Oak barrels are used for maturing the wines in the cellar before bottling. The juice can be fermented and macerated directly in the barrels (standing up and one end taken off) which some believe gives a better integration of the wood. More commonly the wine is racked to the oak barrel after finished fermentation and left to mature there from 6 to 36 months. The oak allows the wine to breathe via a minuscule exchange of oxygen between wood and wine. This rounds off the texture of the wine and it also helps stabilise the colour pigments in red wines. Finally, the oak also contributes with tannins and flavour compounds like vanilla, smoke and spices to the wine. The barrel adds more aromas and tannins the first years and becomes a more neutral vessel for maturing with age.
There a many kinds, sizes and qualities of oak barrels and equally many different beliefs and styles on how to use them.
At Binivista balance is key in most things! Also when it comes to the use of oak barrels of course. We work so hard in the vineyards to get the most pristine fruit, that it would be a pity masking this with too much oak.
Hence, we have decided to use only 500 liters French oak barrels of extremely high quality and a gentle medium toasting. All factors that limit the potentially strong influence of oak on our wines. Also, we only let certain of our wines rest in oak barrels, not all. Our fresh young white, rosé and our Grenache dominated red, we prefer to keep their pure fruity expression.
When we decide to age one of our wines in an oak barrel, we carefully monitor the development and taste the wines very often to ensure they are only left in there, just long enough to reach harmony, perfection and that ever important balance.