps a dynamic match with a gregarious vineyard, the 24 months natural air dried oak can be an excellent choice.

THE TOASTING

Aside from its traditional house toast called Elegant, Tonnellerie Sirugue has worked intensively to achieve different toasting levels tailored to each customer's individual needs and stylistic demands.

Please download our toast level choices.

THE RIGHT CHOICE

The grape variety you're making, the micro climate you are sourcing from and the caliber of wine you are crafting all factor into the barrel selection decision. Choosing the proper oak grain, forest, air-drying period, and toast level will result in having barrels with a special affinity to enhance wines made from a particular "terroir". At Sirugue, we craft our barrels as if they were individual picture frames with the goal of preserving the uniqueness of your vineyard while displaying the dynamics of the finished wine.

BARREL MARKINGS

So now you've received your barrels and you wonder "what do these letters mean?". Please download our explanation of barrel markings here.

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