When we speak of oak, it always seems that there is unanimity
that the French oak is better than the American
oak. It is said that one can see it in the wines which
aged in those barrels. The wood also leaves its mark on the
precious perfumed wines, much more in the French ones than when
it was a barrel from US.
This was demonstrated by Matías Calleja, a
winemaker from Beronia in London
who, during a lecture a few months ago, explained that the main
difference between the two origins lays in the aroma and
tannins. The first is noted in the case of French oak,
while the second is the main quality of the American oak.
When tasting, although it was the wine from French oak barrels
which received most votes, the difference between the two
notations was not too explicit.
The secret is in the mix
The knowledge of oak which in bodegas is very important. It helps
combine successfully the essence that aromatizes the
wine: more spice in the case of French oak and toast,
with hints of coconut and chocolate, in the case of American. At
that one must add the vanilla aromas each particular wine can
There are other options: Some wineries use Central
European oak, or Caucasian, who come from countries like
Hungary, Slovenia, Russia, Romania, Bosnia and Poland. Those are
woods which are said to have a high potential of aging, not as
tannic and much cheaper.
Other wineries opt for the Spanish oak, although
It has good quality, there are few companies that exploit it, and
hence the difficulty of getting to great wineries.
Finally, there are also wineries which are beginning to
bet for other woods like acacia or beech, especially for
white wines age in which we seek the expression of the grape
What type of barrel your favorite wines are aged in? What
shades provided do you most like?
Today we recommend 2 great (and well- aged) wines:
Faustino I Tinto Gran Reserva 2001
El Coto Crianza 2009